“It is important to understand my own vision before I share to the world. Everyone see things differently, you always have to keep a good balance in believing your own vision and make the right move at the right time”.
When you start working for Razor Red Magazine how did you share your vision as Creative Director?
In my final year when I was studying fashion, I started to work as a fashion styling assistant where I learned a lot more in the real world. With the experiences I had, I was quite lucky to found my first job as a Visual Artist for one of the biggest selected stores in Hong Kong. The environment of surrounded by all the best named fashion labels enriched my vision. Getting to touch and feel luxurious fabrics without the sales given you their “evil-stares”, observing how a successful company project its brand image. And I honestly did learned more than what my job position offered me. The observation is dearly important, even though I knew the job was not what I passionate on but the chance undeniably were.
I did a few signature works for the stores and there were productions and producers reached out to me. At that moment, I knew it was time to move forward so I left my job, and started to build my own fashion empire as a Fashion Stylist.
8 years ago, I first contributed one of my work as a fashion stylist for an editorial for Razor Red. By the time I was able to meet with the publisher. I remembered we were having a casual meet at a café and I shown my portfolio. We shared our creative thoughts got to understand each other and the direction of the magazine which clicked my vision seamlessly. By then, I was offered another chance to work for Razor Red Productions, a production division which takes care of Advertising Campaigns, Fashion Catalogues and e-commerces. I handled a lot more commercial works, able to shared my vision by giving art and fashion direction. The result was great. By that time of the year, I was offered a lot of chances by Razor Red Productions. We did business development and took care some fashion brand images, the trust of my work started to build up when we saw the revenue of one of the brand we mainly focused on at that particular period had an revenue of USD$2.6 millions upwards which really proves my ability. Shortly after a few collaborations with Razor Red, I was offered to be the Creative Director.
It is important to understand my own vision before I share to the world. Everyone see things differently, you always have to keep a good balance in believing your own vision and make the right move at the right time. I communicate well but not a “talk-person” when it comes to work, I let my work speaks for itself. I work for the magazine, I don’t own a magazine. It is crucial to realise what the market needs, your own market position, the target reach of the house, the value of the magazine in the competitive markets, visualise the uniqueness of the magazine, then it comes along with my vision. It is a very heavy responsibility of in-charging the vision to a magazine, it’s even harder than building a fashion brand to be honest. At least there will be people walk into the shop, the sales person suggests or influencing the customers to potentially purchase your items. Magazine mostly speaks by the pages printed in the colourful book. Before that, people have to pick up your magazine from the bookstores or news stands among 20 to 30 other well-known magazines having the most eye-catchy positioned on the shelves.
You have a great passion for photography and styling. What is the main idea you are trying to tell with your works?
I have great passion in photography since I was young. Before I studied fashion, I studied music and media production which I was able to learn a whole lot more about photography, lightings, the communication between your photographs and the readers, concept thinking, production. My own point of view, what makes a good photography is that people will stop and stare at the picture and drives your imagination into certain scenario. Photography is a medium which speaks for itself. Visual is one of the most powerful medium in creation, it is absolutely fascinating.
Style of a shoot goes hand in hand with photography. When a stylist works with photographer, the stylist needs to understand thoroughly what the photographer needs visually. so they can bring out the most impactful images to the readers.
How did you come up with the idea of RAD Model Management?
RAD is a model management which I pull it all together from my past experience and pushing it forward to the future. Since I am putting my own name as a brand, the satisfaction come when people believe in my vision. Branding myself needs time to prove myself and my ability. Success don’t come over night. I build my own empire with my own hands. Have to admit it do spends a good amount of time to start-up. Once you built up connections, it is time to prove your ability. Yet there are many things I can learn while I am working on RAD. The creative process of photography and styling a shoot is an active work, you show the vision to the world. As directing a model management is an passive work. People choose either they want to work with your models. Choosing by agencies around the globe first, then choose by clients if they want to book your boys.
I do experiences in business development. I have a strong believe in my vision. The marketing strategy plays an important role in this case. Since I am a new brand, fashion are in fast-pace. People don’t sit there and try to understand your past background. But you have to keep pushing yourself and keep breaking through to fight for a position for your own. I work humbly and trying to see my boys as partnership. The interaction is important to keep the creative process rolling. When I feel like some of the boys are not willing to share my vision or appreciate the work we have together. The co-operation breaks. Male model fame is typically last not as long as girls. You can be someone big in a season, but disappear in the next one if we don’t make the right move. Trust is the bridge in between, my vision doesn’t mean anything if the boys don’t work. Running a business is tough, but I need to be tougher.
How do you manage to handle so many projects on your own with you busy travel schedule?
I do travel a lot since I have different work duties. Time management is very important when you have to deal with different tasks at the same time. Besides time management, the time difference play another important role in my work especially for the model management. Bookers an clients sometimes send in options for my boys. It is a time-racing business. Most of the time, it is not affordable to wait for a day or even half a day to get an answer. I do quite understand the situation, because bookers in different time-zone do work mostly in office-hour. But if I choose to work with top agencies, clients globally when I am green in the field. I need build up my reputation by showing them my efficiency and great management. Quick response and keep your work professional, clear and presentable. A good management is not seeing through by how many models you have. I rather keep the amount small but make sure the boys are working, rather than I have 50 – 100 guys at my agency and barely half of them are working. At this stage, keep it small but hit the target. When the right time came, it will expand. I don’t see all this hard work is a scarification, I sees them as great opportunities for a bright future ahead.