In the second installment of “Meet the Male Bloggers”, I spoke to Joey Ma, the writer behind Individuality, whose sense of style juxtaposes extremism and orderly chaos. Originally hailing from Hong Kong, he spent eight years in the United States studying Economics. He is also currently occupied with guest-blogging for Diane Pernet’s ASVOF and WonderMode.
In this interview, Joey reveals that he is the complete opposite of his flamboyant appearance and that a certain someone would punch him if they meet in real life.
When did you begin your experimentation with fashion?
Joey: Most of the clothes I wear were designed for men, but the kind that most would never want to be seen in. I gradually started to get into the androgynous style six years ago. Back then I often paired American Apparel leggings with loose tops to attain the 80’s vibe; and now, countless men are wearing leggings with shorts – and that makes me really happy. Being into punk-rock music at that time inspired my “unisex” style as well.
Could you talk a little more about your style and inspirations for your out-of-the-world outfits?
J: The only word that I could think of to describe my style is “individualism”, which is similar to the title of my blog. I don’t think I belong anywhere in this world, but I adapt to the cultures wherever I am.
I get my inspirations mostly from people watching on the streets. I am interested in what they are wearing as well as their interactions with other people. What someone is wearing could be completely opposite from his/her personality. Also, I really enjoy looking at paintings: especially Picasso’s, whose works are very inspirational to me. He is my favorite artist of all time.
People always think I am flamboyant or a drama queen from the way I dress. However, that could not be further from the truth. I am reserved and afraid of meeting new people for fear of not knowing what to say to them.
Who are your favourite designers?
J: My favorite designers are Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens, Raf Simons, and Ziad Ghanem. If I can only choose to wear one designer only, I would choose Vivienne Westwood. Because from head to toe, accessories to bags, I can always find something that I like from Vivienne Westwood. Her whole punk-rock, 3D structures, bold use of colors is simply amazing.
What has been the most memorable response to your outfits?
J: The most memorable reaction to my extreme outfits would be someone leaving a comment on my blog saying he would punch me so hard if he ever sees me in real life. However, it did not affect me at all. I am who I am and nothing will stop me from doing what I do. If you feel offended by the way I dress, it is your problem; not mine. I am not doing anything to hurt anybody, and at the end of the day, they are simply clothes.
How did you discover the works of non-mainstream designers/brands which you sport so often in your outfits, notably Ziad Ghanem?
I found them mostly through the internet and friends. I am really grateful to know many talented artists from all over the world who constantly posts interesting blogs and articles where I can get information about these amazing under-the-radar brands.
I found Ziad Ghanem through my Taiwanese friend when he posted an article about Ziad back in 2009 on Facebook. Immediately after reading the article, I contacted Ziad about purchasing his clothes. And that’s how a great friendship began. I used to be a very passive person, but now I believe that if you really want something, you should go for it. If I didn’t send Ziad an email, I probably will never get the chance to go to his show and wear his amazing clothes.
- Gracia Ventus