Not Just One Thing | Get to Know Creative Director and Stylist Rachel Ma

Author: Nicole Fung / Photos: Stanley Cheng
12.21 / MB Series

Hong Kong-based Rachel Ma has worked tirelessly to build a niche in the fashion industry for herself, combining her various skills with a love of fashion and continuous desire to keep learning and growing. She's a talented creative director, stylist, and influencer, to name a few of her forays in the industry.

We've partnered with Vans to showcase individuals like Rachel, whose multi-faceted career path makes her "Not Just One Thing." Having lived in both Europe and Hong Kong, she brings a global perspective to her work, while a curiosity for learning new things allows her career to constantly evolve - proving that you don't need to limit yourself to one avenue to succeed.

Check out our conversation with Rachel below!

How do you think having lived both in Europe and Hong Kong has influenced your style?
I have been living in Hong Kong for over 2 years now, and I still walk around the city as if it is my first time. Everything, anything about this city interests me. Having lived in Europe for half of my life and arriving to the city like Hong Kong, I guess I am trying to bring together the best of both worlds. Hong Kong/Asia has the mad resources and techniques, and Europe is more welcoming when it comes to experimenting creative ideas.

As a successful creative director, stylist, and more, what advice do you have for anyone looking to get their start in fashion?
I think fashion is a big word and it’s important to understand what it is in fashion that you want to do. I studied in London College of fashion, but I ended up doing something completely different from what I thought I would be doing. My advice would be to keep your door open for incoming opportunities, keep tasting things, get your hands in all fields and try different creative avenues. You will almost-always surprise yourself.

What’s one of the best things about working in the fashion industry? One of the worst?
The best thing about working in the fashion industry is that it ties with many other different creative outlets, there’s music, choreography, beauty, languages, cinematography, dance, art, graphics. I have gained and learned so much in such a short time. Being able to learn new things by just doing my job is amazing, is luxury, it’s very fortunate. The worse thing about working in the fashion industry would be time, twenty-four hours a day just isn’t enough, and especially when you are working with clients from different continents. Waking up at 4 a.m. to check my phone and reply e-mails or to panic over an unforeseen problem and solving it before the sun rises has become a norm.

As a creative director, stylist, and fashion influencer, your career is “Not Just One Thing.” What’s the best thing about creating your own career with multiple outlets?
The journey, the people and the conversations. My journey so far has trained me to work effectively with my business mind and creative instincts. The people I have kept close to me have been a continuous support and inspiration. The conversations revolve around visions, opinions, goals, and strategies. It doesn’t get better than this.

What’s the key to finding time for each of your pursuits, while also leaving time for yourself?
I am obsessed with working, so for me, the key to balance work and free time is to put the two together. My work is what I enjoy doing all day, everyday. I invite my friends and people I respect into my work, it’s all one thing to me. But of course, there are times I just need to switch off, I pack my bags and spend time (months) on an exotic island and lay on the beach, and I do that, while shooting a campaign most likely.

What’s one of the most memorable collaborations you’ve done? Who else would you love to collaborate with?
Ha! To be announced, you will see it very soon.

Do you have any fashion “rules” you live by?
Yes. Use your iron and believe in tailoring.

What does MISSBISH mean to you? Who is your MISSBISH?
MISSBISH is someone who is empowering, strong and unshaken because she knows her place. My MISSBISH is the best version of myself.