For YiZhou, fashion is yet another means of self-expression. With Global Intuition, her Shanghai-meets-L.A. brand, she aims to bring her unique sensibility to the masses.
Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and went to school.
I grew up in China and went to school there until the age of seven. Then I moved to Italy and grew up there. I later studied in Paris and London, earning degrees in political science and economics.
Did you always have an interest in fashion?
Growing up in Rome and Paris, fashion becomes a part of your DNA. As a little girl, I walked the streets of Rome at Piazza di Spagna, and I was really intrigued by the sense of style contained in all the stores there. From the Italian buildings and historic pieces, I saw that everything has a story and a sense of style.
Your background is in the art world.
I started my career as an artist in Paris and in China. I was lucky to have the support of many institutions, such as Sundance, the Venice Biennale, and the Cannes Film Festival. I feel I have used a lot of my creativity at a very young age. I am at a different phase of my life; I tend to project my creativity into my businesses.
How did the Global Intuition brand come together?
I started the brand with a suggestion from my best friend and my dad when I moved to Los Angeles in 2017. We built the brand to promote the everlasting and longevity aspect of the products, gender fluidity, sustainability, and cultural heritage. We’ve tailored our fashion lines to three different markets: millennials, working people, and people who appreciate luxury and the rareness of collectible pieces. Therefore, we have created our Basic Line, Classic Line, and Heritage Line for them.
You’re based in Los Angeles. Why?
It all started in 2016, when I met my agents from William Morris Endeavor. They encouraged me to come to Los Angeles and spend some time there. I was already traveling to L.A. nearly every month, and one day, a friend of mine suggested that I just move there rather than staying at a hotel. I took his advice and grabbed the opportunity. I moved to L.A. in late 2017 and immediately started my film and content production company, YiZhouStudio LA, and plan to invest in Hollywood and Chinese co-produced movies with my new investment company, Into the Sun Investment.
How would you describe the aesthetic of Global Intuition?
I think our creative board member John Frierson says it best: Our brand is a three-way marriage of art, fashion, and pop culture. You will immediately notice that our brand is a mixture of minimal wear and luxury wear. We’ve designed our clothing to be timeless, so 25 years from now, you can whip out that Global Intuition wear from your closet and pair it with the latest trend that’s going on at that time.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I am all about strategy and execution, so I am always at the office strategizing with our L.A. and Shanghai-Hangzhou teams, coming up with different ideas on how to promote the GI brand.
Has social media played a role in the creation of the brand?
Social media has essentially become a way of life — and with the impact of it, how it brings people from all across the globe together. We wanted to pull inspiration from the digital footprint behind social media. The main goal of our brand is to create timeless and engaging pieces in a modern, social media society and bring awareness to sustainability and heritage, adapting in today’s evolving culture.
You had a Coachella line last year. Will you be doing that again next year and will you be creating collections specifically for other festivals?
We plan on doing another Coachella line next year and hope to pull inspiration from and collaborate with additional festivals and art fairs. The idea is to promote the spirit of the festivals and celebrate the importance of music in our lives.
Where is the brand being sold?
Our line is currently sold online at globalintuition.net; at Fred Segal on Sunset Boulevard in L.A.; Church Boutique in West Hollywood; on amazon.com; and on weidian.com.
Global Intuition is more than just a fashion brand. Tell us more about the company.
Global Intuition comes in a moment of global culture and a real world without barriers and geographical connotation. For this reason, the brand is a global brand with a global reach and global inspiration and production. The brand philosophy is about the immaterial aspect of fashion; clothing and trends come and go, but our essence stays the same, and that is why the clothing is so simple and pure. At Global Intuition, we seek to create complete looks for every lifestyle and promote the see-now, buy-now business model without fashion shows, and most of all, a new, seasonless aspect of fashion.
You’ve set up a creative advisory brand. Can you tell us who is on it and describe their roles?
Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, Prince of Venice, is the new shareholder partner of the Global Intuition brand. As a member of the House of Savoy, an actor, and the only male-line grandson of Umberto II, Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia brings more than his royal charm, but also his knowledge and input in high fashion and business. The Prince of Venice has been an active and supportive partner of Global Intuition.
Pamela Golbin is another adviser — as former chief curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, located in the Louvre Palace in Paris, Pamela was the custodian of one of the most significant and extensive collections of fashion and textiles in the world. She has personally staged important exhibitions on the work of iconic fashion designers, such as Madeleine Vionnet, Hussein Chalayan, Valentino, Dries Van Noten, and Marc Jacobs, many of which have attracted several hundreds of thousands of visitors.
John Frierson is the president of Fred Segal. He has more than 25 years of branding, licensing, and business development skills. Before joining the iconic Los Angeles retailer, Frierson founded the Lifestyle/Licensing Group at Creative Artists Agency, where he created celebrity and designer brands for major retailers worldwide, including Target, Bloomingdale’s, John Lewis & Partners, David Jones Limited, and more. During his tenure at CAA, he generated more than $3 billion in retail sales for dozens of new brand initiatives via licensing and IP extensions. The represented brands ranged from retailers such as Missoni and TOMS to lifestyle clients such as The Cheesecake Factory and California Baby.
You also have a philanthropic side. What charities is the brand working with and why did you decide to support them?
Our brand not only wants people to look good, but to also do good. That is why we are working with charities such as CharityStars, Festival of Disruption, David Lynch Foundation, and the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
How do you see the company expanding?
We would initially like to start growing our brand online and have it featured in other high-fashion stores. Once we start to receive a high volume in demand for our product, we would then like to launch our own brick-and-mortar store.
Who are some of your inspirations?
My greatest inspiration has been my dad. Watching him grow as an entrepreneur, as I was growing up, he taught me so much of what to do and what not to do as a business owner. He is the biggest supporter of my businesses and is also my favorite mentor. Other inspirations include Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Eilish, Nobel Laureates such as Steven Chu, and Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, to name a few.
How would you describe your style?
My style is definitely artsy with a fusion of edge.
Where will you be going for vacation this year?
I feel I am eternally on vacation, so I try to travel less and focus on building my new life in L.A.
Clearly, the word “intuition” is a big part of your life now. Are you an intuitive person?
I believe that I am a very intuitive person. I was always taught by my grandparents to go with my gut instinct. And with Global Intuition, we promote fashion and style as a sixth sense.
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