Designer to Watch: Moto Guo

The Creative Artists Foundation sits down with the first Malaysian fashion designer to be nominated for the LVMH Prize who’s headed for greatness.

Moto Guo

Since the LVMH Prize launched in 2013, it has quickly become one of the most coveted awards in fashion around the world. With €300,000 and mentoring from respected industry figures at the LVMH group, the stakes are high.

One of the best things it has done for the global fashion industry is open up the prize to designers of all country’s, in particular those that do not have a lot of government support or industry competitions and grants for designers. Past winners have come from the usual fashion hubs of France, America, the UK and Italy, it’s also supported designers and graduates from India, Iran and Nigeria. It’s perhaps even more life changing for these designers.

Malaysian designer Moto Guo was shortlisted for this year’s prize, a stamp of approval that has given him one of the best starts in the industry possible. We speak to the up and coming designer about the prize that “means everything” to him and why globalization has helped his career in a frontier market like Malaysia.

What has been your journey in fashion so far?

I have been in the industry for almost five years; everything has been so far so good. I am proud to say that we have had quite a number of achievements so far in just over one year of running the label. There’s no formula or method, you have to basically work hard to achieve what you want and where you want to be, but most importantly, always be ready and positive!

What made you want to be a fashion designer?

I was born with a passion towards art, and fashion is something that had been quietly developing in my mind since I was young. The moment I decided to stop my first career as a musician, I enrolled into fashion without much thought.

You describe your work as ‘wacky yet dexterous’, how does that manifest in your designs?

It has always been manifested through the unique texture manipulations in our work, the rarer the better, the weirder the happier. Other than that, the second factor would be the theme, story and art direction of each collection that also makes a wonderful effort in creating the ideal atmosphere.

Moto Guo FW16

What do you consider to be your proudest accomplishment to date?

It would definitely be being shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize 2016 Third Edition.

What does it mean to you to be nominated for the LVMH Prize?

It means everything, literally EVERYTHING!

What do you think makes you stand out in your field?

Being positive and genuine. My work is mostly based on my life experiences, every single piece conveys a story or a situation, though the majority are from the tough times of my journey. But I am happy and proud that I managed to sway away my depression and present the beautiful pieces eventually.

Do you feel it is harder to get noticed by the international fashion industry as a Malaysian designer?

Honestly, yes but I would consider myself very lucky to be born in this century. We get to enjoy the advanced technology, and with that, I reached out to many wonderful platforms and opportunities. I always believe in one thing; it merely depends on how badly you want it. I will always find my way.

Moto Guo FW16

Do you feel Malaysia supports its emerging designers?

The support is on the way!

What advice would you give to other designers applying for competitions like the LVMH Prize?

Change your mindset, get prepped and just submit your work and portfolio to whichever platforms you can approach, not to mention LVMH. You will get there one day.

What are your goals for your brand?

We certainly know that we have tons of goals to achieve, let us surprise you guys with what we are going to do next!

Interview: Olivia Pinnock

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