Designer profile: Jason Mui
By Jessica Ly
88 i-D THE LIVIN’ LOUD ISSUE
fast food to fast fashion An hour late and brimming with apologies, Jason Mui appears. Sitting in a black vest top on top of his bunk bed, I am invited to his bedroom via Skype (Jason is 8 hours ahead in Hong Kong where he’s been living with his Grandparents for four months). His physical resemblance to Alexander Wang is somewhat scary; “I get that all the time...I wish I was him, he is rolling in that cash!” he states with admiration. Born in Staffordshire to Chinese parents and growing up working in a take-away, you’d expect his career path to be business related. Not Jason. His interest in fashion design started young, “When I was doing my GCSE’s and discovered John Galliano, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I use to skip PE lessons and go and do art instead,” he recalls mischievously. Clearly his interests have stuck, behind him there is a drawing above his bed, drawn straight on the wall “It’s supposed to be Jesus.” He pauses. “Jesus kinda represents my belief in faith and spirituality. I don’t necessarily believe in just Jesus, but I believe in Gods, Goddesses and Demons.” Having studied fashion design, he describes his graduate collection that includes a lot of grey and black fur, as being inspired by bestiality. “I link a lot of my work to sex. Clothing at the end of the day, is linked towards sex, it’s about sexual attraction…everything we put on our body is for attraction.’ says the Nottingham Trent Graduate. “Fashion is personal, it’s a mean of communication. I think it’s so powerful that how you dress can translate a message….everybody has a story to tell.” Fashion obviously means a lot to him; Jason has a tattoo of a mannequin on his left arm with the letters ‘K L’ which represents ‘Kennett & Lindsall’, a mannequin makers company he used at University-a period he describes as ‘an eye opener’.
Moving to London having just graduated, he recalls good and bad memories that year: interning at J W Anderson for 6 months without pay; ‘rolling down the stairs at Machine-A at Craig Lawrence’s launch party’ (in ‘Spice Girl like’ heels); meeting his soul mate and packing his bags and leaving for Hong Kong (where he currently works and lives) to ‘find his feet’. Despite the ‘good food and shopping’ he’s desperately missing London; “I miss the banter, the sarcasm and English humour.” He laughs. I miss getting on the bus and there’s hot people to check out…in Hong Kong, I ain’t checking no one out!” Rest assured, whilst he’s in Hong Kong working as a visual merchandiser for Lane Crawford, he hasn’t given up. “I’m still at the bottom of the ladder, hanging on you know?” With plans to move back to London within the next 2 years and in the works of something big that can’t be revealed, with somebody he calls his ‘soul mate’, he gives us a hint of what to expect next. “It’s exciting, crazy. A spiritual performance, venturing outside of fashion, exploring a wider picture.” With that said (and after an hour) a few things are crystal clear; Jason Mui is a risk taker. Somebody who has drive and thrives on passion, there’s no stopping him…in fact, he’s only just getting started.
TEXT JESSICA LY Above: Jason’s graduate collection. Main image: Jason Mui
i-D THE LIVIN’ LOUD ISSUE 89