Chinese fashion designer Liu Min may not be a well known name quite yet, but like all secrets too good to be kept, her collection, Ms Min, will soon be internationally celebrated. Min studied women’s wear at the London College of Fashion and in 2007, received an internship with Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam. A few years later, Min returned to China to launch her own label. She settled in the seaside city of Xiamen, choosing the quiet locale over bustling Beijing or Shanghai, in order to nurture her creativity peacefully. Min’s design process is equally without chaos – her collections are personal and reflect a love of her culture and the arts. She has chosen to grow organically, having only been introduced to the US market in the last year despite enormous success in China. In the US, her collection is currently available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
When you launched Ms Min – what were your initial goals for the brand?
That’s hard to say…I don’t think there were necessarily brand goals, I’d say it was more about my artistic expression and being heard. I think it’s a constant dialogue between me and my work…me and my customers, and I’m looking forward to that continued dialogue.
How would you describe Ms Min to a new market?
I’m not very good and describing my work. I think there is a lot of philosophy behind what I do. There is a Yin/Yang quality which many may be familiar with. Hard/soft, feminine/masculine, edge/ease. I enjoy discovering these elements in Ms Min.
When did you introduce the brand to the US market?
It’s been a year since we were introduced to the U.S. Market by our agent Christophe Demaison.
Is there a big difference between the Asia and US client? In what ways?
There is a difference. I think probably in motivation. I can’t be completely sure but it seems there is, perhaps culture and lifestyle changes, our approach to clothing.
It seems there is quite a bit of emotion behind your work. Do you feel this way as well?
Absolutely. My heart is there. It’s nice to hear you can feel it.
How do you balance the strong femininity and modern sensibilities in your work?
I think life is the balance. A yoga teacher once told me, “Under the edge is not enough, over the Edge is too much, Find the Edge.” I think these are words to live by.
Are you still based in Xiamen?
Yes…Xiamen is home.
Does living in a “non-fashion” locale help with creativity? Is it limiting at all?
Xiamen is a seaside city with a lot less hustle than say Beijing or Shanghai. I prefer the peace to the chaos. I feel I can think clearly here. Some prefer chaos others peace.
How large is your team?
Actually my design team is quite small, 3 of us, but I have an atelier of about 28 realizing the dreams.
Are you still presenting the collection at London Fashion Week?
I’m not presenting at London Fashion Week; I did once as part of a group presentation. I’m not really a big fan of fashion shows. I don’t feel all clothes need to be shown on a runway.
How do you see the brand growing?
Organically…one day at a time, one dress at a time.