Rex Lee Qi is 23 years old and hails from Malaysia. He is in his second year of Leather Technology at Polimoda. He finds himself paying attention not only to people’s attire but to their bags and shoes as well. To him, small things can tell you a lot about a person.
Rex’s focus is on design and concept development. He chose Polimoda because of its mix of artistic development and industry practices as they are essential in fashion. He plans to build a creative studio in the future, allowing him to explore the depth of his craft and collaborate with various creatives.
What first attracted you to using leather for your designs?
I’d say it was the first time I came across a Loewe Anton bag when I was probably 18. I was fascinated by the shape and the drape which existed in such a beautiful soft-grained leather.
Is there something within your country’s design or fashion culture that you think makes it unique?
As a Malaysian growing up in a multiracial society, we didn’t have to be introduced to diversity. I guess that, in a way, it helped me look at things with a multifaceted approach.
Why do you think leather has consistently remained ‘in style’ while other materials come in and out?
I feel it is the attachment towards leather that we’ve had since the beginning of time which sets its course differently to any other materials.
Who do you think was the most iconic wearer of leather in fashion history?
Celebrities who wore Paco Rabanne in the 60s, like Francoise Hardy and Donyale Luna.
How do you think leather will adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
I believe it is on its way. It started off with good intentions; we have been introduced to vegan leather. The next step could be creating vegan leather without plastics.
Are there any goals, either short or long-term, that you hope to accomplish next?
I will be completing my final year in Polimoda and setting foot in the industry. Always stay true to myself and bring light and love.