Shei Phan x Akingsny

With so many brands doing there spin on the classic tote bag, how did you approach this everyday item for this collab?


Most tote bags are seen as simple bags to just throw your extra crap in, but working with Alan King and what his brand represents shows a much different view on what the task of a tote bag can be. I want to represent his brand and mine as well so I combined his slogan “Be A King” with my signature King Panda. The panda represents strength and unity while tapping into the Kings that we all desire to be. With being a King comes Royalty and with Royalty comes Quality and that’s what Alan brings to the table, so working with great quality of denim was a great canvas for the panda.

Being a multi-faceted artist, do you approach design the same way you would another medium of art? What are the differences and similarities in the process for you?


I don’t have a background in design so I approach it as if I was creating a painting or sculpture. Working first with preliminary sketches then I go straight to the fabric as if it was canvas.  Measuring out how the image will work with the tote bag’s structure or any cut’s structure, finding the right placement. I feed off the brand to inspire me to create something unique, but also fitting in with what they represent. When it comes to design and collaborating with a brand it’s of course based off combining both our ideas and making sure the message is sent. When working solo on my paintings or sculptures I don’t necessarily know where it piece will go, I allow my inner artist to take over. I write the story once I’m finished.


Is your inspiration the same between the different mediums of art or do you find inspiration in different things for design then you would for creative direction?


I think with every piece I do the inspiration comes from different places. When I create rather it’s a painting or design work I just let go. I allow myself to be clear of thoughts and only live in that moment to create something new that is inspired by my surroundings or experiences.


You have a strong following and influence with your followers. Are there any artist movements that inspire/ motivate you with your own movement?


There are so many amazing movements that inspire me. I recently worked with Project Mermaids which is a movement geared toward helping save the ocean. Arsenic a creative movement which highlights the beauty of the nude form; which I am known for, I believe that being in the nude is the purest form of one’s self. To truly understand anything you much understand yourself first. And most recently I have joined One Tribe NYCa movement that brings the next generation of creative together to help change the world in a positive way through fashion, music, art, film and food.


Having such a strong brand image, how do you decide on who to collaborate with?

To me it’s about collaborating with dope creatives and brands that have a message.