Writer / Editor
Susanna Lau, also known as Susie Bubble, is a writer and editor living and working in London. Lau started her blog "Style Bubble" in March 2006. It consists of her widely read thoughts, personal experiences and observations on fashion with a focus on spotlighting young and unknown talent. Lau was editor of "Dazed Digital", the website of Dazed & Confused magazine, from 2008-2010. Lau now works full-time on her blog and other freelance projects, including writing for Elle, The Daily Rubbish and Dazed Digital.
Susie Bubble, also known as Susie Lau, is a fashion blogger who ventures to various places, finds young, undiscovered talent, and transmits this information to the world through her blog, “Style Bubble“. She is a Hong Kong-er born in London, and her unique sensitivity that mixes the Western and Asian worlds immediately captivated women with a high sense of fashion. The way she dresses has been referred to as “Susie-style”, and she is also attracting attention in Japan as a fashion icon. We interviewed Susie Lau, blogger as well as editor of “Dazed & Confused magazine“, who is in Japan, invited by JETRO for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO, regarding her thoughts on Japanese fashion, Tokyo culture, and Fashion Week.
How did you feel when your visit to Japan was decided?
Susie: I was very happy with this invitation by JETRO. I was heavily inspired during my previous trip to Japan in May, and I was really looking forward to this trip as well. We do not get much information about Japanese Fashion Week in the world, particularly in Europe. However, everyone is curious about it, and when I told an acquaintance who is a fashion journalist that lives abroad that I was going to Japan, she immediately e-mailed me back “let me know what it was like.” A lot of information in Japan is not transmitted abroad, so I hope to transmit my experiences in Japan using my blog.
You said that you visited Japan in May, which was immediately after the earthquake—were you not scared?
Susie: I was extremely shocked by the earthquake, and felt many things such as anger and loneliness. To be honest, I was scared when I saw images of damage being inflicted on such a scale, and I was worried about my friends living in Japan. I really couldn’t believe what was happening, but I still wanted to go visit Japan.
You saw a few shows during the Fashion Week. Are there any brands that were particularly memorable to you, or brands that you’ve got your eye on?
Susie: Jenny Fax was really interesting, as it incorporated Japanese culture – school girl fashion – and American prom very well. It was interesting how it was cute, yet mixed in various cultures. I knew about Né-net,SOMARTA, CHRISTIAN DADA from before, so I was really looking forward to them. I’m looking forward to both the runway and the exhibition. I’m particularly excited about VERSUS TOKYO on the last day, and I think that it’s fabulous that shows that are ordinarily only open to buyers and the press are also open to the general public. I think that the fashion business will become more and more developed if more people can see fashion shows. In particular, I hope that such opportunities will be made available to young teenage fashionistas as much as possible.
Your style is close to that of Jenny Fax, but it also appears to be close to the “vintage fashion” of Shimo-Kitazawa and Koenji of Tokyo. Are you inspired by something?
Susie: I am extremely interested in the “vintage fashion” of Tokyo. On my last visit to Japan, I went to second-hand clothing stores in Koenji and Shibuya. Grimoire in Shibuya is designed as though you’re in a forest, and its products are all unique with a vintage feel. Its products are divided into categories, such as 70s, 80s, 90s, women’s / men’s, Victorian style blouses, etc, and easy to browse, and I thought that the shops in Tokyo were exceptionally good at MD. In second-hand clothing stores in London, products are just all over the place. However, second-hand clothes in Japan are a bit expensive. I also went to CANDY and Sisterin Shibuya. Those are both stores that I would recommend to young European designers as well.
How are you thinking of transmitting the information regarding Fashion Week and the shops that you went to on this visit to Japan on your blog?
Susie: During my visit in May, I posted lots of photos (showing her own blog) and introduced the things that I experienced in Japan. Of course, I want to introduce the things from this visit and show that Japan is doing fine.
Among the people of my generation and fashionistas living in London, Japan is drawing attention as a “country they want to visit”. I’ve received a lot of comments on my blog from fans saying “I wish I could go to Japan too!” and I feel that these comments are helping to promote Japan.
Recently, there has been a lot of attention on fashion bloggers around the world. How do you feel about this?
Susie: I think that it is a good trend. It’s been five years since I started my blog, and I think that it is important that bloggers are not hailed as mere celebrities, but are recognized as journalists. In this way, I hope that blogs can be considered as a medium to transit fashion information, just like magazines and the Internet. Unlike magazines, blogs allow you to express your own thoughts freely. What I am particularly conscious about is to transmit my “experiences.” This is the point that users support. Of course, it is important to post accurate information, but I think users are hoping to see the topics that bloggers cover, what they actually experience, and how they feel about these experiences. Therefore, it is necessary for bloggers to conduct research and designer interviews from their own standpoint as editors. I feel that I am blessed since I am both a freelance journalist and blogger, which allows me to obtain information from many different sources.
Are you interested in transmitting information in ways other than through your blog (holding events and producing products, etc.)?
Susie: I’ve held events in London and New York, but I prefer to be recognized as a blogger or journalist, so I want to focus on what I am doing now. I’m not considering producing products either, since I feel that designing things myself is rude to designers and creators when I write about designs and designers. Right now, I want to concentrate on “writing”.
What is your fashion policy?
Susie: To “Be Yourself” and to “Be Happy”. I don’t want to keep following trends and fashions, and I don’t like focusing on one genre alone or stereotyping myself. I want to enjoy wearing different outfits everyday. Fashion is not supposed to be uptight; it’s supposed to be fun!
Your hair color and facial features are similar to that of a Japanese person, so I think that it would be easy for Japanese girls to use you as a role model.
Susie: When I went to the U.S., I was often mistaken as being Japanese. That must be why I have many Asian followers. When I was walking in Shibuya, someone shouted out “Oh, it’s Susie! She’s so cute!!” and I was extremely surprised. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been featured in magazines, but I’m happy that many Japanese girls check out my blog even though it’s in English.
Do you have any Japanese brand clothing in your closet?
Finally, do you have a message for the fashion-loving youths of Japan?
Susie: Please continue to be inspired by fashion, just as I was inspired by Tokyo. Stay positive, and work hard.