Cover Fu & Mengzy (Photo: Aisha Causing/Tatler Hong Kong)

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Tatler turned to creative couples in Hong Kong to talk about their relationships, jobs and how those aspects interplay with their style. In the first of this three-part series, we spoke to Fu and Mengzy, two DJs well versed in the underground club scene

Fu and Mengzy aren’t your average couple—despite having dated for years, the mononymous DJs are famously lowkey about their relationship. For the first time, they’ve decided to talk about how they met, how their styles have changed since, supporting each other in their careers, and why it’s so important to own multiple pairs of trainers.  
 
How long have you two been together?
 
Mengzy (M): Well, we count it from the month we first met, because it was a gradual thing for us to become official. It’s been four years this month.
 
Fu (F): I congratulated her this morning, being with me for that length of time.
 
When did you first meet?
 
M: We met at XXX Gallery (an underground club in Tai Kok Tsui). I was just starting to go there a lot to embed myself in the underground scene.
 
F: I think it was a dubstep night, organised by a group called Ecstatic Bass. Goth-Trad and Joe Nice were there.
 
M: I was with a friend, and I bumped into Fu. He started talking to me, and I was like, “whatever”. I thought he was 17 or 18 from the way he was dressed. He asked if I had Facebook, which I thought was a lame line, but we ended up talking on Messenger and hanging out. I hardcore friendzoned him [at the time], and then he stopped trying to ask me out, but after a while I realised that I liked him.
 
Do you remember what you were wearing that night?
 
F: Can I try and guess for Mengzy? It was that green jacket with the tiger on the back.
 
M: Yeah exactly. I bought that jacket at a thrift store in Tokyo. I love masculine pieces, and I wore it with a short dress underneath. It’s oversized, and I was trying to look cool that night, but it’s something I would have worn anyways.

See more: Couple Style Files: Ollie & Gemma

What’s it like both being DJs?
 
M: We only work together on the night we organise, Wonton Bass, with our friends Jack (Lovely) and Henry (Enry). Fu specialises in hip hop, drum and bass, vinyl and turntables, whereas I’m solely digital. There’s no competition between us at all because we occupy different genres.
 
F: It’s something we share together.

M: And it works for our lifestyle—we come home between 5-9am. Even if I’m not DJing, I go out to support other people’s events and check out other sets. We understand it’s part of the career, so we just go out without each other.
 
F: Yeah, one night you’ll come home at four in the morning, and the next night it’ll be me.
 
M: We don’t have to explain anything.
 
How much does DJ culture influence your style?
 
F: I’ve never really thought about my style in the context of music. I’ve been dressing like this since I was 16, it’s a uniform. Music is so intrenched in UK culture, so fashion and music go hand in hand. Even though I play hip-hop, I never took on American styles at all, like basketball trainers. I’m still very much in the UK sphere.
 
M: I’m not influenced by a particular genre per se, but the way I dress has changed a lot because of DJ culture has a whole. What I wear now is so different from what I wore in my early 20s. I used to be in 5-inch heels and mini dresses—fast forward to now and comfort is the number one priority for me, as I’m standing for 6 or 7 hours.
 
This is more for practicality, but if I’m playing a long set and I need to run to the bathroom, I can’t be struggling with a dress—I need something quick to undo. So baggy silhouettes are nice, and so are comfortable fabrics. I love being able to wear trainers all the time too.
 
Do you change your look depending on the night you’re playing?
 
F: No. [laughs]
 
M: If he’s doing a corporate function, he just wears a T-shirt that’s slightly newer.
 
F: I’ve got new ones with the tags still on in my closet just in case I need a fresh T-shirt.
 
M: I’ll change my look, and I’ll picture myself wearing that outfit in the venue. If I think, “you look like an idiot”, then I’ll change, because an outfit for a swanky club won’t be the same as for a grimy, underground club space. You need to wear something that matches the mood of the music—to me, anyways.
 
F: One thing I’ll do change is the trainers I’m wearing, depending on the venue. If it’s grimy, I’ll wear black trainers. If it’s a bit nicer, I’ll wear white ones.
 
M: I made that mistake once and Fu was really upset. He’d bought me a pair of white trainers as a gift. I was so excited about them but I went out with them, and they were totally scuffed up afterwards. Now I stick to black shoes for hectic club nights.

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Have your styles developed since being together?
 
F: Mengzy’s style has gotten a lot better since we started dating. We went through her wardrobe together once to clean it up. I looked at her clothes and was like, “I never even seen half of these things, you’ve never worn any of it!”
 
M: I totally agree. My problem was that I only bought statement pieces. Everything was for like, a wedding, but how many weddings do you really attend? Now I’ve stocked up on loads of basics, and I look more polished overall.
 
F: I have the opposite problem though, and if she’s making me attend a special occasion, I don’t have anything to wear.
 
Where do you like to shop?

F: Carhartt. Uniqlo too. It’s plain, there aren’t 100 pockets and it’s not overdone. I prefer things that are clean. The last time we did a big shop was in London, and to be honest, I prefer stuff from the UK because the choices of colours aren’t great in Hong Kong. People ask me all the time, “where did you get those trainers”, because they haven’t seen that colourway here.
 
M: Fu is friends with this guy down at Foot Locker in Tuen Mun. They bonded over grime and critiqued every pair of trainers in the store.
 
F: Every now and again I’ll send him photos of releases in the UK that I like.
 
M: The two best things about shopping in the UK are that the fit of clothing there is better suited to my body, and I can get girl style trainers in my size. Here, I can only buy men’s trainers because my feet are so big.

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Trainers are a key component of your styles—what are your favourite pair(s)?
 
M: I really like these silver Air Max 97’s, they go with everything.
 
F: I like Air Max 1’s, and I’m a fan of Prestos but they’re hard to get them now.
 
M: I don’t like Prestos, I think they’re so ugly. The shape screams “dad shoe” to me. That’s another thing about DJ and hip-hop culture that I didn’t know about—the obsession with trainers. Before, shoes were about getting from A to B. They were an afterthought. I remember Fu was saying how dirty my trainers were. Now when I come home from a day out, I’ll immediately clean my shoes with a cotton disc.
 
F: Before Mengzy met me, she only had one pair of trainers. It’s all about having an option with shoes so you don’t wear them out too quickly. Even with the watches I wear, I always buy the same model, but in different colours so I can mix and match them with details on my jackets.
 
M: He’s very easy to buy gifts for.
 
What are your top tips for keeping shoes fresh?
 
F: You’ve got to know what you’re doing for the day. If there’s any drinking or nightclubs involved, just don’t wear white trainers. Check the weather too—in the summer it rains a lot, and you don’t want your white laces soaking up all the “ground juices”. It also depends on the material of the shoes and how easy they are to clean.
 
Anyway, going back to those shoes I got for Mengzy, I told her, “Don’t wear them anywhere that anyone is drinking”.  When she came back, they were black, and mind you they were brand new, so I was like “what happened!” She said she went to Oma, and I couldn’t believe she wore those shoes there.
 
M: I didn’t plan on going there! It just happened.
 
F: I said we’d try get them off with soap and water, but I wasn’t sure how well it would work. Mengzy did some research and found something about using baking soda. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, but we tried it, and it pulled all the dye from this little red suede bit near the toe.
 
M: We didn’t realise at first though, so when we checked the shoes the next morning, the red had bled through the rest of the shoe. But to answer the question, use water, a bit of soap and a cotton disc. And operate ASAP so the stain can’t set.
 
F: But the best way to keep trainers clean is: Don’t wear them in a situation where they’ll get dirty.

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