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Upclose with Daniel Wu
Better known as an actor-slash-model, Daniel Wu is in fact a trained architect and a designer at heart. He talks to Winnie Chau about how his memories of living in San Francisco inspired his first fashion collection.

By Winnie Chau | Dec 18, 2008

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  • Upclose with Daniel Wu

HK Magazine: Are you picky about what you wear?
Daniel Wu:
I’m picky in that I like to keep things simple. I believe less is more; it’s more about the quality of clothes than what they look like. How they’re made and the materials used are more important than just pretty prints.

HK: What does fashion mean to you?
DW:
Fashion means many different things. It’s all about trends that are constantly changing, and above all, it’s all about being able to sell. Clothes nowadays are made only for one season, which is stupid, given that we are trying to save the environment. Fashion is different from style, which is about your personal character, rather than following trends.

HK: Describe your style.
DW:
My style is influenced a lot by music and the environment I grew up in. I hung out with artistic people who skated, listened to punk music and did all kinds of stuff. So my style is kind of eclectic yet simple. I don’t like anything flashy or anything that screams, “look at me, look at me.” That’s not my personality; I prefer something subtler and well made.

HK: You believe that “good design always starts with a good story.” What’s your story in this collection?
DW:
The story is about San Francisco. This line is about my personal memories and features fashion elements that are very regional to San Francisco. [HK: What about a collection about Hong Kong?] That’d be a cool challenge. Fashion is definitely an important subject in Hong Kong. I wouldn’t know how to approach that one though; I have to think about it.

HK: What is your most memorable fashion item?
DW:
It has to be the Derby jacket. I had one when I was 13 and wore it until I was 23, before I came to Hong Kong. This jacket is very iconic in San Francisco. The punks wore it, the gangsters wore it and the UPS guys wore it. Anybody would wear the jacket. It’s a matter of how you wore it—the size, the color. I wore mine so much it became a part of me, part of my style. It’s also the first thing I actively, as a 13-year-old, wanted to have. Getting the jacket was the first adult decision I made in my life.

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