Exclusively Fashion Magazine











Leaf is one of the top fashion influentials in China.  In 2008, she was appointed to take the role of Senior Fashion Editor of ELLE China.  Leaf has worked with Karl Lagerfeld, David Burton, and Chen Man, to name a few.  Her personal style has graced global publications such as; ELLE US Grazia UK, France, Italia, The Telegraph UK, and New York Magazine.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career started in the fashion industry?

Leaf Greener: I studied art in high school and graduated with a major in fashion design from college.  I used to be a freelance stylist working for different magazines and few celebrities in Beijing.

EFM: Have you always had an interest in working in the fashion industry?

LG: Not really.  I wanted to be a film maker when I was 13 years old.  I remember I watched so many very artistic old films from European directors such as Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, and Jean-Luc Godard.  And I studied Montage by myself.

EFM: What is your daily routine as the Senior Fashion Editor of ELLE China?

LG: I get up early to read news online from business of fashion and style.com.  At the office, I'm doing a lot of emails and meetings to discuss editorial ideas with different teams.  I will meet up with new talented photographers who are based in China to discuss new ideas for our fashion stories or our cover shoots.  Sometimes I will cast models.  I go visit local Chinese fashion designers studios very often to preview their new collections, and give them some advice about how to build up their brands.  I do styling work for some of the local fashion designers as well for their new campaigns, look books and fashion shows.  I always love to discover new talents.

EFM: Who are your favorite designers?

LG: Mr. Alaia, Mr. Saint Laurent, Mr. Cristóbal Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière, Miuccia Prada, Raf Simons, and Phoebe Philo.  I wish Mr. Helmut Lang would return to fashion.  He always was such a big influencer in the industry.

EFM: What gives you inspiration?

LG: Everything.  But, most of the time by meeting interesting people around the world.  Through our conversations I could feel so inspired.

EFM: What keeps you grounded?

LG: By keeping Faith.  I always believe dreams can come true if I believe in what I do.  By keeping passion.  I love what I do; and appreciate what I have.  Even sometimes I have a really tough time, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I will see difficulties as a challenge.  No one can beat you until you give up on yourself.

EFM: What is it about fashion that you love?

LG: The creativity and the possibilities.

EFM: So far, what has been the highlight of your career?

LG: To be honest, I think I haven't achieved it yet.

EFM: Tell me something that no one know about you?

LG: I can play the piano and I love to eat Hot Chicken wings from Chinese KFC.

EFM: What has been one of your pet peeves while working in this industry?

LG: Hypocrisy, rudeness, vanity, greed and benefit maximization.  Can we slow down the pace of what we are doing right now?  I mean Designers produce so many collections every year.  People don't need that much at all.  Most of it becomes garbage.  For example: about 25% of the global production of chemicals is used in the textile industry.  China's textile industry consumes 42% of global textile chemicals by wastewater discharge to the natural environment, while others remain in the clothing.  This is not sustainable in the long run.

EFM: What advice can you give to the aspiring editors and stylists?

LG: For the stylists: There is no bad design, only bad styling.  For the editors: Make every effort to discover and support new talents.


Interview by Rochell “E” James


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