Blue Carreon, Hong Kong fashion journalist, on his new book and furnishings line
The Hong Kong-based fashion journalist recently released his first book, featuring interviews with industry heavyweights such as Diane von Furstenberg and Tommy Hilfiger. He also recently founded his own line of furnishings.
"My career started in the Philippines at Tatler, where I worked my way up from assistant before landing at Hong Kong Tatler. I started when the internet was in its early stages and at that time you had to rely on newspapers and magazines for news and access to the industry. These days everything is in real-time. We are all so plugged in and we get the news as soon as it happens.
What drew me to fashion journalism was the access it gave me to leading personalities that I only used to read about. This ultimately became a life-long pursuit and shaped my book.
I had been writing a column for the Huffington Post for five years and I felt like I had a good roster of people that would make for an interesting book. The challenge was getting everyone to sign off on the book and images. As these were very important people, I had to go through many levels of approval.
My favourite interviews are with people who really opened up and surprised me with their answers. People such as Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Inès de la Fressange and Diane von Furstenberg. The questions in the book range from everyday rituals such as what you do as soon as you wake up to things that are more philosophical and introspective such as the legacy one wants to leave behind.
I also studied interior design but buried my knowledge because I became so involved with fashion. When I had to renovate and decorate my own home, it reignited my passion. Having been exposed to many different leading interior designers through my column and my book, I felt like I had gained enough savoir-faire to launch a home line and a store.
Fashion and interior design are intertwined - each informs the other. You have fashion designers looking to architecture and interiors for their collections and you have designers looking at the patterns and prints of, say, Dries Van Noten, as a starting point for the rooms they design. Plus, there are so many fashion designers with home lines such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, ToryBurch and Oscar de la Renta, and their home furnishings are natural extensions of their fashion aesthetics. It seemed like a natural step for me to explore the home furnishings business.
Every day for me is a challenge because I went into [the business] blindly with no retail experience. I am always learning something new. Being an entrepreneur has its own set of challenges, including responsibility to one's employees. I have people who are financially dependent on me and that is terrifying. You are accountable for what you put out there so it better be the best that you can possibly do.
I live between New York and Hong Kong. We do business in New York, that's why I spend a good amount of time there, but my base is Hong Kong, although we have a Blue Carreon Home store in Manila. New York is a lot more receptive to young creatives, more open to unknown names who are trying to make it in the business. Hong Kong is getting there. I love the interplay of the East and the West in Hong Kong which informs a lot of what I do creatively."
As told to Divia Harilela