Interview with Kevin Ching from Hong Kong S.A.R., China

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Kevin Ching

Kevin Ching, the Founder and Creative Director of BIG HORN, has been in the eyewear industry since 2011, driven by a lifelong passion for design. He has turned his love for fashion and eyewear into a successful career, crafting avant-garde, unisex eyewear for his brand, making it accessible to a broad audience.

Interview With The 2023 London Design Awards Winner – Kevin Ching

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I am the Founder and Creative Director of BIG HORN, a designer eyewear brand. I have been involved in the eyewear industry since 2011 and my passion for design began in my teenage years. I have successfully turned my love for fashion and eyewear into a career, developing avant-garde and fashion-forward eyewear styles for my label. My vision is to create designs that are accessible to everyone, and I have achieved this by producing unisex styles.

In addition to my commitment to fashion, I am also dedicated to sustainability. Since 2018, I have been using sustainable materials for my collections as part of my major project to protect the environment and promote ethical production practices. I have established myself as a prominent figure in the eyewear design world, and my designs have won numerous international awards for my butterfly eyewear. I am also a member of the United States Accessories Council and China Fashion Designer Association (Accessories field) respectively.

My designs have been featured in prominent publications such as Vogue (UK), Tatler (UK), Traveller (UK), Candid, WWD, GQ Brazil, Pump Magazine, Picton' Magazine, Numero, and more. Many celebrities, artists, and stylists from the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed their interest in my designs. I have collaborated with notable brands including Justice League and Swarovski.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
After joining the eyewear industry, I found that people had not many choices for eyewear. There were many styles that were the same and some were similar with different brands. Therefore, I tried to design something different for my brand with styles that were based on the latest trends to satisfy people’s needs. This is what motivated me to become a become a designer.
3Tell us more about your agency/company, job profile, and what you do.

I tried to do different approach to research via primary data and secondary data from the fashion industry which includes going through magazines and observing fashion shows. I make a habit of reviewing these date to evaluate incoming trends and needs for the people.

This helps to inspire me to generate new ideas in order to make good designs for the people. My job also includes making new drawings and gather new materials and colours for coming collections.

4What does “design” mean to you?
Design to me is a combination of innovation, creativity, problem-solving, and art. In design, there must be some problems to address and solve, particularly, technical issues. A design must require the elements of innovation, creativity and art to produce novel and unique designs.
5What’s your favourite kind of design and why?
My favourite kind would be polygonal design. The polygonal design is fairly simple and remarkably easy to create different shapes or combinations with different designs or more varieties.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
A good design will depend on a specific context and goals of the project. For me, a good design should be able to perform its intended function effectively, highly innovative, and it should be environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
7How did you come up with the idea for your award-winning design?

I believe that sustainability is an important topic for all products. Apart from sustainability, we would have to include reducing wastage into the efforts of making a product. When I designed this collection, I incorporated bio-based and biodegradable materials. People can buy the parts for replacement if part of the design damaged or if they would like to change styles. In the end, it would severely decrease the environmental impact on the earth.

In this specific collection, I've created three different eye-shapes. These eye-shapes consist of rounded, rectangular, and wayfarer styles. I chose these designs because they have a stylish and modern appearance. The temple design features an embossed surface with a textured, sharp, and bold appearance, making it distinctive. Additionally, there are challenging colour choices to make and coordinate with. This allows individuals to pick their preferred colours and match them with various outfits to express their unique styles.

8What was your main source of inspiration for this design?
The design concept from a fashion show that I researched on, I was able to estimate the needs of people based on trends! My habit of reading different fashion and optical magazines from different countries was a great help in stimulating me to brainstorm on styles and trends for this collection. I am not particularly a huge fan of following designs because I want to design products that people need and love. This would be the core of my brand and it is also the reason why people love wearing my designs!
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

I don't think my country plays a role in my designing process but more of a combination of countries worldwide. I believe that design is a creative process that involves problem-solving and creating solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Cultural heritage can play a significant role in this process, influencing the design choices made by individuals and communities. It encompasses the beliefs, customs, practices, and traditions of a particular group or society. It can include everything from art and literature to architecture and design. Cultural heritage is often passed down from generation to generation and can have a profound impact on the way people think, behave, and create.

In the design process, cultural heritage can influence the materials used, the colours chosen, and the overall aesthetic of the design. For example, in traditional Japanese design, natural materials such as wood and paper are often used, and the colour palette is typically subdued and earthy. This aesthetic is influenced by the natural landscapes of Japan and the country's emphasis on simplicity and harmony.

In other words, cultural heritage does have some impact on my designs, particularly European and Chinese culture and the reason being is that people love different cultures. They enjoy having a design that incorporates both European and Chinese cultures because it looks different and the results are always eye-catching! Hence, I incorporate these concepts into my design process, creating new products inspired by heritage buildings and antique items, all with the aim of meeting their specific needs.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the London Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the London Design Awards is very important for me because it signifies that my work is recognised and graciously rewarded for its creativity and innovation. This would greatly aid me in promoting my brand and designs. This platform is built for designers to be recognised by the general public and that itself is truly amazing as there are many great designers with amazing products under their belts!
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 London Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
I chose this collection to enter into the London Design Awards because I want to promote and highlight the beauty of sustainable eyewear and not just spotlight my eyewear design. I believe that sustainable fashion is the trend and it grows important by the day especially in the climate we are living in. Which would explain why I used this particular collection to participate!
12What were the main challenges you faced during the design process, and how did you overcome them?

One of the challenges that we faced that had a big impact on the development of the sunglasses were the fact that it was not done by injection, a moulding process that is a common and efficient method for making parts of sunglasses and it is made of acetate. Making different parts fit perfectly can be quite tricky when you have to swap them out for a new set.

However, the technical team over at the factory assisted to modify the shape of the temple that it is more easier to fit into the front, even new pairs. As a result, we were able to develop such things to people, and achieve our goal!

13How do you think winning this award will impact your future as a designer?
Being a Gold winner for my design is truly amazing as a designer because my work is recognised for its quality. I am thoroughly impress that the design direction I had in mind for my brand is correct and this reassured me that I am heading in the right direction. This will encourage me to focus on designing for the people. People need designs and designs need people.
14What are your top three (3) favourite things about our industry?

The design industry is a fascinating field that encompasses a wide range of disciplines, from graphic design and industrial design to fashion design and architecture. Here are three great things about the design industry that are a personal favourite of mine:

Creativity:One of the most compelling aspects of the design industry is the opportunity to express creativity. Designers have the freedom to experiment with different colours, shapes, textures and materials to create something unique and beautiful. It's incredibly rewarding to see an idea take shape and come to life through the creative process.

Problem-solving: Designers are problem-solvers at heart. They have the skills and expertise to identify problems and create solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether it's designing a user-friendly website or a comfortable piece of furniture, designers are always looking for ways to improve people's lives through design.

Collaboration: Design is a collaborative process that involves working with clients, colleagues, and other professionals. Designers must be able to communicate effectively and work well with others to bring a project to fruition. The design industry offers opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds and disciplines which can be both challenging and rewarding.

In other words, the design industry is an exciting and dynamic field that offers opportunities for creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration.

15What sets your design apart from others in the same category?

Design is a highly competitive field, and standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. To create a design that sets itself apart from others in the same category, it's essential to focus on a few key areas of my design:

Innovation: One of the most effective ways to create a design that stands out is to innovate. This means thinking outside the box and exploring new ideas and techniques. An innovative design can capture people's attention and leave a lasting impression.

User Experience: A design that prioritises user experience can also set itself apart from others in the same category. A good design should be intuitive, easy to use and functional. By focusing on the needs of the user, a designer can create a design that stands out from the competition.

Attention to Detail: Attention to detail is critical in design. Small touches can make a big difference and set a design apart from others in the same category. By paying close attention to typography, colour, and spacing, a designer can create a design that is visually appealing and memorable.

Brand identity: A design that effectively communicates a brand's identity and values can also set itself apart from others in the same category. By understanding a brand's personality and target audience, a designer can create a design that resonates with people and sets the brand apart from its competitors.

Quality: Finally, the quality of a design can set it apart from others in the same category. A well-executed design that is crafted with care and attention to detail can elevate a brand and establish it as a leader in its field.

Lastly, I think that the most important on the design is everything from the heart. Think about needs, think about people and you will produce great designs!

16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
There are many fashion brands trying to jump onto the metaverse train now. I believe that the designs in the future will focus on metaverse (including NFT and not limited to just product designs. Product design is important but NFTs will grow to become more important too.
17What advice do you have for aspiring designers who want to create award-winning designs?
See more and think more about the people. Design always starts from the heart. When you focus on the people more, you will get a better idea of what people want and need. You should also be receptive to your surroundings and be able to absorb more things in order for inspiration to take place.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
Try to learn from designers that you like. Think about their designs concept, inspiration, and story. Digest their design and think why they did such designs for people. Also, learn more from their experience. Broaden your mind and every designer should be able to look at things from a different angle when you make your own designs.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I tend to create my designs during night-time, as I find it easier to focus and channel my creativity, especially after midnight. It might just be a habit of mine, but I'm not entirely sure why it works so well for me.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
People are a constant source of inspiration in my life. I make it a point to understand their needs and stay attuned to current trends when crafting my designs. This is why my brand's slogan is "Designed for People, Designed for You."
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Look for your target audience, you need to always ensure that their needs are taken care of. Only then will you be truly able to design products from the heart that caters to their needs.
22 Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Work hard and play hard.

Winning Entry

Magical | 2023


Our latest designs in 2023 is based on the sustainability issue. We designed 3 styles with 9 colours for Front, and 12 …
(Read more at London Design Awards)

Kevin Ching


Kevin Ching, the Founder and Creative Director of BIG HORN, has been in the eyewear industry since 2011, driven by a lifelong passion for design. He has turned his love for fashion and eyewear into a successful career, crafting avant-garde, unisex eyewear for his brand, making it accessible to a broad audience.

Read more about this interview with Simin Gu from the United States, the Gold Winner of the 2023 London Design Awards.