1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
Hello everyone, I'm Peiyang (Camille) Li! I'm thrilled to have been selected for a Platinum Medal in the MUSE Design Awards. I've been in the fashion industry for over four years now. In my free time, I'm also an astrologer, and much of my design inspiration comes from my clients, drawing from their life experiences.
Additionally, my background is quite diverse. I was born in the central-southern region of China and lived in the southern part of China for 10 years, then went to the United States for middle and high school where I continued my education in New York. I believe it's this rich and diverse background that has allowed me to develop a broad perspective and outlook on things.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
Actually, a significant source of inspiration for my designs comes from the Disney Princess magazines I used to read as a child. These magazines would include stickers in each issue, allowing readers to mix and match outfits for the princesses. I found this to be a fantastic interactive experience that sparked my interest in clothing.
Additionally, I have incredibly supportive parents who have always encouraged and unwaveringly supported my pursuit of my dreams. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
Currently, I'm still a student and it was actually my undergraduate graduation project that helped me understand where my true strengths lie. The project that has earned me this award is, in fact, my undergraduate graduation project. I am currently pursuing my master's degree, specializing in textile design.
Through this experience, I aim to determine my future career path. I'm leaning towards intimate wear or fashion accessories, and if things go well, I may consider a career in fashion as well.
4What does “design” mean to you?
Design, for me, is a form of release, expression and means of communication. I believe that many people today still lead relatively challenging or stifled lives. Often, design can be a powerful force capable of challenging traditions and shape the preferences of the younger generation. So, I see design as a sensory aspect of the human species, existing within all of us.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
My favorite kind of design is the one that is created with care and understanding. However, it goes beyond that and takes into consideration the needs of its target audience. While there are many well-crafted designs out there, some designers may not fully understand their customer base, leading to a relatively closed-off art scene. I don't have a specific favorite style because I believe attitude determines everything.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
For me, a good design not only needs to have a strong sense of purpose or message but it should also establish a conscientious cycle throughout the production chain. From the very beginning, if the entire manufacturing process is positively oriented, I believe that's what makes a design truly excellent.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
My own design style has actually been quite versatile over time but I always ensure that all my projects have a harmonious look. I adapt my style depending on the specific project I'm working on and where my inspiration takes me.
I've experimented with edgier styles and also explored more elegant ones. You could say that if a brand's style is too consistent, customers may become bored, as human nature is inherently curious.
8Tell us about your design process.
In general, if conditions allow, I prefer to have the opportunity for first-hand research because relying solely on images to gather inspiration can be quite limiting. Through on-site research, people can experience the tactile sensations, sounds, and more. So, this is the first and a crucial step.
Additionally, I would explore the possibility of incorporating various fabric techniques. For example, in the project that earned me this award, I added springs to the back of the clothing to create volume and increase thickness.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
I believe there is some influence in my design process but since many people are already working on content related to our country, I prefer to focus more on niche and foreign content.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
This is my first time receiving an international award and I am deeply moved! I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the photographer, Siqi, the makeup artist, Vea, and the model, Xinyi.
Without their dedication and professionalism, I wouldn't be where I am today and this achievement is also a significant milestone in their careers. On a side note, my family couldn't sleep the night they found out I won the award!
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
This project revolves around three key aspects: human nature, culture and common knowledge which propelled me to choose this project, even though it explores a niche topic. Furthermore, my confidence was boosted by a previous feature in an international magazine which motivated me to submit the project for the MUSE Design Awards and give myself another chance to further publicize my design!
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The production process of this project was actually quite short. Initially, I was very focused on the element of sequins because they resemble the texture of fish scales. It wasn't until my teacher introduced me to the technique of sewing springs that my project made significant progress. This was the biggest challenge I faced. When it comes to fashion, it's essential to keep exploring and learning from various sources to stay inspired and innovative.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning this award means a lot to me as it has elevated my platform. I noticed that many of the nominees on various websites are outstanding individuals who have been in the industry for many years. Being nominated while still studying is a significant achievement, and it shows that I have progressed to a higher level. It also allowed me to connect with even more talented individuals.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
I appreciate these three aspects of the fashion industry the most:
- Inclusivity and Support for LGBTQIA+: The fashion industry is relatively friendly and inclusive toward the LGBTQIA+ community, fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated.
- Passion and Dedication: People who love fashion are incredibly dedicated to their craft and remain focused on their work, undeterred by external influences. Their unwavering passion drives them forward.
- Communication Through Design: Fashion allows two individuals with no shared language to express their ideas and communicate through design, which is a remarkable aspect of the industry.
These elements make the fashion industry unique and appealing.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
I believe that the deep-rooted history and the harmonious co-existence of the 56 ethnic groups in China have played a significant role. It is only when there is a sense of inclusivity among all these groups that the potential for exploration and progress can truly be realized.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?
I believe that with the development of virtual currency and virtual fashion, more and more people may prefer to stay at home. The proliferation of virtual projects is making the fashion industry more accessible and many individuals are starting to self-learn fashion design as a result. This shift towards virtual experiences and self-education could reshape the fashion landscape in the future.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
I think it's essential to participate in various activities and learn how to discern the opinions of those around you. Art is a highly subjective field and it's crucial not to be disheartened or give up due to one person's perspective. Learning to be resilient and thick-skinned can be key to succeeding and creating impactful work.
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
I can offer two valuable pieces of advice.
First, spending time watching self-study videos online and practicing consistently can help hone your skills.
Second, gaining insight into the creative processes of outstanding designers can be incredibly educational and inspiring. These steps can be instrumental in your growth as a designer.
19Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My customers come from various industries and have diverse personalities so many of the stories revolve around me showcasing my perspective or how I've been inspired by others ideas.
20What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
For me, success requires inner strength, a certain level of resilience, and the ability to strike a balance between assertiveness and a mature demeanor. Finding this balance can be challenging, as it depends on the specific situation and the individuals involved.
Some people are naturally skilled in navigating the unspoken rules of the workplace, while others may not be. It ultimately depends on the context and the people you're dealing with.
21Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Finally, I sincerely thank MUSE Design Awards for providing this opportunity! It has boosted my confidence in both my career and studies!