In this Lunch Break Chat, my mom (& ultimate inspiration) talks about her love for art, fashion and design, as well as her thoughts on raising me as a child.

When did you discover your love for art and design?

I started drawing when I was a child, more so out of habit rather than passion. It wasn’t until I joined an arts organization in college that I discovered my love for fine arts. Similarly, I discovered my love for design, specifically interior design, when I studied aboard in the U.S. It’s been years of exploration, and the older I get, the more I am able to combine both fields into sources of inspiration for designing my own jewelry and clothes.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity is expressing your inner imaginations and dreams. While it can be inspired by daily life, it always has an element of desire.

Who inspires you?

No one in particular inspires me. (I say she probably inspires herself more than anyone)

Any favorite designers?

Raf Simons when he was designing for Dior and Alber Elbaz.

Describe your fashion style.

My style combines classical and modern designs. But most importantly, the clothes have to be practical and suit my skin tone and body shape. View Post

In today’s Lunch Break Chats, I caught up with friend and style blogger Henry Ng (Street Style Poser) and got a glimpse of his fashion perspective. For my style profile make sure to visit Henry’s site.

Describe your personal style. Is there a fashion icon you look up to?

Someone described my style as “casual perfection”, which I like that a lot, even though it doesn’t really paint a clear picture. I tend to gravitate towards clothes or items that are unique, quirky or interesting. I like the idea of taking pieces that’s unusual and different and working them into everyday wear.

As for icons, I love Roisin Murphy’s style. She mixes elegance with quirkiness so effortlessly – it helps that she’s stunning but I think her ability to not take herself seriously presents an opportunity to have fun with fashion.

Tell me about this outfit. How did you come up with it?

I had this idea of an Oriental mafia who’s also very sartorial conscious in a modern day sort of way – you know not necessarily rough and tough, but still dark and mysterious, if that makes sense.

What are some of your wardrobe essentials?

I tend to invest in pieces that are unique or interesting that work with several outfits and won’t become out of style. I’m not sure if these pieces are considered essentials per se, but since I’m not a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy, I feel they’re more important to me than a T-shirt or a pair of jeans since you can easily replace them. View Post

In this Lunch Break Chat, we paid a visit to Olivia Yao‘s Jewellery Studio in Taipei and discovered the in’s and out’s of her creative business. 

Why did you decide to launch your eponymous label versus working for an established jewelry brand?

I created a new brand to give it a character that represents my vision and thoughts. As a designer, my job is to create the look according to the main core of the brand, so the consumers of the brand can recognize it-even though it may change from time to time like a real person- but they know it and like it as if they’re seeing an old friend.

What was the hardest and your favorite part when starting your own business?

The hardest part is always the management of people. My favorite part is making jewellery that I like to wear.

Tell me a little about your design process- where do you draw inspirations from and how do you make those dreams and stories, a reality?

I draw shapes whenever I see or think of something beautiful; I collect ideas of mechanic parts that I think may be interesting to jewellery making. When I have enough sources of shapes and ideas, I combine them into a story to make these loose ends become a collection. View Post

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In today’s Lunch Break Chats, we caught up with Karolina Mrozkova, full-time model and business student at NYU Stern, and discovered what it’s really like to be in such different environments. 

First of all, congratulations on your cover for Marie Claire! How did it feel to see yourself on the newsstand?

Thanks! Well technically I did not – this particular cover came out in Europe and I was not there when it did… but it always makes my mum super happy! In general though, scoring a cover is an honor. It feels great and rewarding; especially for a big magazine like MC, Elle or Vogue.

What’s something surprising that most people don’t know about the modeling industry?

It is not so glamorous as people think it is. No private jets, 5 star hotels and fancy dinners – at least most of the time for most of us. I guess people tend to look at modeling through the top 10 models they know but that is like judging the business industry based on Larry Ellison. And most of the time you don’t get or get to keep the clothes! (that’s a question I often get)

And what’s your favorite part about being a model?

The traveling. Independence. Meeting new people all around the world. Gaining a global perspective and open-mindedness. View Post

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In this new series, Lunch Break Chats, I’ll be exploring the creative industry with various leaders that define it. First up is Stephanie Zheng, founder of Jezie Jewelry, beauty blogger of Stephanie Zheng, owner of Atticus the Hedgie and business student of NYU. 

So you started Jezie Jewelry, then Atticus’ social accounts, followed by your eponymous beauty blog, tell me a little about how you juggle all these projects you run.

As a full-time student, I think it’s definitely difficult to balance everything. I think it just comes down to accepting the fact that you’ll always be working, haha. I’m kind of a workaholic though so I like always having different projects to work on.

And tell me a little more about how you got on this path, perhaps with Jezie, the inspiration behind starting it.

In the beginning of high school, I wanted to be an eye doctor. I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship but didn’t think I had the personality to do well in business – I’m bad at networking and awkward around new people. During my sophomore year of high school, I was a huge Harry Potter nerd and made myself a lightning bolt necklace to wear to the midnight premiere of one of the movies. I uploaded the picture to Tumblr and to my surprise, people actually messaged me asking to buy it. I opened a little online store with only five products and grew the brand through social media.  View Post