#style /fashion


Generation Z: Digital Influencer Zoe Suen

Oct 02, 2017

Hong kong-born Zoe Suen is a 21-one-year-old photographer and law student living in London. Suen channels her creativity through Instagram, @zosuen, where her 131,000 followers have seen her shooting for Chanel on location in Paris and Havana. On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Leungmo snapped her wearing pieces from the Chanel Paris-Cosmopolite and autumn/winter pre-collections. 

Here's how she sees it:

How did you get to be an influencer?

I started posting in high school, photos of myself and a friend, but I didn’t start getting called an influencer until much later. The word still sounds a little funny to me and I prefer to think that I just create content that I like, in the hope that people identify with the lifestyles and aesthetics that I portray, rather than simply influencing people to buy a bag or shoes. It is flattering, in a sense, if my work is considered influential in any small way.

How much do you chase a creative moment and how often does one come to you?

I chase creative moments by devoting time to going to museums, browsing through photographs by artists that I love on Pinterest and Instagram, and by trying to notice the way people dress when I’m going about my day. These moments usually come to me when I’m travelling. There’s something about being displaced – even if I love a city and feel quite comfortable there – as a tourist that detaches you from a city’s beauty and allows you to absorb everything like a sponge. 

What are your recollections of Cuba and of shooting there for Chanel?

Cuba is undoubtedly beautiful in so many ways. We didn’t travel outside of Havana, but I got the sense that the people are undergoing a period of intense reconciliation, recovery and growth, and that I was so lucky to have been able to see it at that moment in time. In five years it will be a very different place.

What are you studying, and what are your favourite and least favourite parts of that?

I’m doing my legal practice course and I enjoy, but also dislike, how practical my classes are. It’s so interesting to see how my undergraduate legal knowledge is translated into real-life client scenarios, but I do miss the theoretical side of the law. It can be very dry and procedural.

Which photographer’s work moves or stimulates you?

Nan Goldin’s photographs never fail to make me feel something.

How did you find the dynamic with Leungmo, who has shot for #legend previously? How does her sensibility compare with yours?

It felt casual, which I loved. The outfits were styled and re-styled on the spot, and all the hair and make-up decisions were pretty spontaneous. Everyone shared their opinions on what looked best, Leungmo included. I loved working with her. She knows what she wants and I was in awe of that, considering she’s not much older than me and I feel scatterbrained when stimulated creatively.

Of course, knowing her photographs, one can also tell that she’s not afraid to have fun with her work. Needless to say, I’m a fan.

How much do you feel the influence of Hong Kong, living in London?

I feel it through my projections of home on things I see; subconscious comparisons and little bouts of homesickness that make living abroad bittersweet but enriching.

What’s the last book you read and loved, and read again?

I’m reading Zadie Smith’s Swing Time and loving it. She’s often called modern London’s Charles Dickens and it’s easy to see why. I actually don’t remember the last time I re-read a novel. There are just too many on my list to read.

What will you be doing five years from now?

I honestly don’t know, which is scary and exciting.

Photography / Leungmo
Wardrobe / Chanel Paris-Cosmopolite and autumn/winter pre-collections
Make-up / Angel Mok
Hair / Him Ng

This article first appeared in the October 2017 print issue of #legend. 

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Stephen Short