We’ve had a special place in our hearts for Rosie ever since she worked with us here at Visual Therapy a couple of years back. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, she’s also an incredibly talented writer and stylist, and one of the sweetest and most dedicated people we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
So it should come as no surprise that when she returned to her hometown of Hong Kong, we continued to eagerly follow her along on social media and her blog Rosie Colored Lenses, living vicariously through her images of far flung destinations and glamorous fashion events.
We finally had the chance to do some much-needed catching up with the jet-setting event planner/blogger/writer extraordinaire and we hope the interview and photos below inspire you as much as they inspired us.
1.You worked with us at VT for about a year, how did this experience influence your career path after you decided to return to Hong Kong?
First off, I need to mention how much I loved working at VT, and if it weren’t for visa issues, I would have stayed 100 percent! But when I came back to Hong Kong, I wanted to explore event planning as it was always a hobby of mine but I never got the chance to try it professionally. When I landed a job at TUFF Consult, a boutique luxury events production company, I was soon entrusted with handling all the fashion events the company received. They knew my experience at VT meant I was knowledgeable about all things luxury fashion and how to act professionally around high profile clients.
2. What was something that stuck with you about working at VT?
Besides the technical skills I acquired such as a keen attention to detail, familiarity with luxury brands, and general professionalism around clients, most importantly, I hope I took away the kindness and positive attitude Jesse and Joe tried to instill in the team on a daily basis. They were living proof that you do not have to be ruthless or catty (like the stereotype suggests) just because you work in fashion.
3. What are you currently involved in fashion wise in Hong Kong? Could you tell us a little bit about your current position?
That’s a great question as so many people are often confused by what I do. Though I felt the pressure to settle into a full-time job when I first returned, I decided to take a chance at freelancing and was lucky enough to do it for a year and a half, doing all three things I love (mostly because I couldn’t decide on one thing)—writing, events, and fashion, with the common denominator always being fashion. That means when I wasn’t working backstage at events or jewelry or fashion shows, I was styling for editorial photoshoots, creating social media content for brands, and writing creative nonfiction whenever I could. Phew, I can see why people get confused!
4. What’s your favorite thing about fashion in Hong Kong? What are some of your favorite fashion brands, local or otherwise?
What I love most about fashion in Hong Kong is the diversity. Beyond luxury brands and the typical fast fashion giants, there are so many street vendors and local boutiques where you can find one-off pieces, so you won’t end up clashing outfits with your neighbors! I know two lovely ladies with their own brands whose pieces I’ve gotten so many compliments on. One is P’IA by Priscilla I’Anson, she makes modern classic pieces that are very easy to wear, and the other is Melissa Bui who makes feminine pieces, often with beautiful embroidery or exaggerated silhouettes, they’re perfect for an occasion!
5. Are you still actively working on your blog Rosie Colored Lenses? What are some of your goals and aspirations for it?
My blog has turned somewhat into a portfolio as I started to consolidate all my past work on there. In terms of generating content, I’ve neglected it a little because I was creating so much content for other people elsewhere that it’s been difficult to find time and energy to create for fun. This is something I hope to come back to, especially with writing. I’ve been so touched by friends and strangers alike reaching out to me, urging me to post more and it reminds me to continue to keep it a safe space for me to express myself without worrying about profit or audience.
6. What are some of the differences between working in fashion in Hong Kong and working in fashion in NYC?
The fashion itself is quite different in these two cities. Hong Kong style is influenced by their Korean and Japanese neighbors, which results in a somewhat more whimsical aesthetic, and I’d say Hong Kongers definitely prefer to stick to well-known brands. New Yorkers on the other hand pride themselves on discovering or wearing underground brands and like a more simple, tailored look. In terms of working here, I feel the industry is much smaller so everyone knows everyone. I’ve been lucky enough to get most of my freelance work through referrals and there’s a great collaborative spirit between all the magazines and retailers who are constantly coming together on projects.
7. You seem to always be jet setting to exotic locations and taking fabulous photos. Can you tell us what are some of your favorite locations to travel to and why? Also, what brings you to these amazing locales—business, pleasure, adventure?
I indeed have been fortunate enough to travel quite frequently in the last two months—Paris for pleasure (my boyfriend is Parisian and we visit his family often,) Morocco for adventure (it’s long been on my bucket list and it certainly didn’t disappoint,) and Cannes for work (I got to work on the Naomi Campbell, Philipp Plein and amfAR fashion shows.) I’d definitely say Morocco was a special experience; I’ve seen nothing like it—every corner is dripping in vivid colors, it’s unlike any city I’ve been to. And Portofino is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited on the Italian coast. It’s a tiny fishing village that is at once untouched in terms of the terrain but is frequented by the rich and famous so the food and boutiques are as luxurious as any major city’s.
8. Last but not least, what inspires you most in your life and career?
I believe that purpose is what gets people out of bed and through the hardest times of their lives. And for me, I feel the greatest sense of purpose when someone I don’t know reaches out to me and tells me my writing impacted them in someway. Nothing fills my heart more than to know that my words or what I went through touched a stranger and made them feel less alone for a moment, because that’s what helps me and inspires me.