With a passion for traditional craftsmanship and modern 3D technology, Tina Ma is a recently graduated Singaporean Women and Menswear designer based in New York City.

In Spring 2021, Tina Ma graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fashion Design and a minor in French Studies. In 2020, she was selected as a finalist for the CFDA Design Scholar Award for her project, Ophelia.

Tina Ma’s latest collection, titled “Phenotypic Plasticity”, explores the mergence between the celebrated Chinese traditional craft of paper cutting through virtual fashion design.

Phenotypic Plasticity is a phenomenon that involves the change in the appearance of an organism due to environmental stimuli without any alteration in its genes. Our exterior environment and experiences shape our identity and therefore our mode of expression, which for everyone, to an extent, is fashion.

The self, to every individual, is complex. It is a phenomenon that is metaphysical when explored by the subject themselves. In her case, the most objective method was to follow the sequence of events that led to the development of Tina to truly understand the self.

Looking through traces of Tina’s experiences from images of her growing up, art and writings she’s produced, and places and cultures she stems from, the one motif that she found to be the most fascinating is the similarity and contrast between her and her family. It is uncanny how members of her family approach the visual arts and are fearless when it comes to the variety of craftsmanship explored.

The traditional Chinese paper cuttings by her great-great-grandmother are a significant reminder of that. With this collection, Tina looked at the specific hundred-year-old paper cut-outs as a symbol of her inheritance and integrated them into her practice, whether through traditional pattern-making or 3D design.