You all loved my last designer profile, so I thought I’d share another with you today! 🙂 I would love to introduce you to fashion designer Shery of Syra J. I was recently introduced to her myself and oh my goodness… her designs are what dreams are made of! They are fun and bold with an array of gorgeous colors and unique details while also being whimsical and feminine with flattering silhouettes and romantic fabrics!
As someone who has wanted to be fashion designer from a young age, I find it so inspiring to read about how others have successfully achieved their dreams. We all have such a unique story to tell and I think it’s so important to share that. Just from looking at Shery’s designs, I knew that we had a lot similarities aesthetic-wise but reading through the answers to her questions made me realize that we have even more in common personally! We both value fashion, art, vintage and design and have a strong urge to empower women through our craft.
I’m sure many of you know this but my degree is actually in art with an emphasis on figure drawing and sculpture. When I first saw her designs, it reminded me of just that! It’s something a true artist would do. While the designs are very soft and feminine, they are equally bold, daring and even innovative with sculptural sleeves and unexpected details. I’m wearing one of my favorite designs from her newest collection and I’ve never seen anything quite like it! It showcases floral embroidery that resembles a gorgeous china pattern, circular cut outs placed in unique spots, a partially open back and exaggerated tulip sleeves (my favorite). In my opinion, it’s the epitome of the perfect spring dress and I’m swooning over everything in this collection!
Today, I’m so happy to introduce you to the designer herself with a Q & A along with a sneak peek of her Autumn/Winter collection! I hope you enjoy this interview with Syra J.
DESIGNER PROFILE: INTERVIEW WITH SYRA J.
Introduction – tell us about yourself and your background:
I am from Hong Kong. I went to high school and University in North America; I minored in fashion design in university. It was always my dream to work in fashion. I’ve actually never worked in any field unrelated to fashion! I once worked as an intern to a fashion photographer, freelancing in the realm of fashion media and editorials before joining my family business. My family ran a garment trading business and from there, I learnt more about production and trading.
What made you want to be a designer?
I was inspired by my mother. My mother always had her clothes tailor-made. She often brought me along whenever she went shopping for fabrics and met with her tailors. Even at a young age, I was always quick to give her my opinion on fabrics and styling, and she noticed my interest in fashion. She then let me use her tailors to manifest clothes of my own designs. Moving forward, I also began to dress my sisters, cousins and friends: I used to spend days hand embroidering, beading and painting clothes for them.
Is this something you always want to do?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer, but I also knew that there was a lot to learn before reaching the goal.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a designer?
Before launching Syra J., I spent many years working as a freelance designer for US and Japanese brands. I used to fly abroad every second month to work with head designers and their teams. This experience taught me how to build a complete collection – to explore manufacturing techniques and to tie everything together from beginning to end; it also taught me to pursue perfection, to choose the beautiful fabrics in good quality, the best patterns, and to consider all the in-depth details for my clothes.
How has your brand evolved since you began?
I started to design clothes that I liked for friends to test their reaction. Seeing that other women felt emboldened by my designs, I was encouraged to continue to expand my brand and spread empowerment through fashion. Syra J. has been actively participating in shows and events locally and internationally. As of yet, Syra J.’s showroom is officially based in London, aiming to reach farther into the international market.
Where do you find inspiration for your beautiful designs?
On top of fashion, I adore art and any type of creative design: interior design, furniture, architecture etc. I love visiting Art shows and vintage stores. I’m always observing the world around me – every little thing keeps me inspired.
What has been your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment?
When you are doing something you love, something you are passionate about, every moment feels like a dream. The feeling of “ I can’t believe I get to wake up and do this” applies to both good days and bad days (hahaha..)
Maybe one of my most surreal experiences with Syra J. was the creation of an art-piece project. I created an entire gown made of thousands of ancient Chinese coins which we hand- tied one by one… not only was this the finale showpiece, I had to make sure the gown was wearable. Designing the placement of each single coin to create an elegant, sophisticated, stunning look– that took a year of work to finish! And when I finally saw it on the runway….
Can you give us a peek what a typical day is like?
In the morning, while I am enjoying my coffee, I read the news, catch up on personal messages and emails. Then I get dressed and packed to head to the office.
My office schedule is usually back-to-back meetings with my production team, art design team and technicians from our workshop. Oftentimes I stay behind in the office to work on my designs until late at night. I’m a night-owl; the tranquil night time is actually my most treasured time during the day! There are so many things I enjoy doing during this quiet time. I sometimes read, surf the internet, watch some Netflix, sketch…
What’s next for you?
To keep building Syra J. 🙂
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?
I’ve never even considered this question as I’ve honestly always just wanted to be a designer. I do love dancing – perhaps I might have wanted to be a dancer, or a photographer, where I could travel around the world to capture the beauty of the world and its people.
Is there any advice you can offer aspiring designers?
Chase your dreams, but be ready for all the challenges in addition to your creativity.
Words to live by:
Be humble and caring. True beauty is derived from both internal charm and external attraction.
I am so grateful for the interview with all the adventurous, interesting questions! With all my love, wishing you a beautiful, pinkish year ahead!
Here is a look at Syra J.’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection!
You are among the first to see 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Syra J.! Thank you so much to the designer for taking the time to chat with us. Personally, I think her story is so inspiring and I loved learning more about the woman behind these stunning wearable works of art!
Which of these designs is your favorite? I’m in LOVE with the dress I’m wearing but also that navy floral coat – *swoon* <3