Dino, Designer of Raffles Privato

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Friday, July 15, 2011 

under Education & Career

Did you ever expect to be running your own business when you started studying?

Of course, running your own business is every designer's dream. It makes me happy when someone puts on my clothes and it also gives me new inspiration, so you never know if one of the customers will become my muse. I also dream of owning a boutique with a beautiful garden outside, so I can provide afternoon tea for clients.

How does the reality of running a store compare to the dream?

It is very different from my expectations. You have to consider dozens of things when you run a store. Taking Raffles Privato as an example, our eight designers are very different in styles from each other, so you have to find a balance of how to present each person's characteristics while keeping the work coordinated, how to attract different customers, how to make Raffles Privato unique, etc. The key to success is finding a suitable way of marketing instead of relying on just the products themselves.

How do you come up with your ideas and do you ever run out of them?

Sometimes, when inspiration won't occur to me, I like to turn to something else, like reading books or magazines, even taking some wine and going to sleep. Inspiration might visit you unexpectedly, and I've found it in my dreams several times. Most important is to remember to put it down on paper, otherwise it's forgotten in the blink of an eye.

Do you love everything about being a designer, or do you have to sometimes take the rough with the smooth?

Though I love this job so much, bitter stories are inevitable. Once, I was making an ethnic series with lots of hand-made sequins on it. I had to stay at home for a whole week, sewing day after day; many friends thought I was missing! But when your artwork finally appears on the runway, your heart is filled with joy and satisfaction. You'll believe that you deserve it.

What are your ambitions for the future?

As I'm still young, I'd say that if the chance arose to learn something at a famous brand, I'd treasure the opportunity. I would also just like to see different cultures and traditions, add more colors to my experience. Last but not least, I'd like to try to lead Cypress to a brighter future. After all, it is the first brand I designed myself.

What do you do to enjoy Shanghai?

Shanghai is a fashionable city, not just cement. MoGanShan Road and Red Town are both fun places. Also, people in this city have their own way of dressing, which provides me with new inspiration as well!