You collaborate with Italian brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Donatella Versace…
I may be as British as it gets, but honestly Italy is where true style and passion are at the forefront. Dolce & Gabbana held Alta Moda shows in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo recently and brought their unique artistry. Stefano Gabbana is mega talented and willing to show his true natural personality full of warmth and joy to people, which is good for humanity. His Instagram stories are addictive too… I love his fitness videos – he is so fun! Donatella is an icon of the highest order and she radiates power and positive energy. I have been very lucky to have spent time with these three Italian fashion icons, and just find being in their presence so inspiring.
Do you have any particular advice for young people that want to work in fashion?
I think you need to do work experience everywhere you can and learn, learn, learn. Ask questions, work hard, stay late, be helpful. Also, decide if you want to be “commercial” or not, as many people forget, this is business and your work has to sell – so figure out what people want and find your place. Fashion is relentless and exciting, but also super hard work. In terms of direction, I think there is lot of growth in sustainable, vegan type fashion – so take Stella McCartney, Tesla and Formula E (the Electric Street Racing Series) as inspirations of new ways to do business and be creative: that is the future.
“Elle” magazine defined you as “the most powerful woman in fashion in China”. What do you think about that?
When I was sent the article, I was so surprised and so humbled. It is such an honor and I am so appreciative of those that support me – it means so much to me. There are so many women doing great things I admire around the world, like Natalie Massenet, Wendy Yu, Payal Shah Parikh, Silvia Grilli, Chen Man, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Rosie Nixon and Victoria Beckham. It feels like the beginning and 2018 will be very exciting.
Interview by Barbara Palladino
© Kelly England