Originally from Taiwan, Mao moved to London to explore different areas for a future career in fashion. After getting his international diploma Introduction to the Study of Fashion, he decided to continue his studies at LCF with a BA in Fashion Textiles: Knit. In 2016, Mao moved back to this home country to launch his own kitting brand MAOMAO. He's now fully dedicated to his label and is currently working on his new collection coming up in September.
Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
I had no idea in the beginning. I did the International Fashion Diploma at LCF to try whether I was interested in fashion or not. Doing this course was very helpful, because during that year I realised how fascinating fashion design is, and it was definitely something I wanted to do as a career.
Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I didn't really know of any fashion schools in the world, so after a quick Google search, I found out about UAL. Thanks to a consulting agency, which helped me to better understand the application process and gave me more information about UAL and LCF, I decided to enrol.
I spent most of my time at the campus in Lime Grove during my first year, and seeing people studying so many different courses got me really excited about the prospect of continuing my education at LCF.
From all the different branches in fashion design, what made you decide to specialise in knitting?
After my first year, I had to decide which path I wanted to follow, and knitting was the last one on my list. However, my tutors believed that was the right choice for me, and they were so right! I really appreciated their insight. I do enjoy knitting now, and I will keep knitting forever.
Tell us a bit about your BA final project. Which topic did you explore and how did you find the research process?
For my final year, I was very inspired by tribe elements and the paintings by Picasso. I wanted to create informal shapes, combined with colours and textures, something abstract and organic.
Now that you have your own knitting brand, what do you think is the best thing about your profession?
It's very exciting and enjoyable to do something I believe in, and there are no limitations when you work for yourself - it's the best!
What are your plans for the next few years?
At the moment I'm dedicating most of my time to my new collection, which will be more commercial than in previous years.
I'd like to have my own presentation or catwalk show in the future - I really enjoy doing different and quirky pieces that could work really well in a show. That's something that keeps me motivated to progress in the fashion industry.