While Hong Kong is engrossed in all things art this week, #legend is still celebrating the achievements of strong, entrepreneurial women as part of International Women’s Month. Today we highlight the work of Hong Kong singer, celebrity and fashionista Jill Vidal, who is helping victims of trafficking with ‘46’, the first collection from her label Vidal. Each bracelet from the 46 collection is handmade by formerly trafficked women, who use fine, braided thread and sapphire stones, to produce delicate and versatile designs that will last for years. Produced in collaboration with Eden Ministry, a share of the profits help provide rescue shelters, skills training and careers to women in need. Here, Vidal speaks with the glamorous Gia Parungao about the project.
What’s on your mind right now?
Right now that I really want a Tequila shot. Before gigs [Vidal is also in a girl band] we always have a shot - it’s healthy too!
Do you have a favourite Korean pop star?
I have a lot. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Seven. Do you know that artist? I’ve followed that artist since he first came out. Check him out.
What do you like about Seven?
He is just so talented in dancing, and, you know when you just vibe with someone? You can’t explain it. It’s kind of like that.
Let’s talk about your collection, why did you name it 46?
It’s a number I kept seeing and it resonated with me, which is odd because I’ve never felt drawn to numbers. It was during this time that I became a believer and found my faith, so I went to the Bible and found Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious of anything, but in every situation, in prayer and supplication, look up to God and he will give you his peace.”
You went to China to meet with women who have escaped sex trafficking, what was that experience like? How young were those girls?
Some were as young as 19 up to mid-30s. I really remember one lady who was tricked; she was told she was getting an opportunity to work in the city, but then they forced her into prostitution. They treated her like a dog, and she couldn’t escape. It was really heartbreaking.
Your collection is produced by and in collaboration with Eden Ministry, a charity and jewellery company, how did your two brands initially meet?
Anthony Wan, founder of PhatRice, told me about this ministry that sells jewellery, and I said said, let’s do a project together. It was a natural connection.
What type of people do you see wearing your jewellery?
I see a lot of different people, actually. You can wear this bracelet with a gown, or a t-shirt, it’s just so versatile. You could even take a shower with it, it’s not going to come off. [Laughter]. I always wear my earrings in the shower. It’s kind of stable.
This collection was partially inspired by your own dark time. Since coming out rehab, you seem to be in a better place, what advise would you have for someone going through something similar?
That don’t give up. You can be down, you can be judged, you can be bullied, but just know that things will get better. These things are momentary. Everything will pass.
What’s the last thing you’d like to pass on to #legend readers?
Be yourselves. If you want to wear super bright pink outfits, don't be afraid. I feel we need more people who are bold and brave enough to be quirky and creative with their expression of themselves.
For more information about the '46' collection, click here.