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Exclusive interview with Ma Ke: Q + A | Updated: 2013-04-03 09:13

Q: When did Peng start wearing Mixmind (Exception, Wu Yong)? You once said “value (of an object) doesn’t lie in the thing but in its holder,” when explaining Wu Yong. Do you pick your own clients who share the same quality? Does Peng believe in this?

Exclusive interview with Ma Ke: Q + A

Style of China's first lady Peng Liyuan

A: I met Peng some ten years ago. She was performing in Guangzhou and was interviewed by a TV journalist who happened to know me. She has been wearing Exception for several years by then and was impressed with my designs. So she asked the journalist to meet with me.

I don’t have to pick a client, my clothes do that. There is a Chinese saying, “one is the same as his own painting and own writing(?)” and people who have things in common will be attracted to the same things. Designing is honest work. Whatever it is that the designer puts into work, the clothes will show. Whether it’s a craving for fame and money or love for humankind, it shows clearly.

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Designs by Ma Ke

Q: How are Peng’s outfits different from the usual romantic style? What’s the message behind it? What are the most outstanding features? How do you say “first lady” in design?

A: It’s my first time designing for someone specially. This to me means answering the clients’ needs while staying true to a designer’s values. I wasn’t thinking about “first lady” when I designed her outfit. To me, it’s much more important to show how a modern Chinese woman looks: she should be a matured independent spirit, have strong will power, plenty of love and wisdom.

Q: What have you yourself done for Peng’s outfits? Do you collaborate?

A: I design all her outfits. We have a small team at Wu Yong, so I asked people with Exception’s production team to assist.

Q: When were you asked to design for her visit? What’s your reaction? How’s your relationship with Peng? Was there any pressure?

A: It was about three months ago (that received the assignment). We’ve known each other for years. I know she’s into my designs so the decision wasn’t too much of a surprise. It’s my first time designing for someone special in my 21-year career. It’s a new challenge. Our relationship has remained the same. Peng is very, very kind and cordial, very easy to get along with. She respects my work so there’s no pressure. She cares for and personally works for the environment and public welfare. That’s why she identifies with my designing concept, which is all natural, hand-made and environment-friendly. I hope the clothes can wake people up to protecting the environment, making the mountains green, sky blue, and water pure.


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