Coffee with … Anais Mak
The 28-year-old founder of fashion label Jourden was raised in Hong Kong, trained at Paris fashion design institute Studio Berçot, then came back to start her own brand. With her clothes sold in well-known department stores across the globe (including Barneys, Lane Crawford and Le Bon Marché), the LVMH Prize finalist recently designed a game app for one of her favourite Parisian retailers, Colette.
Were you a fan of fashion from a young age?
My mom had a passion for fashion when I was really young; she loved reading Vogue, while I loved reading Teen Vogue－the stories about young girls throwing birthday parties and wearing designer brands. But then I dressed like a normal kid, looking at clothes from a distance. I think for that generation in Hong Kong, a lot of people naturally grew interested in fashion－when Joyce Boutique was bringing foreign designers to the city, like Tom Ford, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Dries Van Noten… the influence was unconscious.
How did the experience in Paris shape your views?
I”d say it’s a training of taste, rather than technical. But it helped me clear my mind on knowing what I wanted to pursue. I really confronted my own identity. I was looking up to the Western fashion scene before, and I still look up to it now, but I feel more comfortable as to why I aspire to certain things－that you’re not trying to become someone else, but you’re honest with your own aspirations.