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November 28, 2010

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Judy Mann: Fashion is wearable art

FOR Hong Kong designer Judy Mann, fashion is a presentation of thought and emotion, art and culture, "a reflection of contemporary lifestyles."

The influential designer (born Mann Lai-Yin in Hong Kong) is the former chief designer of Thayer International New York before she set up her own company and established her own designer label, Judy Mann.

With 30 years in fashion design, Mann is known for stylish, affordable clothes for the astute executive woman who is chic but not a slave to fashion.

She is also known as an excellent businesswoman and strategic planner.

Q: How did you decide to become a designer?

A: I never planned to be a designer. I was a fashion model when I was still in school. Later, I worked for a fashion house in New York as fashion coordinator and merchandiser. My boss thought I was talented, had valuable experience and a good eye for fashion. So he trained me as a fashion designer.

Q: What inspires you to create?

A: Anything around me could inspire me ... architecture, interior design, music, movies, a stage performance, art pieces, but mostly people. I always ask what would my target customers need, what would make them look good and smart.

Q: How do you want your customers to feel wearing your designs?

A: I intend my customers to feel comfortable, stylish, intelligent and confident about themselves.

Q: What's your philosophy about the art of fashion?

A: Fashion is a wearable art form. Fashion designers are like artists. Each should have his own style and handwriting.

Q: What about fashion as a business?

A: Designer alone cannot build a fashion business. It requires several others to make a successful business, such as a good manufacturer, steady financial support, a sales and marketing team, efficient administration and operation.


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