Influenced by her mother's role as a head pattern maker, Wenlan Chia began experimenting with her own clothing designs while still a child. After graduating from the University of Taiwan, she moved to New York in 1991 to study art history at NYU, but a few courses at FIT—and inquiries from strangers on the street who wanted to buy the creations she sported—inspired Chia to quit her art gallery job and focus on fashion.
Taipei native Wenlan Chia launched Twinkle's first collection of playful, brightly colored hand-knit sweaters and accessories in the fall of 2000. A complete ready-to-wear line quickly followed and Twinkle's runway debut, at the February 2003 Gen Art Fresh Faces Fashion Show, was a critical success. Multiple fashion week appearances and a handful of accolades later (Tokyo's Onward Kashiyama New Design Prize, Fashion Group International Rising Star Awards nominee), the offbeat label continues to expand its collection and international appeal, with Chia still at the helm.
Whimsical, vibrant, chunky knits—sweaters, scarves, caps, even tuxedo jackets—are Twinkle's staples, although recent collections have incorporated chiffons, tweeds and cashmeres for an increasingly feminine and delicate look.
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