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April 19 2014

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Masha Ma’s Got The Right Type

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Masha Ma

If you were to pin a picture on fashion’s new global face, it might well be the Beijing-born, London- and Paris-trained designer Masha Ma. A much-noted rising star and 2013 ANDAM finalist, Ma creates an aesthetic that combines “Parisian silhouette with American colors and London detail.” As for her Chinese influences, she says, “That’s what comes from the inside.” No wonder Ma is booming in China and steadily building her business in Europe, with a little help from her friends, including artist Neville Brody and Nadia Swarovski.

Picking up on an art installation they did together a few years back, Brody developed a special Masha Ma font for Spring ’14. He transformed letters into organic patterns that Ma used on a signature white dress, for example, or as details on more practically minded daywear. “It’s a way of showing that luxury is not only the fabrics, it’s the thoughts behind it,” explains Ma. A couple of other cases in point: a dress that looks like embossed leather, but is actually laser-cut, foil-covered lace, and a textured jacket whose fringe is made of cassette tape (“we found it on eBay. It’s actually really expensive”). Thanks to Swarovski’s ongoing support, Ma will be on stage again next month at Runway Rocks in Shanghai. In fact, that partnership has been so successful that Ma is set to launch a jewelry collection with the company next spring. “It won’t be too shiny. I wanted to do something subtle,” she said.

Photos: Courtesy of Masha Ma

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