Toy designer, collector, sneaker guy: quirky men’s style tips from Hong Kong artist Michael Lau
His style, he says, is ‘similar to how I like my artwork to be – cool with a sense of humour and quirkiness’; Lau pairs mass-market tops and pants with sneakers, always white, set off by colourful socks and a vintage watch from his collection
Based in a studio in Kwun Tong, artist Michael Lau is known for his illustrations and toy sculptures. He has also collaborated with various brands and had his work exhibited at now-gone Parisian boutique Colette.
“I always wear red at the opening reception of my exhibitions because red in Chinese culture means happiness and luck. I also like how it brightens up my look even when I’m actually dead tired before the launch of any exhibitions.
“The watch is a recent acquisition from Christie’s; I love vintage watches because the designs back then had more of a human touch to them. The sneakers are the result of a recent collaboration with Puma as part of their Suede’s 50th anniversary collaboration global project.”
Lau wears a sweater by Loewe, pants by COS, limited edition sneakers by Michael Lau for Puma’s Suede 50th Anniversary, a vintage Audemars Piguet watch, a scarf by Berluti and socks by Tabio.
“I hope my style is similar to how I like my artwork to be – cool with a sense of humour and quirkiness, that has both character and depth.”
Styles Lau wears for leisure
Lau wears a T-shirt by Uniqlo x JW Anderson, pants by COS, sneakers by Nike, a vintage Rolex watch and socks by Tabio.
The soccer ball is a limited edition Off-White x Nike issue for the World Cup.
“This is how I usually dress every day. I only wear white sneakers but with colourful socks because I feel like they are little paintings on my feet and I like how it adds a touch of vibrancy to my otherwise ‘Batman’ or monochromatic uniform. Actually my wife first got me into them. I was reluctant to wear [them] in the beginning but now I could never go back to plain coloured socks!”
“I collect a lot of things and one of them is soccer balls! This is the latest addition to my soccer ball collection – the Off White x Nike limited edition ball for World Cup 2018. I’m a big fan of soccer and boxing and I play regularly.”
Styles Lau wears for travel
Sweater and pants by Fendi, sneakers by Common Projects, watch by XYZ#! designed by Michael Lau, suitcase by Fendi x Rimowa.
“I always believed that if you look deeply enough and observe carefully, anywhere, any place and any person can inspire you. But if I had to pick a place, I’d say Europe definitely has most of my go-to cities for inspiration.”
“A simple knit and drawstring pants give me the comfort and ease I need on a plane. Rimowa is my preferred luggage brand and this one from a collaboration with Fendi makes it even more special. The watch is my own design that actually hasn’t been launched yet – the character is actually me with a little tribute Mickey Mouse.
“The plastic chain bracelet is something I’ve been wearing for 20 years, and is an accessory I made for one of my earlier figurines. It’s incredibly cheap but is invaluable to me.”
On display in Lau’s studio are Boxing shoes by Nike Machomai, boxing gloves by Colette x Body Cross, socks by Puma x Michael Lau, “Worth Cat” figure in red, “Honest” sculpture from his Change series (2018), 50 x 50 x 18cm, made of synthetic resin, and “Thinking” sculpture from the What? We: Want! series (2018), 49 x 23 x 23cm + 13 x 13 x 13cm, made from polyurethane, and cement stand.
“A lot of those collaborations I’ve done over the years took place quite organically and genuinely because people from those brands were either already fans or friends, so there was always a level of mutual respect and understanding where I can create freely, which is an important factor for any project I participate in.
“I’m working on a project with Duddell’s London for October this year and another exhibition and some other collaboration projects with brands that are due for 2019, so stay tuned,” Lau says.