Are you a post-graduate sick of scrolling through job adverts and seeing nothing suited to you? Are you looking for a career change? Or are you merely curious about what jobs Europe, and the world, has to offer? In our Undiscovered Professions series, E&M explores professions beyond what meets the eye.
E&M: Hi Taylor, tell us about what you do.
Hi, I am now working in Menswear Design at AllSaints Studio, designing mainly men’s jerseys, sweats and the swimwear collection, also assisting in men’s shirts and graphic developments. I graduated in Menswear Design from London College of Fashion in 2015. During my studies, I interned as a design assistant in DKNY Men’s and Nicomede Talavera. After graduating, I have worked at Casely-Hayford London, where I assisted in both RTW and made-to-measure department; I also helped prepare their London Fashion Week show.
I also founded We.Create International, at University of the Arts London, which aims to inspire and promote entrepreneurialism among aspiring art and design students by creating opportunities for them to showcase and sell their works. Later on, it became a private limited company and began to help more students from art universities across the UK to build up their network with the right industry people.
Recently, I also helped in the creative direction of my friend’s start up in Asia. Therefore, aside from fashion design, I enjoy all kinds of creative work, using my academic grounding in art to collaborate with all sorts of designers.
I have unfailing passion, enthusiasm and appreciation for Art and Design
E&M: Wow, you are a busy man! What are the biggest challenges you face at work?
I guess, as a non-native English speaker, (I was born in Hong Kong and did not arrive to the UK until sixth form [age 17-18]) sometimes I find it quite challenging. But this is mainly an issue of socialising with colleagues and industry people.
It’s absolutely fine when I’m working, because I believe in the old saying, ‘let the work do the talking’. And, of course, it is always easier to present my own work. However, it is still quite difficult to engage with native English speakers because of the slight language barrier. For this reason, I always need to work harder to get people to understand me (not only regarding language, but also cultural differences). This has, I think, paid off so far.
E&M: What was your dream job when you were younger?
My dream was always to become an influential designer/creator who would enlighten and change the world. Since childhood, I have been interested in drawing and designing. My father studied Fine Art and Landscape Architecture and undoubtedly he’s had a major influence on me.
I have unfailing passion, enthusiasm and appreciation for Art and Design. And fashion sense is a gift given to me. I have been styling family and friends since I was young, which has been appreciated and complemented upon.
My interest started by drawing the human figure, and then I started to decorate people with my own clothing designs. This is when I realised that being a Fashion Designer could really become the reality I had dreamed of since a young age. For me, clothing has always been one of the most important elements of human life, so it feels good to be applying my vision and design/art sense in this field. Seeing my designs brought to life is like seeing my ‘artwork’ flowing around the streets—and becoming alive. It gets me really excited just talking about it!
E&M: What is the best thing about what you do?
It’s a great feeling to contribute to a new trend, and to have my work appreciated and complimented upon. The reward, for me, is seeing my work come to life, and also to see that people believe in my creative vision.
The most important thing is to work hard, to forge yourself into what you want to be.
E&M: Often youths these days are pressured into the idea that they should know exactly what they want to do from a young age and everything they study and their work experiences should be going towards this goal, how far do you agree with this? Do you find you had a conventional career path?
Hmmm, it’s hard to know EXACTLY what we want to do from a young age before you we have experienced enough of the world. I am lucky that my parents are quite open-minded which allowed me to try many things when I was young, which allowed me to define myself better at an earlier stage.
Everything you experience helps you towards your ‘goal’. I would say life is a journey; different people have their own different journey. I always remember what my dad told me when I was young: our birth is like a white paper, no one knows how big it is, but everyone has their own choice to draw on this paper, to make it beautiful, or just leave it blank.
Even if you do something that sounds the total opposite of your goals, it is still an experience that will help you on your road to success. And, to be honest, long and short-term goals fluctuate and change all the time. If we only had one goal in our lives, life would be so dull, right? But the most important thing is to work hard, to forge yourself into what you want to be.
About the interviewee
Taylor Leung is a Fashion Designer, Art Director & Creative Director currently based in London.
He graduated from London College of Fashion Menswear in 2015. Originally a Hong Kong Boy, who has
trained in Art and Design since Childhood with a strong Art backgrounded family.
Currently based in East London and working in the Menswear Design in AllSaints, a British Fashion Label with an iconic identity. He is also a former design intern in DKNY Mens, NICOMEDE TALAVERA and CASELY-HAYFORD.
Cover photo courtesy: Taylor Leung