As his womenswear collaboration with QVC launches online, Drapers speaks to fashion favourite and TV star Gok Wan to find out more.
Gok Wan became a household name in the early 2000s with his hit TV show How to Look Good Naked. Now, he is turning his hand to design and has launched a womenswear collaboration with QVC for autumn 19. The Wuli:Luu collection – the name derives from “My love” in Chinese – features 17 classic items including coats, tailoring and dresses and launched online on 1 October. Prices range from £30 for a satin camisole top to £95 for a coat.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I smile first thing in the morning for around 30 seconds, and it really sets me up for the day.
Wuli luu (4)
What was your first job?
It depends what you mean when you say first job. My first unpaid job was working in the family business in Leicester in our Chinese restaurant. I was basically a self-appointed waiter and loved the showmanship of it all. I had worked out that if I was really nice to all of our customers, I would usually get a tip! I think that’s where my entrepreneurial streak started.
How would you describe the collection in one sentence?
Chic and accessible. The collection is effortless with great attention to body shape and detail.
What’s your coffee (or tea) order?
I will usually have a latte first thing in the morning, followed by a few more coffees throughout the day to keep me going, but I am also very partial to a good strong builders’ tea.
Where are your favourite place to shop?
If I am clothes shopping for myself, I will often use Asos for convenience, but I prefer to shop in person on the high street. I’ll often go to Cos or AllSaints.
Last fashion purchase? Why did it catch your eye?
It was a gorgeous Issey Miyake kimono coat, which I use a lot for presenting and for awards ceremonies. It just stood out from the rest and I knew it would get a lot of use!
Emails or phone calls?
Phone calls all the way. I am definitely a talker.
Most important lesson you’ve learned during your career?
To take risks. I am often a victim of my own insecurities and at times, that can hold me back. But, taking risks allows me to feel creatively free.
What would be your ideal office/meeting space?
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
I love being able to imagine a design, see it on paper, and then the best part is seeing it come to life when we first try it on our models – it’s worth the wait.
What’s the last book you read?
If I’m honest, I don’t read. I find it very hard to concentrate and, because of my heavy work diary, I’m often so tired I fall asleep before I’ve finished the first paragraph.
My last holiday was to Paris, but I also worked in Poland this year and tagged on a few days. I adore city breaks, so both places were perfect for some fun and exploration. And who doesn’t love Paris?
Who in the fashion/retail industry inspires you?
It’s hard to put one name down, but I am genuinely inspired by so many of the fashion personalities and designers of the moment. I admire and was a big fan of Lee Alexander McQueen in particular: he was a true creative genius.
What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion today?
I think I would have to say it’s sustainability, and the culture of wearing things only once or twice. We have a huge problem with old clothing going to landfill and I hope to see more steps made to combat this.
One piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry, everything will work out better than you can possibly imagine.
Who do you turn to when you need advice?
I am lucky enough to have a great network of friends and family that I turn to when I need some advice. Sometimes I’ll ask my sister, a close friend or my team around me.
What would we find you doing at the weekend?
At the moment, working bloody hard. I am currently doing a live stage show tour called “One Size Fits All”. But I am often DJ-ing in clubs up and down the country or I love to spend time with my friends and dog, Dolly, whenever I can.
What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?
I can’t wait to see the public’s reaction to my new Wuli: Luu clothing range, and the launch of the new TV series of How To Look Good Naked [set to air in 2020].