Footwear and accessories brand Charles & Keith has unveiled a limited-edition capsule collection with emerging Shanghai-based subversive label Shushu/Tong for spring 2022.
The independent womenswear label Shushu/Tong was launched in 2015 by friends Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang, both graduates from London College of Fashion. The brand has quickly won over the Gen Z audience for its unabashedly bold feminine detailing, from ladylike embellishments to playful adornments.
For the Shushu/Tong x Charles & Keith capsule collection, the design duo has designed a Mary Jane shoe and two bags centred around the key motif of the rose, exploring its ephemeral beauty, fragility, and charm, to unite the “inspirations and emotions” of both brands.
The unique imagery of the rose embodies the Shushu/Tong brand DNA, where the modern woman and feminine details are juxtaposed, which has been merged with the sensibilities and understated elegance at the heart of the Charles & Keith design ethos.
Commenting on the inspiration behind the capsule, Shushu/Tong, said in a statement: “The rose has become a significant symbol in literature and art, usually representing love and desire. Traditionally, roses only bloomed once a year, which means it was destined to live for a short period of time. A fragile, withering rose exudes fleeting beauty. Sharp thorns line its soft, delicate branches; this danger is a metaphor for the price we sometimes need to pay for love.
“Contrasting colours of red and black form the backbone of the collection. Their opposition – passion and sophistication – exemplify the inescapable temptation that love brings.”
Shanghai-based Shushu/Tong teams up with Charles & Keith
For the footwear, the capsule features Mary Jane pumps in patent leather, a style beloved by Charles & Keith fans, which has been given a unique Shushu/Tong twist. The feminine shape of the shoe has been offset with an edgy, chunky heel, while a delicate rose embellishment intertwines across one side to give the shoe a “romantic charm, while retaining its retro style”.
The collaboration also includes two handbags, offering a new spin on the classic shoulder bag, with an elegant rectangular shape and a wide adjustable ribbon-esque strap that allows it to be carried underarm or as a top handle.
The black version is crafted from sleek satin and adorned with a patent rose in the same shade, while its crimson counterpart features a delicate, vintage-inspired rose pattern monogrammed on its glossy satin body. The bag’s interior is crafted from supple leather and finished off with a hidden magnetic closure.
Fredie Stevens, design director at Charles & Keith, added: “Charles & Keith is excited to continue the tradition of working with independent designers to bring unique iterations of our well-loved footwear and handbags to both new audiences and loyal fans of the brand.
“It was a pleasure collaborating with the dynamic Shushu/Tong duo, we’ve followed their brand’s evolution closely over the years and are great admirers of their work and design aesthetic – the latter, which has been beautifully synched with Charles & Keith’s signature shapes to create this truly unique collection.”
The Shushu/Tong x Charles & Keith Mary Jane pumps are available in red or black, priced at 169 pounds, while the bags are priced at 145 pounds each.