Not Just One Thing | Jie Zheng

Author: Zenna Wilberg / Photos: Aditya Negi
05.14 / #CommitToYou

She might be young, but the multi-talented Jie Zheng is taking action and tailoring her career path to suit her skill sets and passions. MISSBISH has teamed up with Vans to showcase individuals who are 'Not Just One Thing', proving that following all of your passions and a disregard for limitations can be the recipe for success.

Jie is a graphic designer, stylist, creative director, and blogger, to name a few of her pursuits. From creating the artist-focused magazine NAPIZUM, to growing as an experienced personal stylist, Jie has proven that she's not just one thing. She also took a moment to share the story behind her custom Vans Slip-On with us, as part of Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition, which gives artists the opportunity to showcase their work.

We chatted with Jie about her various hustles, her style, and how expressing herself through fashion gave her confidence. Learn more about Jie's unique career path below and get her look by shopping MISSBISH apparel here!

What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in the arts/fashion?
When I was younger, I learned the power of personal style. It was about fourth grade and I was a shy kid. Then I discovered my style could speak for me, so I made it my voice. I’ve used clothes as a form of self-expression since then. Later in high school I was studying nursing to appease my parents. Then when I applied for colleges, I got into one school for biology and one for graphic design. I made the jump and followed my creative instinct I always had, to allow myself to study the arts.

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is trendy but with classic influences. I base my looks on what I feel confident in that day. But there’s always a mix and match of tomboy vs. girly pieces. I’ll match some jeans with heels and a dress with sneakers. I like having an edge to each look.

Tell us a little about your magazine, NAPIZUM?
NAPIZUM is an art magazine featuring up and coming artists of all mediums. I started it with my boyfriend just eight months ago. Our content consists of editorials, fashion, music, and current topics for our generation. We’re soo excited to be on our fifth issue, and working with our growing team and the amazing featured artists in each issue! I’m the head of graphic design, and I’ve been expanding into creative direction as well. Along with giving artists a platform, we are encouraging the collaboration of artists to work on original content for each issue.

"My goals are more focused on my state of mind and the person I want to be as I grow. I want to stay true to my personality..."

What’s a must-have piece in your wardrobe?
I’m so indecisive! I think currently for the summer my must-have would be a pair of statement earrings. I’ve been loving accessorizing currently, especially with unique finds from the thrift store. I feel like everyone can put on the same clothes but your accessories add that personal spark. I always carry a box of gold earrings and bracelets around, just in case I want to change the vibe of my outfit that day.

What can you share about the custom Vans Slip-On you’re designing?
For my custom Vans Slip-On, I sewed an illustration from my “Canvas1” design I created my freshman year of college. It is a blind contour line drawing of myself. Now looking back, it symbolizes the time I first allowed myself to immerse in being an artist. At the time, I was experimenting with different styles and basically blindly guiding myself on my new pursuit. It is a rough sketch, kind of undone, which allowed me to let go of the control I always tried to have.

What’s the most challenging part of styling? The best part?
I’ve recently changed over from editorial styling to personal styling. With styling for editorials, I found myself trying to put together looks that were not true to my style, so I wasn’t happy with the work. In personal styling, I found the fulfillment of giving someone that same self-expression I discovered with clothing. When they walk in I pick up hints of their personality and I can put together looks that will represent them. The best part of it is pushing the person's comfort zone and bringing their vibrancy out. Many times, they surprise themselves, and that risk-taking and confidence is what I hope they will walk away with.

What are some of your career goals?
I don’t have specific career goals. I have a year left in college currently, and like many graduating students, they’re still figuring it out. My goals are more focused on my state of mind and the person I want to be as I grow. I want to stay true to my personality, but I could be a little more assertive. I want to be more mindful of my actions, like taking time to appreciate small successes. Also, I noticed I say, “I allow myself…” because I’m practicing being assured in my thoughts and decision making.

As a creator, stylist, graphic designer, etc, you’re definitely “Not Just One Thing.” What do you like most about utilizing different skills? Why is it important to you to pursue a variety of outlets?
I think everyone has to take on multiple titles nowadays because a lot of people are working for themselves. However, they’re all just different skills I practice in order to get my ideas across. Sometimes you know what you want best, so you have to take on the role of the stylist or designer. Also, I love collaboration, so I want to be able to take on certain tasks others need at the time. The more outlets I have, the more ways I am able to get my vision out.

What does MISSBISH mean to you? Who is your own personal MISSBISH?
MISSBISH to me is the modern woman. The women that are building their own brands and careers, while doing it in style of course.