FASHION STYLIST AND CREATIVE CONSULTANT
Born in Beijing, where she studied fashion design at Raffles International School of Design, Leaf Greener was the Senior Fashion Editor at Self Magazine and ELLE China. Today, Leaf is based in Shanghai where, as well as making films about fashion, she works as a freelance stylist, creative consultant and art director. She has collaborated with world-renowned photographers and has curated the looks of numerous celebrities. Leaf's distinctive personal style has made her a contemporary fashion icon, leading to dedicated features in prestigious publications, including Madame Figaro, Elle USA, The Telegraph, New York Magazine and Vogue, not to mention regular appearances on the most authoritative street-style blogs such as thesartorialist.com, thecoveteur.com and garancedoré.fr. In 2013, she was named among the BoF 500 fashion influencers, while this year she won the Lycra Mover of Style Award. To celebrate Chinese New Year, Leaf has created three different looks for three different styles. In an exclusive shoot for yoox.com, she gives us her personal twist on the themes of traditional Chinese lacquer red, neo-Sixties style and unconventional knitwear.
How did you become so passionate about fashion?
My family loves fashion and all things beautiful. Inevitably, I was influenced by them. Even as a young girl, I loved watching documentaries about the great designers like Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren and Chanel. One day, I told my father that I dreamt of becoming the person who steps onto the catwalk and takes a bow at the end of a fashion show… in other words, that I wanted to be a designer. So I attended the Fine Arts School, which is affiliated with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and then went on to study Fashion Design at university. After graduating, I was lucky enough to get work straight away as a stylist, and I knew I'd found my calling.
You are often photographed for your own personal style. Do you think that street-style influences fashion in Asia?
My personal style is simple and intuitive: I adapt it to my mood each day and like to take a playful approach to clothes. Fashion draws heavily on what real people in the street are wearing, which is how ready-to-wear trends are born and where the biggest and best designers find inspiration, both in Asia and around the world.
How does the Asian aesthetic relate to contemporary fashion?
I think that Western and Asian tastes are very different, almost contradictory even. Asians seek the golden ratio, while Westerners celebrate individuality. Still today, I believe that references to Asian style are few and far between in Western fashion. Asian designers' sensibilities are reflected in their creations, even if they do not necessarily include traditional elements.
Tell us about your project for yoox.com.
I did a shoot with three different themes, all of which I really like.
The first is related to Chinese New Year: this is an occasion on which we love to wear red, specifically Chinese lacquer red. The second theme is the sixties Zeitgeist: often revisited by designers, it was a very positive decade synonymous with freedom, love and democracy. The third theme is knitwear: I'm pretty much obsessed with anything knitted, and I never have enough of it!
What is your most memorable New Year?
Each New Year is memorable in its own way because I spend it with my family in Beijing. This year, I might go to New York for Fashion Week… sometimes both events overlap, leaving me with a difficult decision to make!
What are your New Year's resolutions?
To treat myself to a trip to Morocco.
What is your favorite period in terms of fashion?
The 60s and 70s: I love the music and films that were made during this period, especially the neorealism of cinematic masterpieces such as Antonioni's La Notte. And then there's the 90s with its minimalism and deconstructivism, and the work of designers such as Jil Sander, Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang and Yohji Yamamoto.
Do you have an idol?
I really admire Diana Vreeland: she taught me that in the fashion world, which can appear so glamorous, you still need a great deal of knowledge and passion. For people like her, I think style is in some ways a window to the soul.
yoox.com, established in 2000, is the world’s leading online lifestyle store for fashion, design and art. Shopping on yoox.com is all about discovery - an eclectic and playful journey beyond fashion's strict seasonal rules - allowing men and women to express their individuality through timeless and creative style.