From party friends to pioneering business owners, Mavis Zhou and Wilfrid Chan bring artisanal Asian luxury design to the comfort of your own home with ‘Living In Design’. Founded by successful female entrepreneur Mavis Zhou together with Wilfrid Chan, this international duo combines their strengths and differences, blending an artistic background with the industry know-how; resulting in a perfect match.
In pursuit of her dream to study at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, Mavis moved to the UK and after nearly ten years later she calls it her second home. “I really wanted to come to the UK and follow the footsteps of the late Alexander McQueen. I fell in love when I experienced the lifestyle. You can be whoever you want to be, and people are ok with that, in fact, they applaud it.” Mavis held a paintbrush before she could walk and with the helping hand of her dad, a respected oil painter, she found herself surrounded by artists that frequented her home. “Most kids spent their summer holidays playing whilst I sat inside painting. I really appreciate my dad, he never criticized my technique and taught me how to think like an artist.”
"I really wanted to come to the UK and follow the footsteps of the late Alexander McQueen. I fell in love when I experienced the lifestyle. You can be whoever you want to be, and people are ok with that, in fact, they applaud it."
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, Wilfrid Chan grew up in a family of lawyers. Not long after graduating from the world-renowned London Business School, he secured a job at an investment firm, yet felt like there was more to life. “I was stuck in the finance world and wasn’t sure which direction I was heading in. One thing was certain, I wanted to start something on my own. Growing up in Hong Kong I learnt to foster an appreciation for both Western and Chinese culture and I was looking for something that fits precisely into this background. When Mavis and I started bouncing ideas off each other everything just fell into place.”
Living in Design is not the first business venture Mavis challenged herself with, at the age of 22 she started the Instagram-famous cat-cafe, London Cat Village, in the bustling heart of Shoreditch, featuring in many high profile travel KOL pages and blogs.
"Growing up in Hong Kong I learnt to foster an appreciation for both Western and Chinese culture and I was looking for something that fits precisely into this background."
“I couldn’t have started Living In Design, without this experience. It taught me so much, from how to be a good leader, to the importance of self-care.” After selling her enterprise at a significant profit, Mavis swapped out her furry friends for furniture and together with Wilfrid, launched the Asian luxury design platform, Living In Design, connecting Asian furniture designers with the Western market in August of 2020.
Living In Design brings Asian artisanal craftsmanship along with the strong stories engraved within their designs to Western world. “China is just our first stop. Our idea is to bring the rich culture and history of Asia to the UK. Eventually we will to move on to Japan, Thailand, India etc. and create a complete Asian designer platform, that goes beyond borders. We focus on how to blend these cultural values and historical references into modern-day design and in doing so, giving the artists the recognition they deserve.”
The design platform fills the gap in the market for Asian design. They give a voice to the under-appreciated artists who offer something different from what is currently available in the Western market. “We focus on the artist which is what distinguishes us from other designer platforms. We sell the inspiration and story behind the design and not just something that looks aesthetically pleasing. With Living In Design, we focus on the demands of our designers. Every design carries a strong cultural value with a story to tell. This allows our customers to travel through the designs of our craftsmen.”
Living In Design currently represents furniture designers, XiangJing Chen, named one of Asia’s top ten designers, Zi Zhu, Qiang Zeng and Frank Chou, who have previously seen their work featured in Forbes, Vogue, Tatler, ELLE and many more. Their work will be available for purchase online on www.livingindesign.com
and can be viewed on @livingindesign.official
. Take the leap and explore the exotic world of Living In Design.
"We focus on the artist which is what distinguishes us from other designer platforms. We sell the inspiration and story behind the design and not just something that looks aesthetically pleasing."
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