SENIOR FASHION EDITOR, ELLE CHINA
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
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.
Have you always had an interest in working in the
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.
What is your daily routine as the Senior Fashion Editor of ELLE
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
EFM: Who are your favorite
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.
What gives you inspiration?
Everything. But, most of the time by meeting
interesting people around the world. Through our
conversations I could feel so inspired.
What keeps you grounded?
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.
What is it about fashion that you love?
The creativity and the possibilities.
So far, what has been the highlight of your career?
To be honest, I think I haven't achieved it yet.
Tell me something that no one know about you?
I can play the piano and I love to eat Hot Chicken wings
from Chinese KFC.
What has been one of your pet peeves while working in
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?
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