TIMEOUT NEW YORK - DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT

Posted: Jan 13 2011

Who they are: By naming their scarf label after everyone’s favorite creature of the night, cousins Emily and Ling Chen, along with childhood pal Connie Lui, gave a clever nod to the fact that the line was born in the evening hours, after their day job had ended and the girls convened to plot their future business. The trio approaches We Are Owls, which debuted last January, as a collaborative effort: Parsons grad Ling sketches the whimsical patterns, while creative director Connie manages the business end and PR maven Emily’s background in luxury-buying gives her a trendspotting eye.

About the line: When asked about her worldly inspiration, which ranges from Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Ling credits her NYC pedigree. “New York City is my home,” she says. “I have been exposed to so many diverse cultures, global influence just comes naturally.” Each of her designs is rendered on a lightweight blend of silk and cashmere, and hand-printed in a studio in Inner Mongolia. At more than six feet long, every scarf ($218-$245) is large enough to double as a wall hanging; when spread flat, what first appears to be an abstract print billows into a fully formed image, like the fall line’s tessellated birds or the digitally manipulated waves. —TimeOut New York

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