Michelle Lu is the Co-founder of one of our favorite websites, Semaine. Not only do we love her refreshing approach to fashion media, but we are also swooning over her unique personal style (her vintage collection!!). Get a little Monday inspiration from Michelle, here.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Masculine / feminine new classics.
What is your ideal outfit or uniform?
Jeans and a turtleneck. And a pair of my grandmother’s clip-on earrings.
Who are your style icons? What are you influenced by?
My paternal grandmother. More characters from films than people… Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface, Mireille Darc in The Tall Blond Man with a Black Shoe, Sharon Stone in Casino…the list is endless.
Tell us a little bit about Semaine. How did you and your partner come up with the idea for it?
Georgina Harding, my co-founder, and I were both working for photographer Mario Testino at the time. I was his creative producer-in effect bringing to life all of the creative elements of a shoot to bring his vision to reality. Georgina was working at his agency doing work on trend forecasting with clients from around the world. We also worked closely together on all of the research, casting and concepts of the shoot. It was a time that (bear in mind this was about 5-6 years ago) most publications were reluctant to prioritize online media and all were afraid of commercializing through e-commerce. We thought why can’t they be equally weighted? Why can’t you shop all the content you see and not just the fashion, but the travel, the vitamins the furniture…everything. That was the origin of the idea and we decided to bet on video content as the best way to capture our community. And on the other side, the influencer economy didn’t quite exist yet, but we thought why don’t we bet on the power of all of these trailblazers in the industry, who we call Tastemakers, and centre the weeks around them? We also chose film as our way to really encapsulate the brand and put the Tastemaker front and centre in the film even if they were never usually on that side of the camera. The concept became a Tastemaker a week with every bit of content shoppable. The concept is still the same.
Tell us a little bit about your career path. Did you start in media?
I actually studied art history and economics at university. My first internship was at Christie’s Auction House and then a friend asked if I would consider interning at American Vogue. That was my first introduction to both the fashion world and media. I then worked as an art director at Lipman, a boutique advertising agency in New York. David Lipman, the owner and creative director, was a true visionary always pushing the boundaries with his campaigns. I met Mario Testino when I was still working at Lipman, so when I had to move to London for personal reasons, David kindly reconnected us to see if there were any positions available. I began working for Mario as an art director, but soon transitioned to being his creative producer and travelling alongside him for over three years. They were the most formative years of my professional career…seeing the world and industry through his eyes. Nothing was unachievable and no place too far for him. I learned everything from him.
Who or what are you excited about in fashion and media right now?
We try as much as we can to support independent brands that are really trailblazing the way they approach the creation and manufacturing of their products. And in most cases the products are so strong the communication comes hand in hand as brands become media. One brand we’ve actually featured on Semaine and continue to work with is called EVERYBODY. They have turned the idea of designer on its head-having anyone from a chess player they met in a park, to a child design an item. Everything is made thoughtfully and pushing the boundaries of how it can be done. Check out their latest collection made from retired towels and sheets from the Ace Hotel … it’s genius.
What is the most valued thing in your closet?
Any of my vintage pieces from my grandmother and mother. Chinese robes and dresses, her scarves and clip-on earrings, my mother’s clothes that she used to make for herself.
What is most important to you when it comes to style: comfort, beauty or innovation?
Beauty, with comfort as a close second!