Interviewed by Kim Kieun
from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Please introduce the brand “motoguo” for our readers. What does the brand name represent?
motoguo is an eponymous label that challenges peculiarity in the most romantic, cynical, and ingenious manner since 2015. “Moto” is my nickname, “Guo” is my family name.
How did you start the brand?
In 2013, I achieved a remarkable reputation and few orders from international buyers following my graduation collection. In this context, I realized my potential for the fashion market, and slowly decided to run my label. After working with a few independent brands from Malaysia, I launched my own fashion label in 2015 with Jay Ang, who has been my business partner ever since.
What message do you want to deliver through motoguo?
motoguo is constantly pushing the boundaries of gender, fashion, and fluidity, in order to tell people that there should always be a space for anyone in between. Our work is also a reminiscent of our childhood, immersed in whimsicality and playfulness, topped with a sparkle of cynicism.
You mentioned the gender topic, which is obvious through the lookbook, and it is also translated in the general mood of the brand. Can you describe more about it?
We always find it interesting to explore how male elements look on the female body and how female elements respond to the male body, as there are always new possibilities to be discovered.
The men depicted in your collection seem relaxed wearing women’s wear. Actually, some images are quite confusing due to the gender of the model.
During the early stages of our work as fashion designers, we were known as a men’s wear label, but this came about when we thought it would be fun to portray “female” elements on male models. Along the way, it somehow sparked new possibilities for us to further explore the antagonism between female and male elements, and it has become our core ever since.
What life experience generated the colorful and various shapes of the garments?
Our life experience can seem quite grim when you read about it, but we try to portray it visually as fun and nostalgic as possible, with slight hints of dark overtones.
What characteristics does motoguo have, that can be different from other brands?
Vivid, quaint, imperfect.
What was the most sensitive part of preparing your brand for the first time?
Not being able to be as impressive and emotional as I wanted it to be.
What do you see, feel, and experience in Malaysia?
I see diversity, I feel genuineness, I experience accomplishment.
What are you interested in these days?
Horror comic, or surreal comic or illustration such as Jim Woodring’s Frank, or Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus.
What is your plan for 2019?
Stabilize my company and business structure so that I am able to spend more time with my family and my puppy.