Alicia Lee works in fashion design and draws inspiration for her unique and structured pieces from different cultures and her personal experiences. It seems independent fashion and designer labels are booming,
My name is Alicia Lee; I am a fashion designer. I am been operating my little label for, since 2008. My style is more urban, like, girls sort of like myself. I meet my own needs; I want to look confident and comfortable, and special but not something to strange, too bizarre. I always liked artistic things, and I liked drawing as a little girl, I asked my parents to get me art teachers, everything, and I learned, I learned drawing, I learned painting, all of that, I want to do something that has anything to do with art.
I've seen most of our customers are young professionals; they are probably around 30 years old and have a good job. Because China is such a big country you have not enough exposure to the international culture, to the international world, because all you meet every day are Chinese people, Chinese people grown up in the same environment with you. So it's definitely good to get our of it and to, you know, see some conflicts, see something totally different that opens up your mind, opens up your vision, and then you start to think, what really am I? What do I really want? What is really good for you? What is really good work? Yeah, that's very, very important I think. I like culture, I like travelling, I like going to all different places, Paris and New York, they definitely had a great influence on me. Yeah, I think the Chinese society is used to changing, people like changing, they embrace changing more than anywhere else is the world I think. Because China has been developing so fast, what we are doing now, what we are saying now, experiencing now is very different from when we were born, when we were growing up. So that, we have like, this nostalgia culture kind of thing going on right now because people are used to changing, they expect changing as well. They are moving on from knowing what the big brands are doing, what the big labels are doing, from knowing Louis Vuitton, from knowing Dior; and they're moving from there to their more personal choices, to more diversities, alternative choices, alternative styles right now. They're trying to see what are different from what they already know and what will make them different from other people. This consciousness, this awareness is definitely happening right now.
You want something that will give you confidence, like in your job or after your job when you go meet someone, and definitely she is a city girl, we have urban style. There's one collection called the Queen we did, and for the couture part of it we chose to use a lot of fish skin, we chose to use some unconventional material to do it. And we experiment how to actually sew it together, how to structure those little pieces together, and get a very strong, special feel out of it. You can see the texture of them are very, very special actually, these are actually fish skin, two different kinds of fish skin. This is actually an innovative collection we did; we had to figure out how to, how does this material work, how do we manipulate with it, how do we sew it and everything. These are definitely very special and they would look really, really strong on the red carpet. Definitely it looks amazing, and when you see it on the red carpet, and when you see an actress carries it out and everybody's attention is on it, it's amazing. Actually my inspiration is from all over the place, they are more from different cultures to be honest, I like different cultures, I like travelling and I'm just, sort of curious about all different things, any difference will just trigger my interest. Being strong is definitely part of my design, so it just, like, catches you at the first glance, it just goes deep in your heart, just punches your heart at the first glance.
A lot of my designs are actually a result of contradictions. I try to combine very different things together and find connections in them, find a balance in them that will create sophisticated, special results from it. Coats are my favorite pieces in winter for sure, like; our coats are always the best sellers. Asian people tend to be more petite in body shapes, and people are more used to more body conscious stuff, like synched waists and everything. Once they put it on they find a whole different world because it unifies your whole body together, and also it actually elongates your body because it doesn't separate you.
This piece is from my latest winter collection; this is definitely one of my favorite pieces. You can see the print, which looks very special, is our own design.
Beijing is a very chaotic, charming place, and people just, with similar thoughts and similar goals just circle up together, and you can find your friends anywhere. And it's a developing country, developing city, it's a lot of energy, a lot of vigor. If you want to do your own little creations, special things, special designs that require a special technique to do them, and you want them to be small quantity but good quality, then that's very, very difficult. You're going to have to find your own people who can do it, train your own people and like, build up your own team. We're a very stable team here, and each one of them is very crucial to me as well.
There are more and more people starting their own fashion label, every year it's more and more. So yeah, people start to know each other, help each other out; people realize that actually, as an independent designer, it's not that easy to move around by yourself. Right now we mostly sell in collective shops, designer collective shops, that's the kind of shops that carries different designer labels; basically these kinds of places in high-end shopping malls, but in a collective designer shop. And out stuff is growing very rapidly and steadily, but then the competition is really kicking in as well, so the best thing would be that we get a good investor, and with that we can really take the advantage of time, and take the market. It's definitely going to get easier little by little, but then competition will become stronger and stronger as well. But definitely the independent fashion and designer labels are booming, the next decade would be the time for it.