Mei Hui, a Taiwanese fashion designer from London, stayed with us.
She was relaxing before going out for dinner when we dropped by her apartment for a chat.
My fashion is influenced a lot by different times in History, from Victorian times through to the '80s; I love '80s music and '80s fashion, 'cause the New Romantics are a more powerful past. So I always live in between the Victorian times and the '80s and in my fashion, lots of things will come from there, and mix together.
Also, growing up in Taiwan, as a teenager, I listened to all the British electro music, Depeche Mode, you know... all that music influenced me. So when I come to London in the '90s, and then moved to East London, moved to Paris, moved to Italy, then moved back to East London... that was where I settled until now.
I think that my influences are too many, from Taiwan to Europe, but when I found myself in London, I found my fashion, you know... my vision, my design. So basically, everything I do is a lot about the '80s and London.
You see, in London, you make something from nothing. Like me: I started my label in a market, Portobello Market, and Old Spitalfields Market, and just making things and selling them. And, you know, that's how you build up your confidence, your audience. And you can only make that happen, like that, in London.
The way to make myself happy is to only do things I like to do and then, enjoy everything. My lifestyle... part of it is my work, so I think that's how I balance and enjoy it.
But in the old days, I struggled a lot, because a lot of what I do, I don't think about profit or money, and I do lots of things for, you know, the passion of it. So, what I earn, I put back into what I do.
To a certain point, I doubt myself and when you're younger, you can do that, but later, you have to think in a more particular way, when you go into a business or whatever. Somehow, after many years doing what I do, it seems everything finally works together, from a good concept to a good business.
Lots of times, I'm a bit stubborn... I don't ask for help much, but I like to give help. I discover young talent, I give young people opportunities, so I think that's a way of giving myself an opportunity too, and of helping myself as well. And because I started with nothing and I'm a fashion designer and I do different things, that's why I always see other people or young people who start their own business and I can see how they struggle, how they need an opportunity and, somehow, I help them.
People... I mean, good people, always give back.