behind the scenes: lucky fish inspiration

March 14, 2016

behind the scenes: lucky fish inspiration

When thinking of new designs, inspiration comes to me from many different sources.  Often times it is from an experience in my daily life.  For example, the inspiration for our oak + acorn clips from this past Fall was my neighbor's gingko tree, which turns a brilliant and beautiful yellow before dropping every single one of its leaves in my front yard.  The gingko in my sketchbook turned to Fall leaves and eventually became an acorn.

While I was designing this latest batch of Spring designs, I knew I wanted to look towards something in my own Chinese background.  Chinese New Year was on my brain, and there were so many traditions to draw upon.  Pineapples and oranges, which are lucky symbols and always fill my fruit bowl around Chinese New Year time, were already in my lineup.  So next, I thought of fish.

Every Chinese New Year, we make sure to have a whole fish (head and tail included) in our refrigerator.  The words for abundance and fish are pronounced the same in Chinese (yu), so by starting the year with a fish in our fridge, we start the new year with abundance.  My mom always points out that yellow and orange-colored fish become much more expensive around Chinese New Year in the markets in Taiwan as all the superstitious people rush to bring themselves luck.  I loved the idea of little girls wearing a good luck charm in their hair, so I got to work.  Sketches turned to cut paper collages turned to samples, and these eventually became our lucky fish clips.

Fish is considered lucky in many other Asian cultures, as well as ancient Egypt.  For good luck all year round, we suggest wearing our lucky fish hair clips!