Christina J. Wang is expanding her CJW fashion brand’s loungewear category with a new collection.
The fine artist-turned-fashion designer has released her Mom + Mini collection, which offers two matching loungewear sets for adults and children in candy-themed and produce-themed prints.
“Our patterns are really playful and colorful, but sometimes as adults you don’t necessarily want so much excitement,” Wang said. “So who would be perfect for this level of playfulness and excitement? As someone who is a new mom, kids love the prints and these would look really great on them. I thought about introducing something new to a new audience while maintaining a beautiful quality.”
Wang’s existing adult pajama collection also evokes this playful theme with prints inspired by beauty products, plants and different seasons. While her previous loungewear collection is created with silk, the new Mom + Mini collection is made of a durable cotton blend to make it practical for everyday wear and for children.
Like her other designs, such as scarves and hair accessories, Wang incorporated her background in art for the new collection. Both prints in the Mom + Mini collection are hand-illustrated by Wang herself on Photoshop and superimposed on the fabric.
“My brand focus and inspiration are always things that inspire joy in my life and things that would universally inspire joy,” she said about the playful prints. “This loungewear set really came out of a place of necessity and trying out what I liked about the pajamas I already had and how I would tweak them.”
During the pandemic, Wang also started creating face masks for adults and children using upcycled fabrics from her existing loungewear offerings. She’s incorporated her face masks into her advocacy work with the Chinatown Health Clinic — which offers low cost and accessible health care to the Asian American community — where she’s donated the accessory to volunteers and patients. For each face mask she sells, Wang donates one to the clinic and the Bowery Residents’ Committee.
“Being a Chinese person, my cultural identity has always been important to me,” she said on her advocacy work. “As we started the business, it was always important to highlight that we’re made in China in a good way. Not in a secret, ‘Oh, we’re made in China,’ way. My family is in manufacturing, so I’ve always been very proud of that.”
Wang said the recent surge in racism and violence against the Asian American community hasn’t impacted her advocacy work, but reaffirms its importance to her.
“For us, it’s something we’ve been doing and have been interested in for a long period of time,” she said. “I don’t feel like there’s a need to double my effort or call it out in a specific way. I think it’s just important for us to stay the course. Whether this wave comes and goes, we’ll always be here.”