Verity Creative Agency blogger Tasia Sli interviewed designer Claudia Li for Trend Privé Magazine during the ever busy New York Fashion Week.
I had the pleasure of Interviewing Claudia Li of the self-titled label, Claudia Li ahead of her New York Fashion Week runway show. This year marks a milestone for the brand, as it is the 5th year they are showing at NYFW. The atmosphere backstage was alive, exciting and, as I’m sure anyone can imagine behind the scenes before a big presentation, it was hectic. People were buzzing about all around me including Claudia herself. She was busy getting some last-minute things done as I was waiting for her to sit down with me for a quick 6-minute interview. We covered a lot in our 6 minutes together.
I started off asking Claudia what her greatest inspiration for this latest collection was. She told the story about how she came across an old picture of her parents standing on top of a rock. Her mother was dressed in a long batik floral printed dress, with no shoes on, and a thick braid in her hair. Claudia said she teased her mom a bit saying that they looked like hippies! All jokes aside, she thought that it was “so cool”. This picture made it into the latest collection in two ways. The print on her mother’s dress she was wearing inspired the jacquard print of her latest collection. If you zoom into the fabric the exact photo that inspired her is actually woven into the print. It is a small homage to where she came from. By profession, her father is an art dealer and her mother and mother’s side of the family are all artists. So it’s not difficult to say that Claudia carried on the family business by becoming an artist herself. She actually started off as a painter before finding her passion for design.
Claudia is a citizen of the world, having grown up in so many different places. She attended primary school in Singapore and New Zealand. She received her undergraduate degree in London and came to the US for her Master’s degree before heading back across the pond to start her career in London. She describes having been molded by so many different cultures as an imprint that helped to shape the way she looks at the world today. She says isn’t restricted by boundaries that others who may not have had the opportunity as a child to absorb multiple different cultures might be and attributes this as the reason she is a creative thinker. The sky is the limit for Claudia.
You can immediately see this box thinking creative thinking as soon as you look at this seasons collection. She integrates UV threads and blacklight technology to transform her designs from ordinary (I am downplaying it, her designs are anything but ordinary) to extraordinary. Without a blacklight, when you step outside the logos actually change color to a pretty pink due to the sunlight reacting with the UV threads. It is so cool.
This collection marks a new chapter for the label. She refers to this at a pivotal moment in her 5 years as a brand, saying she wants this to be a sort of phase two for Claudia Li. She is cutting out all the noise and wants the pure essence and DNA of what Claudia Li is as a brand is to take center stage. This newest collection establishes the labels new identity and paves the way for what it will be for the next 5 to 10 years.
Speaking of a new chapter, I asked Claudia what her plans were for after the show. Her response was more personal than professional, she is set to get married. The bride will walk down the aisle in a one of a kind simply designed Claudia Li wedding gown that her team and her created special for the big day.
One thing is for sure, there is a lot of exciting things to come in Claudia Li and Claudia Li’s future.