Post-it signs inspired by Union Square (NY) mural post election

I admit I’m a very apolitical person and find it rather difficult to voice my views publicly when in a diverse-opinion setting. However, in the recent political environment, there’s certain issues that by no doubt need correcting and cannot go by as is. With designers showcasing all sorts of Anti-Trump collections from New York to Paris, there comes the question whether fashion, an image driven industry, can truly promote change in such crucial times. And I say that yes it can, but it should also extend beyond simple displays of progressiveness. View Post

It’s that time of the year again when corporate America blows holidays out of proportions, and have us single boys and ladies feeling overwhelmed. So instead of making a gift guide, I’m simply telling you: yes, go buy yourself a flower, because you deserve it (or maybe a bouquet if you’re feeling extravagant). Valentine’s day doesn’t require you to be blessed by naked cherubs for you to give your inner-self recognition. And of course that commitment shouldn’t fade with the withering flowers, but instead should propel you beyond all February 14ths you’ll ever encounter.

-Matt Chu

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

matt-chu-picchu-chat-with-karolina-mrozkova-2

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

matt-chu-picchu-home-bound

I probably can’t get anymore cliché talking about gratitude during Thanksgiving. But it’s an important topic for a reason. In our fast paced culture, especially with the way we consume media now, it’s easy to forget that our anger, frustrations or whatever negative emotions we feel, are temporary and mere distractions for us to get by day-to-day. It’s not what defines us to be who we are, since they’re just emotional responses our minds dramatize to fill the narrative of our lives. Instead, what makes us human is our abilities to connect with those around us and co-create memories that last. And while that certainly isn’t easy (hence all the break-up songs and dramatic family holiday movies), it’s more valuable than anything to take the time and appreciate those that have an impact on us. Regardless of whether that impact is negative or positive, realize the influences they’ve had on our abilities to change and grow. And that just makes life a little more beautiful, because things are fluid-like-water and there are always surprises we never anticipated. Gratitude can help us realize those instances and make our present happier and more calming. And really, this isn’t just an exercise exclusive to Thanksgiving day, as it should be practiced everyday to achieve the mental state of health we desire.

I hope everyone has a heartwarming and grateful week,

-Matt Chu