BRAND TO WATCH: VICTOR LI DEBUTS NEW YORK

Born in United States and raised in China, Victor Li graduated Parson School of Design to then launch together with Claudia Li his own brand that had its debut recently during New York Fashion Week.
It is a project that sees eastern and western influences come to harmonious fusion, inspired by the world of the arts and cultures the designer has come in contact with throughout his several trips around the world, from Ny to Asia passing by and touching in considerable ways Italy as well. The collection presents a mix of clothes from the most formal to casual looks, suitable for leisure and perfect for traveling. The lines are simple and the details become the focal point on which attention is focused, such as the bow that is applied on jackets, trenches and shirts, in a next generation revisitation of a gentleman’s pocket pochette. Simple lines and comfortable wearability for a total look that ranges from white to beige and brown through pink and gray. Great attention is given to the choice of the finest fabrics, selected through careful research in Italy, France and Japan.

ritratto VICTOR LI

On the occasion of his presentation, we met him in New York to learn more about his journey.

Tell me more about your background.How did your love for mens fashion start?
I was born in U.S. but grew up in China. I was very into the arts, and started taking drawing classes when I was a child. I knew I would do something art-related in my future career but wasn’t sure if it would be as an artist or a designer. I came back to the U.S. in my junior year of high school and started to narrow my focus. I attended the pre-college fashion design program at Parsons and an art program at Cooper Union which confirmed my love for design. I later received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons.

Who is your favorite/ inspirational designer?
Miuccia Prada. For me, Prada is wearable art.

3 adjectives to describe your fashion
Next-generation menswear, sophisticated, unique 

Where do you see yourself on 5 years?
Business and design are equally important for me. I hope to create a culture of men who will appreciate and enjoy my work and my hope is to continue to build on that with each collection. In five years, we are hoping to have a loyal customer base around the world who is shopping with us season after season.

How do you see the menswear is evolving?
I design for myself, and those who can appreciate feeling comfortable in high quality clothing –men who appreciate a garment, and the details within it like our carefully sourced Italian and Japanese fabrics. I want to give a fresh perspective on what some of the young generation wants to wear aside from their everyday streetwear. 

You have jetsetted the world, where is home? Your favorite city?
Home is where my family is, but my life is in New York. My favorite city is Tokyo.

Let’s talk about the collection: what inspired it and how do you choose the fabrics?
Since this was my first collection, it was very personal to me, and I was designing for my own closet. I travel quite a bit and I wanted this first collection to be filled with key pieces that work well for that lifestyle –pieces I would pack and wear on a summer trip. Practical pieces but a little more dreamy than traditional.

 Why did you launch it in NY?
Because I am an American and we are a New York brand, located in New York.

We spoke about your favorite collection piece: the trench coat. Where did you draw the inspiration to design it from?
For this season we played with the knotting detail and layering. For me, a lot of trench coats feel a bit mature for the younger generation. I am trying to make the trench coat more fun and younger.

Something fun: if you could choose to dress a celebrity of today…
Timothée Chalamet

Fashion is ?
Fashion is Lifestyle. Fashion is what you choose to wear, what you choose to put in your suitcase when you are travelling.

 

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ROBERTO DE ROSA NEAPOLITAN SOUL, INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS

 

Roberto De Rosa (@robertoderosa), stayed true to his Neapolitan soul during his journey on the Orient Express that brought him to Hong Kong, and allowed him to become a ( ) ‘yǐngxiǎng zhě’ that is, a person capable of influencing tastes and dictating trends. Having also achieved success in Italy, Roberto dreams of breaking into film and proves what they say: that Neapolitans are a cut above the rest.in no time.

Your journey started in Asia, in China- in Hong Kong, precisely. What fascinated you about the Orient so much that you became a heavily followed influencer?
My success as an influencer was born in Asia, in China to be exact. It was a different time- we’re talking about four years ago- and I reflected the images of the classic Western boy next door in the aesthetic imagination of Asians.

Without your success in China, do you think you would be where you are now?
My luck happened in Hong Kong. Before arriving there, I was already present online in Italy and had had great experiences here too: I wasn’t coming from a completely unknown place. Surely the East gave me the push that would have been difficult to get here, and allowed me to return to Italy stronger than before and with skills that others didn’t have. I believe that anyone who looking to enter this sector now will not find the same opportunities: it is much more difficult now.

How do you think the figure of the influencer will evolve?
It changes from day to day, if not from hour to hour- it’s a super fast world. Just think that less than seven months ago I received a proposal from the Fox Network for a television program, I still don’t believe it!

What will be the social media of the future?
It doesn’t exist yet; I don’t think it will be any of the current ones. Instagram will be over soon, as has already happened for MSN and MySpace.

Of your posts on Instagram, how many are sponsored by brands and how many are spontaneous?
My Instagram is certainly not a shopping centre. I try to inspire the people who follow me, also addressing different topics, like gluten-free foods and lifestyle. On my page, apart from sponsorship, you can see my real life- that of the boy next door.

Photo Ryan Simo
Styling Stefano Guerrini
Grooming Susanna Mazzola
Photo assistant Alessandro Chiorri
Stylist assistants: Cristina Florence Galati, Paula Anuskha, Verena Kohl

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