"I always have in mind a woman who has a strong character, but also a lot of emotion and sensitivity, and who can share the two qualities. She can be completely involved with contemporary life, while at the same time she manages to keep her own spirit."
Fibre2fashion : For how many years you have been in the fashion industry? What is your opinion about the fashion industry?
The Barbara Bui label was launched in 1987 with my first runway fashion show in Paris and the opening of the first Barbara Bui boutique. The fashion industry is growing rapidly and there is room for some innovation. At the same time, I feel that being in this industry one has to be open to frequent changes.
Fibre2fashion : You were born in the fashion capital, Paris. Did this help you to grow into a talented designer?
I was born in Paris but the most important fact is that I am of mixed origin with both western and Asian heritage. My designs are always imbued with openness towards different world cultures. My mixed heritage is a part of my identity, my work and my brand DNA, encouraging me to be curious.
Fibre2fashion : What do you believe is the most challenging part for you and your design team?
The most difficult part of the work is the start, the doubt and the blank page. It is difficult to explain to people around me what is still only indistinct in my mind. When the designs take shape, the process of creation becomes more assured and my team moves in the same direction as me.
Fibre2fashion : What are the principles you follow in designing clothing?
I always have in mind a woman who has a strong character, but also a lot of emotion and sensitivity, and who can share the two. She can be completely involved with contemporary life, while she manages to keep her own spirit.
Fibre2fashion : You have even used a parrot print. What inspired that?
Animals have always been a part of my creative world. I fell in love with this bird while searching for inspiration.
Fibre2fashion : Which colours do you believe suggest elegance, romance and fun?
Black. It is so versatile, it can be deep, elegant and sexy. It is a colour that will never be a has-been. Black is my personal favourite. It has been in a lot of my shows and collections for a long time.
Fibre2fashion : Are you planning any new entrepreneurial ideas?
We need to focus and consolidate what we already have.
Fibre2fashion : What tips would you give to our readers to prevent becoming fashion victims?
A woman should always have a good pair of stretch jeans or trousers in her closet, because they can be mixed with everything. When I design, I keep in mind that it does not get out of fashion soon and it sustains. I am not in favour of fashion that is taken up and then tossed aside. I like things that last.
Fibre2fashion : A lot of research and inspiration from various sources goes into design. What inspires you?
When I began designing, fashion was at the height of power dressing. That was the time when women felt that they had to act and dress more like men to be taken seriously at the workplace. I found that idea not just absurd but even offensive, and it was my response. This continues to inspire my designs, and I am adamant on the point that a woman should never choose between her masculine and feminine qualities, but should revel in her duality.