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.
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…
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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