While Chinese fashion enthusiasts are having a love affair with luxury labels for years, there is a new wave of young Chinese performers who have begun vying for attention, and some are meeting with success. Min Liu is a Chinese-born layout talent that studied her craft in the London College of Art, and unlike a lot of other aspiring young designers, returned home as it came time to make her mark.
Eager to assert her daring yet intimate and female aesthetic, Liu established Ms. Min, her advanced girls’s wear label, at 2010, following a stint design for Xiamen-based Ports, the famous global brand which was founded in Canada in 1961. It had been in Ports that Liu met the guy and mentor that was to become her husband, Canadian fashion business dynamo Ian Hylton. Hylton, who’d been designing guys’s wear for Ports, and previously worked in Club Monaco, Flare Magazine and Holt Renfrew, to mention a few, before moving into China, has long been considered a savvy fresh strategist.
Hylton abandoned Ports in 2014 to become president of Ms. Min, and it is proven to been a game. Apart from being adopted by global luxury retailers, for example China’s Lane Crawford and Saks Fifth Avenue from the U.S., Ms. Min is available at The Room. Along with the brand’s awareness only keeps rising: Most recently, M.A.C Cosmetics collaborated with Ms. Min for an innovative collection.
I talked with Liu out of her studio at Xiamen concerning the dawn of Chinese fashion labels along with her own artful approach to design.
Most young fashion abilities have their sights about designing in London, Paris, Milan or New York. Exceptional does it feel for you to be designing out of China?
After I finished school, I interned at Amsterdam. I wished to stay in Europe, but the timing was not right since the entire year which I finished school was this crisis’ time, so a lot of people got laid off. I return into China in 2009. I had been thinking, “I’ll only return to China for today,” and then I got a job offer out of Ports. That is why I came to Xiamen, where we’re based today. Then my husband and I began my own new and met. It simply happened all organically.
I’m not sure if you are feeling you’re coming to your job as an artist, but you’ve that consciousness. For you to be working inside this high pressure system, how can it feel?
I believe art is the thing that is most significant. Otherwise it means nothing. Fashion is a system due to this speedy pace. I always speak about this together with Ian. I believe this rate is killing the art. But what about life is to get the balance and I’m always looking for that. I consider fashion to be a daily art. In the end of the afternoon, we’re trying to make something good to wear, trying to deliver something. So it is about finding the balance.
When you discuss fashion as a “everyday art,” are you really talking in terms of what the designer sets out there or that which the customer chooses and how they put it all together?
Yes, it’s the way clothing are chosen by them — how they feel they achieve that atmosphere and appearance that is gorgeous. That is the art from the bottom of their heart.
Chinese Fashion Week was receiving more attention recently. Are Chinese fashion enthusiasts eager to support tags, or are you currently looking all the time?
I feel it’s evolving. Years ago, people constantly talked about brands, and there was confusion as it came to overseas brands. It’s almost like people were thinking that everything foreign was great. However, through the years, since the economy grew, a lot of brands started in China, and people began to travel a lot more. So they have had a fast fashion instruction. Individuals used to mostly buy big brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, but slowly, trend attitudes have begun to open up and, in recent years, Chinese folks are more receptive to encouraging designers and more.
Your husband, Ian Hylton, is an experienced professional, and has been a very important portion of our own Canadian fashion development. What did you find out about fashion?
We are life partners and we’re currently operating partners. It’s magic that we share the same interests. Workwise, Ian really taught me what it takes to build a new, to create a dream group, and the way to approach that. He has a vision and, too, he’s had so many terrific adventures in the fashion field.
How did this newest collaboration with M.A.C Cosmetics occur?
It began three years back. Back then, our staff was way smaller, and we just sold in China. And since M.A.C always collaborates with various artists and designers, I guess that they had been brainstorming about who their second designer cooperation will be using. Apparently, two women out of M.A.C’s creative group advocated me at the assembly to inventive manager James Gager. He liked that and our new was the start. It was a true collaboration in every way. Collaborations are always a challenge and it was my first time designing cosmetics. I learned a lot just in the idea.
How can your parents inspire you? Did they encourage you to follow a route in vogue?
I was born at a Chinese town with a very long history in 1981, but it’s not a cosmopolitan city like Shanghai or Beijing. Back then, China just opened up and while there was not a lot of fashion around me, my mother loves clothing. So I grew up going to tailor shops and cloth shops with her. After I was eight or nine, I just found myself interested in clothing. I remember my mother going. I recall looking at clothing and thinking, “This is great!” Or “This one’s not so great.” I recall building a sense of aesthetics throughout that era up. As soon as I became a teenager, I found a book that sold lots of foreign magazines that are outdated and had my first fashion minute I had been cycling around. This was the very first time I saw the first time and global fashion magazines that I see Vogue and i-D. I recall those first images that hit on me. It had been a effort of Vivienne Westwood along with Helmut Lang. At that moment, I just held my breath and thought, “Oh my God! This is why I love clothes!” I recall there being a post about Camden Town in London…and roughly a lot of vintage shops out there. I began thinking I had to go there to study fashion. I’m very fortunate because my father has always been so supportive. And I went to study fashion.
This meeting was edited and plotted.
Visitto register for the Globe Style e-newsletter, your weekly electronic direct to the players and trends influencing fashion, design and enjoyable, plus shopping tips and inspiration for living well. And follow Globe Style on Instagram.