Male Mavens: Influential gents of Hong Kong fashion

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Arthur Tam and James Bien talk to eight stylish gents who are making an impact on Hong Kong's fashion scene. Photography by Calvin Sit and art direction by Jeroen Brulez. Special thanks to Lily and Bloom.

Juno Mak - Singer, actor and director, kudos-films.com

Juno Mak (below, left) has already made a name for himself as a musician and  actor, and now he is set to unleash his feature-film directorial debut, Rigor Mortis, set to be released in October. Furthermore, his impeccable taste and gothic-esque fashion sense has infiltrated every magazine and news outlet in Hong Kong, making him a true style icon.

How would you describe your taste in fashion?
I don’t believe in a certain trend in fashion because the word ‘trend’ is short-sighted. I’m into the poetic aspect in fashion, which goes a long way for me.

Is there something you’d like to see more of in men’s fashion in Hong Kong?
I think everyone should be more open-minded to how people dress. It’s the mentality, not actually the brand or the material.

Kevin Mayao  - Art director, Fame Glory, fameglory.hk

As the art director of a creative agency at the helm of pop culture in Hong Kong, Mayao (above, centre) has not only styled a plethora of big names, but has also built innovative set designs and beautiful images that have been creating quite the buzz this past year. His art direction can be witnessed in the recent Fame Glory publication 7 Sins, which features seven stylish femmes of Hong Kong. 

Do you dress like a Hong Kong guy?
Not really. I think that trends in Hong Kong play such an important role, because once something is popular you’ll see it everywhere. I’m not really like that. 

What do you think you have contributed to men’s fashion in Hong Kong?
I teach people how to make street fashion look fancy. You don’t always have to use high-end items to look good; instead, it’s all about how you pull off an outfit.

Six Lee - Designer, Six Lee, sixlee.be

After collaborating with Alexander McQueen early in his career to create traditional suits, Six Lee (above, right) formed his own label of inventive tailoring and modern accessories in 2011. He recently showcased his spring/summer 2014 collection at W Hong Kong’s fifth anniversary party to a packed and eager crowd.

What would you like to see more of in men’s fashion in Hong Kong? I’d like to see professional men wear something more fun, even when they have to wear a suit to go to work. 

How do you think men’s fashion in Hong Kong compares to other countries?
Men’s fashion in Hong Kong is growing really quickly, but it doesn’t have its own menswear personality. I’m going to try and bring something different with my designs.

Read our Made in Hong Kong interview feature with Six Lee here.

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Alex Daye - Designer, Moustache, moustachehongkong.com

In response to the diminishing quality of tailors in Hong Kong, Alex Daye (above, left) and his husband Ellis Kreuger conceptualised Moustache, a label that takess a traditional approach to bespoke tailoring. On top of that, they just started to throw stylish invite-only parties, The Bearded Lady, at Duddell’s. 

What is your approach at being a stylish gent?
In Hong Kong there’s more opportunity to not necessarily be pigeonholed to just fashion, which is why we’ve branched out into nightlife. There’s more freedom here to do whatever you want. 

How do you think men’s fashion in Hong Kong is different from overseas?
It’s a bit dressier here, especially the end of it that we deal with. I do think that even within the world of bespoke tailoring,  the standards here are higher. 

Joey Ma - Fashion blogger, joey-ma.com

Individuality couldn’t be a more apt name for Joey Ma’s fashion blog, as his choice of outfits consist of a wide range of gender-bending and provocative choices. The at-times-androgynous blogger has been on the cover of magazines like Me! and Ketchup with movie star Dodo Cheng and radio DJ Matt Chow. And now he’s set out to pursue editorial styling.

What symbolises men’s fashion in Hong Kong?
I think Hong Kong is quite masculine. It’s very mainstream. I think that it’s a little boring because a lot of guys don’t have the courage to go the extra step to try different things. 

How would you describe your style?
I don’t limit myself to any style. I’m willing to try anything as long as I feel comfortable with it or I think I look good in it.

Kei Hui - Designer, Créature de Keis facebook.com/creaturedekeis

Since 2006, the innovative items from Créature de Keis have been favourites for celebrities and divas seeking colourful and uniquely textured designs. Hui (above, right) has been showcasing around the world, from Paris’ Who’s Next, to his upcoming show at Tokyo fashion exhibition, Rooms.

Do you see a change in men’s fashion here?
I do think that there’s more focus on men’s fashion now, and guys like to dress up a little more.

What would you like to bring to the men’s fashion scene in Hong Kong?
I want my clothes to be accessible to everyone. Function is extremely important to me, so my clothes need to reflect that everyone has different needs, so it can appeal to people with different occupations.

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Roger Ouk - Designer, Thyvane, thyvane.com

The Australian-born lawyer (above, left) worked as an attorney for seven years before he became fed up with the limited choice of neckwear he was allowed to wear in court. As a result, he stepped back from his straight-laced job to create his own label for neckties and bowties, Thyvane, to add a modern flair to every businessman’s suit-and-tie look. 

How have you contributed to the men’s fashion scene here in Hong Kong?
Men in Hong Kong are looking for ways to differentiate themselves. I’m providing an element of intrigue through my textured neckties and bowties so they can express themselves.

What do you want to see more of in the men’s fashion scene here?
Hong Kong is a very vibrant and multidisciplinary place. Men’s fashion here is typically very business-appropriate, but I’d like to see the more vibrant side of Hong Kong with the emergence of a new art scene. The different personalities and eccentricities should shine and bring colour into the market. 

JJ Acuna - Fashion blogger, wanderlister.com

As the founder and editor of wanderlister.com, JJ Acuna (above, right) reports on personal art, design and lifestyle trends around Asia. His background as an architect and designer has given him an impeccable eye when it comes to picking out the future must-haves in menswear, which has made him one of the top male bloggers in Hong Kong. 

How would you define men’s fashion in Hong Kong?
I think that professional men’s fashion in Hong Kong is more traditional and conservative, like the stuffy British type. But when guys go out, they go for more edgy looks, like the whole I.T. thing. 

What would you like to change in the men’s fashion scene here?
It’s very difficult for Hong Kong because of the weather. However, that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t try to play with pieces: jackets, interesting shoes and interesting socks. Hong Kong guys should just be more open to playing around with accessories.   

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