Interview #95

From Fashion Design to Life and Career(II): From Commercial to Artistic

The School of Design Alumni Reunion — Afa Lee

Written by Lio Yeung
Translated by Joel Wong

"Do you still love what you do for a living?" I keep asking myself these days. Sometimes I wonder, if someday I feel I can no longer convince others nor accept everything from this industry, then it's time for me to make a change.

Afa Lee, Singchin Lo, Vann Kwok and I were the alumni of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design (the last year Fashion Design was combined). Afa is an artist, model, art director, and fashion influencer. Vann is an accessory designer and Singchin is a fashion designer. They are the schoolmates which I admired the most even back in the day.

I graduated more than a decade ago, but not many of our classmates can still be true to themselves, stand for their values, and follow their dreams. Most of them compromised to the hardship of reality. So, I invited three good classmates to talk about fashion design in Hong Kong with their own experience and how they pursue their careers upon graduation. But most importantly, to catch up some old times with them.

From left to right: Singchin Lo, Vann Kwok, Lio Yeung, Afa Lee.

From Commercial to Artistic

I still remember what Afa Lee's final year project was like to this day. That storyboard she drew was simply unique. Afa did not devote herself to the fashion scene right after graduation but chose the advertising industry just like me. She said, "After taking a fashion course in Poly U, I realized that I am not the type to handle fabrics and produce, and if I don't get my desired cutting, it probably will trigger my OCD attack." During her first few years in the advertising industry, both she and Vann took over some costume design jobs and began to scout for outfits out there. That's when she realized that "I just like to dress up for myself, not so into doing styling for others."

Afa Lee

Afa was scouted by a modeling agency and began her modeling, acting, and TV hosting venture. A few years ago, she quitted her job at the advertising firm to become a full-time illustrator. She received many brands favors invitations to work with her. In 2018, Afa won the Young Design Talent Award, proven that she is a very talented woman. Besides being endorsed by various clothing or cosmetics brands, Afa shows her entire repertoire in arts and even held a solo exhibition in Japan earlier. She walks the path she likes and tries various new things, and her life has become inseparable from the fashion industry. Although her road to fashion design has taken some significant turns, she is fortunate to live it up in fullness.

The work by Afa Lee

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