Peter Xu is a Chinese fashion blogger and stylist. He also works for Cosmopolitan and Elle Men. Peter Xu’s style inspires people from all over the world and attracts different brands for collaborations.
This year, Xu visited BaselWorld for the first time, which is why I got the unique opportunity to interview him. The day we met, he was wearing a very typical look – colorful, outstanding, with sporty sneakers and a backpack but nevertheless chic in a blazer and a bow tie. And to complete the look he was wearing sunglasses – his signature feature and favourite accessory.
Why did you start blogging?
I am a curious guy. Curious people are very enthusiatic and passionate about life, and I love to share my interests – I started my radio programme when I was still in High School. I talked about shows and trends. Blogging didn’t really go big in China, and social media was something brand new. I was very interested in fashion and at that time, the fashion market expanded and had many followers. Brands like Vans, Nike and Reebook approached me already in the beginning of blogging. They even brought me to the skateboarding events in Sidney, which was my first ever trip abroad. That time, fashion for me was all about streetstyle and my own experience, so I blogged about it and shared it. More and more brands approached me, and I gradually started to write about lifestyle and got invited to Bordeaux to attend a ready-to-wear fashion show for men. I was also in the entertainement industry because of the way I dressed myself. I liked Hip Hop style and brands got interested because not so many people are doing this. People who are influental wanted to work with me and I tried to cooperate well, and out of this an international connection arised. All in all, it was a really long process until now, as I am here to promote watches and jewelry.
For me, blogging is a business. I need to make sure that I help a brand grow. After college, my first job was in the marketing department of L’Oreal Paris. Because of this experience, I know what my client needs and how to make it work. I think that’s why I sometimes work together with brands more efficient than other bloggers who never have been into the system of a company like that. But I have these insights, which is probably why these collaborations work so well.
What’s your must have piece for this Spring / Summer?
Jeans. Fashionable jeans like the cowboy jeans Chanel presented in its Pre-fall show in Dallas. I am not talking about basic jeans, but about really sophisticated, coutourish jeans or jean accessories. I especially like the combination of bomber jackets to jeans.
My second must-have piece is fur, not only in Spring / Summer but especially in Autumn / Winter. It’s not just Fendi, even Dior who never showed any fur presented some pieces this time. Also Roberto Cavalli, Louis Vuitton and all the other brands are pushing fur. I am aware that, from an environmental and ethic perspective, fur is not supportable. Peta would complain about it. Sometimes designers use faux fur, but fashionwise, fur is such a huge trend that everybody should pay attention to.
I also love jungle elements, like Givenchy, Kenzo, Valentino or Dolce & Gabbana showed it.
You often wear sunglasses. Why is that?
One reason are my eyes – asian guys have small eyes. But mainly, when you are wearing sunglasses, your world changes. You put them on and you are cooler, you have the attitude, you have the persona. For me, a look is only complete with sunglasses. I must wear sunglasses, I make them match with my shoes or with other accessories. It is something you can play with. I know so many great designers of sunglasses like Linda Farrow, and I have more than 300 pairs of sunglasses. Sunglasses make you different, but it’s not made for everyone. Some people do not wear sunglasses because of the shape of their face or because of their personality.
I read that you love nature. Does nature inspire you for fashion?
It could be. But it’s more like fashion sometimes bores me, so I go into nature, to explore it. I am a traveller, I travel around the world, it’s a lifestyle. Particularly now, as China is heavily polluted, I just want to go abroad and experience more of nature. For me, it’s like detox.
How would you describe your style?
I have a variety of styles. Right now, I am a bit like a dandy, this is my conservative look. My style has a lot to do with color, without color, my life is dead. My style is always mixed, I like to try out all kind of styles. As long as I think it looks cool, I will try it out. Maybe it’s not my style, but I think I can fit into a lot of styles. It also depends on the age. At different ages, you would probably fit into different styles. But I think I am still young and I will be until 60 or 80, because you can be forever young in your heart.
Who inspires you the most in fashion?
Karl Lagerfeld. I interviewed him once and he is supernice. He totally lives in his own world. If he likes you, he can be very supportive. If he doesn’t like you, you can never really approach him. But in general, he is very supportive when it comes to young people. He is young at heart, he is open minded, and he doesn’t give a shit about anyone. He always does his own thing. He is a genius, and he is extremely hard working. He is over 80 years old but still parties until 2 AM. He never stopped trying, even now, he is designing luxury hotels. He does many collaborations and seasons per year, Chanel has approximately 8 seasons per year because of all the Pre Collections all the Resort Collections. In addition to that, he has his own label and designs for Fendi. He always does multiple project at a time. I can never imagine myself doing that much in that age, he is unbelievable.
That’s why he inspires me. It’s not just from a fashion angle, it’s even more from a career angle. Fashion business is tough, and you always have to give your best.
Another inspiration is Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons). Her collections are insane, she is definitely my favorite designer.
What are your goals for the future?
I have my own company, and I want it to increase. I want to have more opportunities to collaborate with big brands on a global scale, not just in China. I want to publish my own book and have my own TV talkshow about fashion, maybe something like „China’s next topmodel“. I would be very happy to host it or be a judge.
I need to work together more with celebrities in China. I sometimes do their styling, but I want to collaborate more because Chinese celebrities are super influental. Even Brian Boy can’t be compared to one of those top celebrities in China or Korea. But I think that globally, bloggers are more influental than celebrities because people from all over the world look into their content to have fashion sense.
Read the German version of this article here.
Pictures: Tim Marti