Reo Ma’s clothing frequently evokes feelings of comfort and urbanity, something like a cool autumn breeze on a clean city street. Soft textures and relaxed fits run through many of the collections. The pieces are perfect for quiet weekends lounging about at home, but wouldn’t be out of place at a nightclub or a museum. Sleekness and practicality make up a large portion of Ma’s design output, but he’s also got an adventurous side, with pieces that look more like artworks than functioning parts of a wardrobe.
While most of his collections deal mainly in grayscale—with only occasional appearances of bright reds or yellows—Ma has an uninhibited approach to design, partly evidenced by his versatility in making both menswear and womenswear. Wherever his creativity wants to go, Ma obliges: “I enjoy working in the moment—there’s no right or wrong for me. I work on whatever I love.”
Embracing the Hong Kong creative’s hustle lifestyle, Ma operates on his own schedule: his day typically starts at 5 pm and ends at 6 am. Most of that time is spent in his new studio alongside assistant Hunter Tongin. Situated in an old factory from the ’60s in the New Territories region, the expansive workshop features a room specifically for dyeing and treating fabric, a personal design space with four different sewing machines and a motorcycle parked in one corner, and finally a room where his girlfriend produces music.
Music is a big part of his creative life. When the sound of his girlfriend’s music isn’t drifting through the space, Ma usually has Pink Floyd or Radiohead on repeat. A revolving door of guests includes musician friends as well, who like to drop by to make music and hang out. “We create new stuff here and mess around with ideas all the time,” he says.
马浚傲习惯了香港快节奏又充满创意氛围的生活方式，他有着自己的时间表：通常来说，他从下午 5 点开始起居工作，到早上 6 点结束。大部分的时间，他都是和助手 Hunter Tongin 在他的新工作室里工作。工作室位于新界，是一幢上世纪 60 年代的旧厂房，开阔的工作室内设有一间专用于染色和处理面料的房间，一个摆放着四台不同的缝纫机的个人设计空间，还有一架停放在角落里的摩托车，最后还有一间房给他的女友创作音乐。
对于马浚傲来说，音乐是创作非常重要的一部分。当他女朋友没有在做音乐时，他通常就会循环播放 Pink Floyd 或 Radiohead 的音乐。他的朋友-包括很多音乐家朋友，都喜欢造访这里，一起创作音乐和聊天。“在这里，我们会一起创作新的事物，有各种各样好玩的想法。”他说。
Ma first got into designing clothes while attending boarding school in the UK. “I was making denim pieces during my time there because everyone except me could afford a pair of Dior Homme pants,” he recalls. “So I was creating my own in order to wear something interesting.” He spent nine years in the UK total, studying visual and performing arts in college.
第一次接触服装设计，马浚傲还是在英国的寄宿学校的学生。“我是唯一一个买不起 Dior Homme 裤子的人，我就自己亲手做牛仔裤。因为我想做一些比较有意思的服装来穿。”他回忆道。他一共在英国生活了九年，在大学修读视觉和表演艺术。
His unlikely path into the world of fashion shows in his unorthodox design process. Ma typically starts with a quick, rough sketch that no one else can understand. Once he decides on the direction he’ll take, he chooses a fabric and makes the first prototype. He looks for fabrics with interesting textures, such as his staples of linen, denim, and leather. For the hand-waxed pieces, he even makes his own beeswax—while it creates a thoroughly unique feel, it’s easily damaged, so he recommends not washing them. “I actually never wash my denim,” he laughs. “Some of my denim has gone like ten years without a wash. I turn them inside out to let the sun do his job.” His releases are all limited, with only 30 to 90 pieces available in each run.
马浚傲进入时尚行业更像是误打误撞，这体现在他另类的设计方式上。设计时，他会先快速勾画一幅别人看不懂的草图。一旦他决定好作品方向，他就会开始选择面料，打造第一件样衣。他喜欢用质地比较有趣的面料，如他常用的麻布、牛仔布（单宁）、皮革等。对于手工打蜡的面料，他甚至会自己制作蜂蜡，这样能让面料有非常独特的感觉。但如此一来，衣服也很容易洗坏，所以马浚傲的建议是不要清洗。他笑着说：“我其实从来都不会洗我的牛仔衣。我的一些牛仔服已经穿了快 10 年，但一次也没洗过。我只会把衣服翻过来，在太阳底下晾晒一下。”他的作品都是限量版，每次仅推出 30 至 90 件。
Ma reveals that he only began taking fashion design more seriously after moving back to Hong Kong to be closer to his family. Returning as an adult was a very different experience for him. As a child in Hong Kong, he spent most of his time in and out of hospitals due to a heart condition. But his childhood illness informs a lot of his creative output as a designer today, such as the pieces with inside-out stitching that are inspired by a surgery he underwent at age six. “It left a huge scar on my chest,” he recalls. “Classmates were often afraid of me because of that—I felt like it turned me into a monster.”
Today, instead of hiding scars, he spotlights them. He understands flaws are what makes us unique as humans, and through his unconventional designs, he hopes people can learn to embrace imperfection.
大学毕业后，为了离家人更近，他搬回了香港，然后才开始真正深入服装设计。成年后回到香港，对他来说是非常不同的体验。小时候在香港生活时，因为心脏问题，他经常要出入医院。小时候的那场病对他今天的创作有很大的影响，譬如他的一些采用外露缝线的作品，就是以他 6 岁时的一次手术为灵感设计的。“那次手术在我胸口留下了一道很大的伤疤。”他回忆道，“就因为这道疤痕，我的同学都很怕我——我感觉这让我变成了一个怪物。”
Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li