Historically, Hong Kong’s strong fashion manufacturing roots meant emerging local designers took a back seat to global brands and fast fashion but, in the last decade an increasing number of creative entrepreneurs have launched brands that are bringing a whole new perspective to the local fashion scene.
Leading the way with her feminine dresses and chic separates is Cheryl Leung of Sau Lee. Leung, who was born in New York, takes inspiration from the rich, multicultural heritage of Hong Kong to create a label that is beloved for its somehow simultaneous demure and sexy designs, that has seen her designs worn by fashion girls in New York, London and LA.
Lucky for us, there’s a whole lot more to want now that Cheryl has opened her own showroom and store in PMQ.
Here’s she talks to PAKT about style icons, fashion rules and dream collaborators.
1) Describe your style in 3 words
Feminine, refined, sexy.
2) What’s the most precious item in your wardrobe and why?
The first sample I created. I wore it to my cousins wedding back in 2014 before I started the brand and the feedback I received gave me the confidence to launch SAU LEE.
3) What’s your go to outfit?
A flattering dress with a simple sandal.
4) Favourite piece you bought recently and why?
The YSL hobo bag because it is on trend yet classic, and goes with everything. It is the perfect accessory for this Fall Winter.
5) What is the best fashion advice you have received?
The best fashion advice I ever received was to always trust my instincts and eye. This advice came from a designer who encouraged me to start SAU LEE and I have taken it with me every step of the way.
6) Who are your style icons?
Bianca Jagger — forever a staple on my mood boards especially for the Fall Winter and party capsules. Her style is cool, sexy and sophisticated all at once.
Zendaya — a favourite of mine ever since she stepped onto the Jimmy Fallon show in an all pistachio-coloured ensemble. She is consistently bold and effortlessly cool.
7) What’s your personal style signifier and why.
I would initially think dress, but possibly shoes. I love to style my dresses with a really standout pair of heels for special occasions.
8) Less or more?
Less in quantity but more in quality.
9) If you could have anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be and why?
Hailey Bieber’s. She has a great range from amazing dresses and accessories, to easy sundresses and everyday basics.
10) If you were an item of clothing what would you be?
Probably a dress!
11) Where do you love to shop?
I love Net-a-Porter for my splurges on accessories and Revolve for my day-to-day pieces, but my go to shopping destination is probably Instagram! I love discovering new brands and shopping from smaller more niche brands I find online.
12) What is a must have clothing item everyone must own?
A go to dress. Something you can throw on for any occasion that you know you will always feel great in.
13) If a museum asked you to donate one item from your wardrobe that represented you what would it be?
The Sharon dress from my collection — it is a champagne sequin Cheong Sam inspired mini dress with a mandarin collar and frog buttons. It’s one of my favourites!
14) What will we never find in your wardrobe?
15) What’s your number one fashion rule?
Wear something you feel confident in.
16) What is your dream project?
I am a total shoe girl and I would love to launch a shoe collection one day.
17) Dream collaborator?
18) Top 3 accounts to follow on social media
BOF — to keep up with industry news
Law Roach — for inspiration on style and outfits
Raylan the Dog — a rescue dog that fosters kittens and always puts a smile on my face!
19) Favourite fashion apps?
20) Where were the last three places you travelled to and what are the can’t miss shops?
The last three places I travelled to were Phuket, Singapore, and London. I don’t have specific shops but I love going to Notting Hill when I’m in London and discovering all the boutiques, coffee shops, and market stalls in the neighbourhood.