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MA Menswear graduate Licong Gong's designs hit the stage at the Met Gala 2022

Singer on stage
  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date 05 May 2022
Singer on stage
Met Gala 2022. Designs by Licong Gong and modelled by Burna Boy. Photography by German Larkin

On 2 May 2022, the world gathered in anticipation to see the vast display of fashion at the Met Gala Ceremony 2022. The industry is renowned for inviting a-list stars, young and innovative creatives and the worlds most influential faces to attend 'fashion's biggest night out' in a fundraiser for Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Among the hundreds of striking garments this year, stands MA Fashion Design Technology (Menswear) graduate, Licong Gong's collection, worn and performed in by Nigerian singer, Burna Boy.

This isn't the first time that Licong's garments have caught the eyes of  the influential, with his designs being worn by Roisin Murphy earlier this year. We caught up with Licong to find out more about life after graduation, navigating success and his time on the MA Menswear course at LCF.

Burna boy standing with Naomi Campbell
Met Gala 2022. Designs by Licong Gong and modelled by Burna Boy. Photography by German Larkin
Model wearing colourful tailoring
Designs by Licong Gong. Photography by Wenbo Hu, Model Evans Ikechukwu
Tell us about life after the MA at LCF – what have you been up to?

In the time since I've finished my MA in Menswear, I've been planning my personal brand and thinking about my next steps to expand my personal style - ideally with some stylists or magazines with some celebrity cooperation.

Do you have any particular highlights from exhibiting on London Fashion Week as part of LCFMA22?

I think the most special part of my work at LCFMA22 on London Fashion Week is that it is very unique and special to put reversible clothes on and off the runway. This is also one of the focuses that I have been researching in my collection, which is the extension and different exploration of digital printing in menswear. I was so excited to be selected for the catwalk show at London Fashion Week this time. I think this is a very good opportunity to enter the fashion industry as a new designer, because there are many professionals in the industry, and it was a great opportunity to show myself. I was very pleasantly surprised that my personal brand was well promoted on social media via various channels!

Your collections were recently worn by Roisin Murphy and also Burna Boy at the infamous Met Gala – wow! Tell us about this opportunity – how did it come about?

Very happy and grateful to Roisin Murphy and the Burna Boy team for their support of the new designers. I am very lucky and I think the collection was probably chosen because the colour combinations in my collection are very striking and suitable for the show-pandemic era, everyone needs colour, right?!

First of all, I would like to thank Roisin for her support. She found me through Instagram - I posted my final collection on my personal social account and she contacted me and expressed her willingness to cooperate with me. I also need to thank London Fashion Week's publicity. After Roisin wore the key look from my collection, I was amazed that more and more people started following me and contacting me. Of course, I am also very grateful to the LCF for promoting our works at different stages, helping us to attract these partnerships.

Singer on stage
Worn by Roisin Murphy. Designs by Licong Gong. Photography by Miguel Ruiz
What would your advice be for those graduating from MA Menswear next year?

My advice for the next generation of graduates would be to know what you want and know your own style and strengths - show this through your work, because everyone is unique.

What are you planning to do next?

In the next stages of my career, I will continue to plan my personal brand and hopefully launch it as soon as possible. In addition, there are some cooperation's that I need to follow up (but I cannot say too much!)