From folding origami to pass time at her mom’s Chinese restaurant in Australia, to starting her eponymous clothing label, Lisa Qu was on a pure-play academic path until her parents gave her the thumbs up to pursue a career in fashion. That is, so long as she was able to get admitted into a storied design school. With Lisa’s minimal formal arts training, her parents figured this was a tall enough order. That Christmas Eve, Lisa gets the news that she’s been admitted to Parsons. You know, that design school that counts Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs among its alumni.
Since that fateful Christmas Eve, Lisa Qu has launched her namesake fashion label, tallied a quarter million dollars in revenue in her first year in business, and been named Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Art & Style. Lisa’s first generation Chinese Australian, and has spent the past few years in New York City, where she is making waves with designs that combine Eastern tailoring techniques with Western silhouettes.
In this episode, Lisa talks about what she wishes she had known before starting her own fashion label, how leaning into humility has helped her propel her career, and the power she’s found in wielding silence during tough conversations.
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