Through The Designer's Eyes: Hong Kong
Where do you live? How would you describe the creative scene in your city?
I live in Hong Kong. I would say that based on the multicultural background of Hong Kong, we love to accept new things and merge it with our own style.
Is there a large design community in your city? How do you interact with it?
Yes there a lot of design communities. For example, there are some incubation programs of design owned by government, and I always interact with my university schoolmates who have their own brands as well.
How does the city inspire you?
I was born and raised here, so most of my family and friends are living here too. Everything all around will always inspire me, not only the city itself, but also the people.
What makes your city special?
You can feel Hong Kong's energy from the moment you arrive. Different people enjoy different parts of Hong Kong. Some of them like the food, some of them like the nightlife, and so on. There's so much discover here.
What do you love most about your city?
The people who live in this city and the efficiency of people working.
What cuisines are distinct to your city?
What's the biggest misconception people have about your city?
People always says “ Xie Xie” when they know we are from Hong Kong, but actually “ Xie Xie” is Mandarin. We know Mandarin, but the official language is Cantonese.
How does the culture in your city impact your designs?
We have a Chinese background but at the same time we were one of the colonies of the UK, so I'm always inspired by the traditional clothing of both countries.
Do you manufacture your clothes in your city? If no, why not?
My factory is in China, but some of them are owned by Hong Kongese. I think the sewing and pattern techniques are quite similar, plus the labor fee is cheaper.
Does working outside of a traditional "fashion capital" like Paris or New York City impact your work in any way? How does it help or hinder your process?
Yes definitely. I studied my master's degree in London, which is one of the fashion capitals. I chose London because I can speak English and because I love the multicultural environment in London, which is actually quite similar to Hong Kong. All of the people in London are coming from other countries. They will celebrate all the festivals from other countries as well. Every child in Hong Kong has both a Chinese and western background, which makes London an interesting place to be.
What is your city missing in terms of design and creativity? What does it have that other cities do not?
I think we don't really miss anything in terms of design and creativity, but of course there is more room to improve. I would like to say we are missing the respect and appreciation of local design; most of the Hong Kongese love foreign design brands more than local ones. On the other hand, we don’t have many restrictions in trying to conform to what is traditional; we still don’t have a classic image of Hong Kong fashion style, and so we can keep building to for a classic image.
How does the fashion scene function within your local culture?
There is one traditional culture in Hong Kong. We need to wear brand new clothes and a pair of shoes on the first day of Chinese New Year, which means everything is new and fresh and meant ot bring good luck.
If you left your city tomorrow, where would you go? Would uprooting reshape the way you create and design?
Probably London. I think the process of creating and designing there suits me.
Do you think inspiration is tied to the physicality of a place or is it something greater? How about in your city specifically?
Yes. Climate change has influenced the way in which I design, choosing to create items that are better for warmer weather. if I live in the place without four seasons, I may only design garments for summer or winter.