Spotlight: Masha Ma, Fashion Designer

By Marianna Cerini, May 15, 2015

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How would you describe the Masha Ma aesthetic? 

A blend of architectural shapes and simple cuts. My designs are for rational, modern women. Our brand motto is: Masha Ma’s ladies don’t shout, but they’d never choose to stay silent.

 What brought you to Beijing?

Most designers are inspired by visual items, but I prefer to draw concepts and ideas from books. Texts allow you to create your own world, your own imagery. They are filled with – and by – imagination, which changes from person to person. They are far more inspiring than any pictorial stuff.

 China fashion scene. Thoughts?

A lot of the industry’s standard systems and methods aren’t fully developed yet, but I’m glad to see it’s booming. The sector has been growing for less than 20 years. We didn’t even have Vogue until 10 years ago. It takes time. The scene is growing at an incredibly fast speed, but there’s a lot more exploring to do.

 Your spring/summer 2015 collection in a nutshell.

I like to think of my latest line as a fusion of Oriental beauty and Western modernity. Chic, contemporary and rooted in Chinese aesthetics. The main inspiration for it was the Suzhou Museum designed by I.M. Pei.

 You have spent 13 years studying and working in London. What have you learned from that experience?

Self-mockery. I’ve learned to see things from different angles, and that has given me the courage to face criticisms in a lighter way. 

 Is there a figure in the industry you particularly admire?

The late Louise Wilson [professor of fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London]. She had a huge influence on my journey as a designer. I learned a lot from her.

 What is fashion to you?

I think fashion isn’t about where you pick up an idea, but about where you bring it. Looking forward, I’d like to take my own fashion towards a more personal style – a release of my inner self.

> www.masha-ma.com

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