5 Minutes With Chinese Designer Guo Pei

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The Yellow Canary dress worn by Rihanna at Met Gala

My previous collections were all for runways and showrooms; their main aim was to bring in monetary revenue. It was the “Magnificent Gold” gown that made me popular, and Rihanna, by wearing, brought international attention to my designs

Who inspired you to embark on your design journey?

When I was young, my grandmother would tell me bedtime stories every night, with tales of how different fabrics felt.

Due to the Cultural Revolution, it was unimaginable for me to think of fabrics as smooth as silk because the clothes we wore were made from coarse cotton. It was unfathomable then how butterflies and flowers could be sewn on such fabrics and be brought to life.

How do you find balance with a hectic schedule?

I personally feel that my various roles [in life] complement each other naturally.

My career and my role as a wife as well as mother are just like Yin and Yang — harmonious and always in balance.

I don’t find it a necessity to choose between either, because that means I would have to give up on the other.


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