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An Interview with Timmy Tian

My favorite fashion magazine is called Little Thing. I discovered in Japantown SF when I was bout thirteen years old. Browsing the magazines, my heart stopped when I found it. On the cover was a photo of two young women, their hair in milkmaid braids, wearing round glasses and dresses with huge collars. The picture was oval-shaped, contained within a floral frame, and on the bottom, "Grandma Style" was written in gold lettering. The magazine was in Chinese, so I couldn't actually read most of it, but I was still enraptured by the editorials, the apparent theme of "grandma style," and the interviews that featured some of my favorite artists and fashionistas.

I made many other pilgrimages to Japantown, and even tried to search the magazine online, but I was never able to find it again. Until one day four or five years later when a Facebook ad came up on my feed. Normally I don't fall victim to Facebook ads, but this time was different. They appeared to be advertising circus-themed fashion, complete with clip-on earrings of a bear dressed in circus attire. Who could resist that? To top it all off, the collection was a collaboration with one of my favorite artists who I've actually interviewed for Hype, Nathalie Lete. The brand was called "Unlogical Poem," a charming and slightly bewildering name. I decided to do some more research and discovered that the same woman that was behind Unlogical Poem was also behind Little Thing magazine from all those years ago! Her name was Timmy Tian.

To me, Timmy's creativity is unparalleled and her taste is impeccable. She's interviewed and worked with some of the same people I've talked to for Hype, and her collaborations are truly something to marvel at. Little Thing magazine transcends language, and her designs for Unlogical Poem, in all their kitschy, dreamy, ethereal glamor, feel as though they were ripped from my wildest dreams. I was really quite star-struck that she responded to my request to be interviewed.

Who are your inspirations and what lessons have they taught you?

The people we’ve interviewed and their works inspired me a lot. That's the reason why I published a magazine, to find and talk to the people who are following their heart in an artistic way. The people who perceive every little thing, little feelings, little sparkles, little happiness and little sadness. One can find the secret of life in the wonder of little things.

What work are you most proud of?

I guess I’m proud of we’ve had the independent magazine published in a mass market. It’s very funny and magical.

What has been the most transformative experience of your life?

The difficulties of running a company is beyond my imagination. It’s a big challenge. It’s really a sign of maturity to realize who we are, and accept the situations we never expect to encounter.

How would you describe someone that wears Unlogical Poem?

People that wear Unlogical Poem have no age limit. They are in touch with their inner child and have a sense of humor.

Where does the name Unlogical Poem come from?

I think it’s very important to think and live out of the box, I do hope my brand can mix the poetic and interesting, fancy and unlogical.

How did your experience with Little Thing magazine inform the way you design clothing?

Yes, just like the answer of the first question, through publishing the magazine, so many artistic and creative people inspired me, and it makes me more sure about what I should insist on or give up on when I design clothing.

Is Little Thing still publishing? Is there anywhere we can order back issues?

Little thing Magazine has been suspended for years, but we just launched in August 2021, it’s worldwide shipping, several past issue copies stocks are available to purchase.

What has been your favorite Unlogical Poem collection so far?

Well, there are always some favorite pieces in each collection. I don’t really have the favorite one, I treat all collections as one collection so far.

Do you have a favorite issue of Little Thing?

This is a difficult question as well...I love them all, but if I have to choose some, I’d like to say Grandma style issue 33, It’s Sew beautiful issue 24, Porcelain issue 30,The flea market issue 36&37, Girls love illustration issue 43.

What can we expect to see from Unlogical Poem in the future?

Spontaneous and organic creations


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