Get to Know Faye Tsui, Social Media Maven and Stylist
Faye Tsui has styled for some of the biggest luxury brands, from Tiffany and Co. and Calvin Klein to Burberry, Qeelin, Harvey Nichols and Olay. However enviable her career looks on Instagram now, the born and raised Hongkonger says her life wasn't always as glamorous. After working as a personal assistant to Lan Kwai Fong mogul Allan Zeman in 2005, Tsui changed gears from a possible career in computing (we’re not kidding) to an acclaimed career in fashion.
Read all about her daily routine, mistakes she made early in her career and her advice to those looking to follow in her footsteps.
Where did you study and what was your first job?
I spent my last two years of high school in Perth in Australia, which is where I also attended university. I graduated with a degree in information technology. After graduation, I came back to Hong Kong and worked as a personal assistant to Allan Zeman for a year, which inspired me to make fashion my career. I was determined to be a professional stylist so I moved to London for a summer to attend a fashion styling and marketing course at Central Saint Martins, where I got to interact with the elite of the fashion industry.
How did you make your start in the digital world?
After I moved back from London, I had worked as a stylist for a couple of years when an online media platform approached me to write a blog for them. I never thought about sharing my personal tips on social media. But that sparked my interest. I began with #OOTD [outfit of the day] looks, which eventually led to my own blog.
How did you get into styling?
I was really struggling with IT then, and realised it wasn’t something I wanted to do as a career, so when I got back from London, I decided fashion styling was where my true passion lay.
Take us into your world. What does a typical work day look like?
I am an early bird: I wake up early and do my hair and make-up. I usually pick a shoot location ahead of time and create content with my photographer in the afternoon. I also try to attend fashion and beauty events in between, if time permits.
For your followers that don't get to see behind the scenes, what is one thing that you wish they knew about how your content is created?
My job might look fancy and easy to some people, but I really hope they understand how much time and effort I spend planning my shoots.
What are some of your favourite campaigns you’ve worked on?
It would have to be the Tiffany & Co campaign I shot with [singer] Sammi Cheng—a perennial icon in the Canto-pop scene. I was the art director for that campaign and guided the whole shoot. It's by far my favourite project from my fashion career.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their career as a digital creator or stylist?
Be passionate and determined. Focus on what you love as it's the ultimate key to success.
What were some early career mistakes you made and how did you learn from them?
When I was new to the industry, I worked with brands that didn't really fit with who I was as a person. Now, I have learnt to be true to who I am and only do things that fit my personal image.
How do you deal with internet trolls?
All they want is for you to be upset, so just ignore them and don't give them the pleasure.
What are you hilariously bad at?
Believe it or not, I am terrible at any kind of outdoor sport [laughs]
What is your favourite childhood memory?
A family trip to Hawaii when I was nine. We went on a whale-watching tour.
What is a common misconception about you?
People who don't know me might think I am stand-offish based on my photos, but I am actually cheerful and funny in real life.
If a movie was made of your life, which actress would you want to play you and why?
Kristen Stewart. I love her style and I think we are similar in that people perceive us as unfriendly because we don't smile in our photos.
What's next for you?
I have a few collaborations with fashion and beauty brands coming up and I am also guest styling for artists in a singing contest. Stay tuned!