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Why Hong Kong?: An Interview With Photographer & Stylist Olivia Tsang

5 minute read

Nicole Alter

For Part III of our Why Hong Kong series, we chat with Olivia Tsang, Hong Kong’s premier fashion photographer and stylist at @oliviatsanghk.

Olivia Tsang

How did you get into fashion?

Ever since the age of four, I always thought that I was going to be a painter. But when I was in university in New Zealand, I read a book at the school library by Cindy Sherman and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a fashion photographer. I did a photography exhibition on feminism after I graduated, then moved on to work for an independent fashion magazine. I was very lucky that they let me style and photograph at the same time. A year later, I joined Esquire Hong Kong Magazine and eventually became their fashion director, all while styling and photographing. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to practice and experiment on different platforms over the years. In 2013, I started my own studio, and I’m still madly in love with what I do.

Olivia Tsang Stylist

Do you have any examples of how people in the industry are using technology in their day-to-day lives?

Most marketing strategies for fashion involve digital media. I have noticed that I shoot more social media focused digital campaigns than print advertising now. And of course, WhatsApp and WeChat are the new email, so my work is more 24/7 than ever.

What are some of the misconceptions people have about the local fashion scene in Hong Kong?

It is not just about looking cool and going to all the parties; it’s about hard work, passion and organization.

Fashion Models Olivia Tsang

How has the fashion scene in Hong Kong changed in the last 5 years?

We have definitely entered an era no one has ever seen before. When I shoot digital campaigns for brands, I come across many bloggers and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). At first, I didn’t understand why they would have an influence on fashion and style. But over time, I see how they have made it a full-time job: investing in branding themselves and progressing. Not all the influencers are solid, but some of them are very respectful.

How do you think it will change in the next 5 years?

I think the digital trend will keep growing…less print and more digital for sure. Also, brands are somehow trying to grow younger instead of just luxe. I think the effortless, street meets luxe feel will continue to be a lasting movement, which elevates new designers and restructures some of the more traditional fashion houses.

The Roaring Beauty Olivia Tsang

Do you think Mainland China’s economic slowdown is going to have a large impact on Hong Kong’s fashion industry in the near future?

Yes, there are some effects. Luxury goods are always the first to see that impact, as evidenced by the waning demand for them.

Who are your favourite Hong Kong / China designers?

I like Six Lee, which is selling at Joyce Hong Kong.

What are some of Hong Kong’s advantages over other major Asian cities?

Hong Kong is small, but compact, which makes everything ultra efficient. I honestly believe Hong Kong is the most efficient city ever.

View Part I and Part II of Why Hong Kong.

Nicole Alter

A small person with a big appetite, Nicole is a total geek for innovation in the tech and fashion space. Nicole's other interests include social media trends, growth hacking, China, and hip-hop zumba classes.

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