Guangzhou-based designer Demon Zhang graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins’ BA Print Design course in 2008. She worked with Lee Alexander McQueen at his McQueen label and under John Galliano at Dior before launching her gender-neutral, luxury Chinese brand Mithridate in 2018.
At the heart of Mithridate’s DNA is an overarching appreciation for art in all forms and Zhang’s desire to nurture a global community through collaboration. Mithridate has five standalone boutiques in China, operating a sustainable made-to-order model.
The brand is named after Mithridates VI, the King of Pontus (134 to 63 BC), who is believed to have so fortified his body against poisons with antidotes of his own devising that he became immune to poisoning. Today, the term mithridate refers to any concoction that protects against poison. The word mithridatism is used to define a tolerance to a poison acquired by taking gradually increased doses of it.
Zhang’s creative vision for Mithridate is similarly therapeutic: to provide a sartorial prophylactic to those who continually explore and express their identities through their clothes.
Zhang is constantly inspired by multi-sensory artforms, born of countless hours of research as a fashion student at London’s art galleries and museums, including the V&A, where she first discovered her brand’s namesake and which was the backdrop to her LFW debut presentation for AW2020.
For their AW21 collection, Mithridate and renowned multimedia artists Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti have reunited to bring to life Zhang’s newest collection as a digital artwork, called Automatiste, using leading-edge technology in a unique web experience set to premiere at 10:45 GMT on Monday, 22 February, during London Fashion Week.