How did you get your start in fashion?
I was not formally trained in fashion, but in business. I worked for a number of fashion companies before breaking out on my own, launching my brand in 2012.
Tell me about the brand and how it fits into the fashion world.
When I set up my business, most important for me was finding the right workshop that could make the best-quality handbags. I was lucky to find a group of seasoned craftsmen in Hong Kong. I design for modern women who lead busy and meaningful lives. I hope my creations help them shine like the stars that they are. We were also one of the few Hong Kong-based brands to be sold by Saks Fifth Avenue.
As a young brand in Hong Kong, was it difficult to break through?
Having grown up in New York, I’d say Hong Kong doesn’t fare quite as well in the creative department. But it goes beyond talent. The ecosystem matters: how much the government supports creative start-ups, whether banks loan to start-ups. I think these are some of the areas that beg for improvement. I feel that Hong Kong has quite a lopsided economy dominated by finance, real estate and retail. Creativity is popping up here and there, though: that’s what creativity does best.
What is the mark of an iconic bag?
An iconic bag is a bag that reminds you of the brand immediately.
What are the top three websites you frequent?
Pinterest, Lane Crawford and Secoo.
What are top beauty staples always in your handbag?
Lip balm and hand cream.
Where would you most like to live?
I’m still a New York girl but quite like the vibe in Ubud, Bali as well.
If you had to live in one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably my gym outfit, but with one of my clutches; best of both worlds.
Who is your favourite designer?
For everyday, I have been favouring Cédric Charlier lately, as his work represents a nice marriage of design and functionality. For impact, I love Balmain, while Elie Saab’s work always takes my breath away.
If you could hashtag your life, what word would it be?
I’m sure that by the time this piece comes out, it would be passé, or not, but I love #idonthavepokemongo
What’s luxury beyond product?
A free and critical mind is a luxury. I love to read and often feel very grateful for the education that I have. Without that, I wouldn’t have a platform to build upon. Having the ability to understand concepts and learn new things, regardless of one’s age, to me, is a luxury.
Who’s your style muse?
Every year I have a new one. Right now, I’m still obsessed with Olivia Palermo.
If you could wear only one pair of shoes for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I am usually torn between Havaianas and five-inch heels. My latest obsession is a pair of suede and metal sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain. They don’t look like they would work with everything, but they do.
Which person, dead or alive, would you wish to invite to a dinner party?
I’d love to have Mark Twain. I love his sense of humour.
Who is your legend?
I am a big Ayn Rand fan. I’ve read all her books.