Close X


Hip Hop’s princess & prince of prints

As MTV’s The Rappers separates the skilled from the wannabes, Jerry Hsieh & Cynthia Hsieh make sure the judges look fresh

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 21 Jun 2021

In Taiwan, MTV’s The Rappers whittled down more than 1,200 contestants to 66 MCs to start off the show. At last week’s debut, the very first thing viewers saw was ‘憑什麼’, the theme song for the show with the judges Dwagie and Leo王 dropping verses and PoeTek rapping the hook.

PoeTek and Dwagie are looking especially dapper in the video and on the show with customized jackets. This is because of fashion designers Jerry Hsieh and Cynthia Hsieh, who have been friends with and worked with both artists for many years. “I’m trying to make Hip Hop a bit more formal,” Jerry said in an interview with LiFED. “I want them to suit up and have the details in a Hip Hop style.”

Jerry Hsieh went to a fashion design college, but when he was taking the classes, he got bored very easily. “When I was studying, it wasn’t that fun. I decided to add some Hip Hop to all my designs,” he said. “I started to do streetwear, and wanted to make it with my own style - streetwear on the next level.”

WooLeeX was what his friends used to call him growing up, and in 2019, he started a Hip-Hop-focused fashion studio with the same name. Before COVID-19, there was a pop-up store in one of the biggest shopping districts in Taipei. Now, WooLeeX is mostly online, but Jerry always loved making one-of-a-kind jackets. “I was inspired by Jeff Hamilton, who designed a lot of NBA jackets. That led me to my passion for customization.”

In 2020, WooLeeX Studio made it to New York Fashion Week. At his show with Cynthia Hsieh, they had A$AP TyY and others walk the runway and got a lot of notice for it. “Every time we have a big show, buyers will check us out. The customizations get a lot of publicity. We put a lot of handwriting and painting on the fabrics, so it’s not cheap. It’s art.”

Jerry has been thinking bigger than Hip Hop recently. Before they were postponed due to COVID-19, he was going to be working with a few non-Hip Hop artists walking the red carpet for Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards. “I’m excited to expand to other musicians and make it stylish and not just streetwear.”

For the moment though, Jerry and Cynthia are busy doing customization and styling for each episode of The Rappers. His philosophy is simple. “Hip Hop is trying anything. Putting everything together and seeing if it works. Hip Hop is all about keeping it fresh.”

While The Rappers show has been very tight-lipped about everything to do with the production, we asked Jerry to spill a few secrets. “I really liked one guy - Sinner Moon. The music he presented was unexpected and I love to see that.”