Fashion in Hong Kong with Oscar Li


TSB: The Strawberry Blonde

OL: Oscar Li


Oscar is an old friend of mine from Hong Kong. We met each other in Italy when we were just sixteen, and after a long fashion lover’s talk, we knew we were going to be good friends. After the exchange, we promised that one day he was going to be the model for my designs, as he knew back then he wanted to be a fashion model and I a designer.


TSB: Since when did you know you wanted to be a model, and when did this dream of yours come true and how?


OL: I started my modelling career when I was 15 years old by getting a first-runner up in a model competition. If you ask me how or when did my passion in modelling started, I’ve already forgotten. But, what I do remember, is how excited and energized I was when I started my first modelling job. It was one of the best feelings in the world. For me, my dream still hasn’t come true at this moment, as there is still a very long way to be a true top model, but I will keep trying my best to achieve it.


TSB: Tell us about your career, I have seen amazing artistic pictures of you. Who do you generally pose these pictures for?


OL: I do quite a wide range of modelling jobs, as I believe a true professional model can handle both high and commercial fashion or even artistic styles very well. Thus, my photos were taken for various purposes, some of them were for fashion editorials, other for artistic shooting, and some of them for commercial use.


TSB: Do you also do runway? If so, who for?


OL: Yes, and I feel really blessed that I could have a chance to be in quite lots of catwalk shows as I am not the traditional 6 feet tall model. I had walked for Couture Homme, Alex Chak, Glamorous, Black Dreamy Fashion and also other local fashion brands in Hong Kong. Besides these last, I have also cooperated with the fashion designers in England, Spain, South Korea, Shanghai, and Macau.


TSB: What things do you like and dislike about being a model?


OL: What I love about modelling is that it could always bring me challenges and break my limitation. The fashion world is crazy, you can never expect what the designer is planning to do. For example, I had to do a shooting with water spraying on me at 10°C outdoor environment. There are lots of crazy examples like that one in my career. However, I do still treasure every opportunity no matter how hard it is, as every job can be a chance to ascend your position in the industry. No doubt that the feeling of projecting energy to the camera or audience is one of the reasons that makes me remain in modeling.


However, being a model can be tough and crucial too. Most of the people, or even some fashion giants nowadays state that one must be tall in order to be a fashion model, or to have tons of strong muscles, which are very specific conditions. Stereotyping has put lots of new model’s efforts in denial no matter how hard they work, including me. I still hear lots of people saying I cannot be a model or that I’m not qualified enough to be one. However, I believe that not following the rules of the general public is actually the key of success. Who had ever thought that 5’ 7” Kate Moss could achieve the top place in the modelling industry? Who had ever thought that non-white models such as Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn could be that influential nowadays? The fashion industry is always changing, and if they see something different in you, you just might be the next fashion icon.


Though sometimes the criticism and stereotypes are hard, I sometimes hear some support from the public that actually makes me feel blessed and willing to keep on moving.


TSB: How do you define fashion in Hong Kong?


OL: For me, the fashion culture in Hong Kong is very diverse. Due to the historical and geological reason, the city could absorb both fashion cultures from the East and the West. These gave life to a unique and diverse style to Hong Kong.


TSB: Which are the three main fashion styles in HK?


OL: It’s hard to say due to its diversity. Some people love Japanese Kwaii Style, some others the Korean Edgy Style, and some the American Street Style. There are really lots of clothing styles in my city, that it is hard to define only three main ones.


TSB: Is fashion in Hong Kong different from fashion in China?


OL: According to my observation and experience, I would say there is certainly a difference between Hong Kong and Chinese fashion. Fashion in China tends more to glamour and luxury. Hong Kong people, on the other hand, love to wear edgy clothes or “the girl next-door”. There is a simple example: the general Chinese woman loves wearing heels, and they could even wear 5 inches heels to go hiking! But, Hong Kong woman tend to wear practical sport shoes or even unisex leather shoes. This is just one example of the many differences that exist in both fashion cultures.


TSB: What distinguishes your city style from fashion in other places?


OL: Fusion. I couldn’t say there is a particular style identified. In fact, this is the characteristic of Hong Kong’s Fashion industry. Generally, Hong Kong fashion designers are very good at fusing various fashion cultures to develop a new undefined culture that is hard to describe.


TSB: Thank you so much Oscar! Hope we can keep our promise. Best of luck!


OL: Looking forward to meet you too Cami!! Thank you so much for inviting me to be in your fashion blog, it has been my pleasure!