Multi-Hyphenate Fashion Creative Margaret Zhang Talks To Us About Her DKNY Story
We're pretty sure you've heard of multi-hyphenate digital fashion influencer Margaret Zhang. This young talented Aussie creative has taken the world by storm with her photography and directing skills, writing, and styling. She is also the newest face of a local retail giant in Manila, which comes as no surprise, as Margaret embodies what the new generation of fashionistas should be—creative, smart, and not afraid to stand out and have their own voice. Here, she shares with us her thoughts on New York City, and DKNY's latest fragrance.
What does DKNY mean to you?
DKNY has always been a part of that New York "Big Apple” quintessence in my mind.
What you think of when you’ve never been to NY before:
How would you describe the DKNY Stories fragrance in three words?
True New Yorker.
For DKNY Stories, how was the experience being in front of the camera when you are often times behind the camera?
I have always appreciated seeing the story from both sides. Understanding the elements that constitute the finished product helps you to improve your role in the process. Modelling made me a better photographer and vice versa. The same can be said for motion.
What is your favorite scent memory?
About a year and a half ago I went to beautiful town of Grasse in the south of France, where some of the world’s best noses for fragrance reside and train and create their masterpieces. Hearing from a master perfumer about the way he interacts with his sense of smell and how it shapes his world view and storytelling through scene, was one of the most inspiring interactions of my creative career, and I have definitely applied so many of the principles he stands by in creating his art in my art.
What is your favorite beauty trend?
At the moment, rusty red eyeshadow and glossy eyelids (separately—though perhaps I should try them together).
You work and travel a lot, what are your go-to beauty tricks to looking fresh?
As much as it terrifies fellow passengers, I religiously wear sheet masks on flights and down liters of water to minimize dehydration. I start every day with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and some cayenne pepper in warm water. I travel with my breakfast porridge mix (chia, hemp and sunflower seeds, LSA, psyllium husk) that I soak overnight in almond soy milk, to maintain consistency—given that all health starts with the gut. I’m a vegetarian, and stick to steamed foods where possible.
As a photographer, director, stylist, writer and model, you must have many stories to share. What is the story that makes you the proudest?
The year and a half it took me to create my short film, [There’s No Space Left in C# Minor],
As a multi-talented and creative woman, what is your favorite way to tell your story?
Film is the ultimate medium for me: it’s the ultimate intersection of my skills, studies and passions in image-making, story-telling, music, motion, performance art, fashion and writing.
What brought you to New York?
My career. As much as Sydney is paradise on Earth, a 24-30 hour commute every time I needed to go to work was less than ideal. As well as being such a hub for creative innovation, New York is also a central base for me to be able to work in LA, Europe, and Asia.
What are some of your favorite things to do in New York?
I really love training with my Muay Thai trainer in Washington Square Park or under a bridge on East River (it’s very "Rocky”), and riding the subway up to 61st Street for Kung Fu training with my si jie at Gotham Martial Arts. Once a week, I walk to Chinatown for my groceries, and cook dumplings for friends at my apartment in Greenwich Village. Building routine around a busy, freelance creative life that can be quite nebulous and unstructured really helps me focus and bookend my days.
Everyone has a story, a New York experience. What is the greatest thing this city has taught you or showed you?
This city can really bleed you dry emotionally and financially, if you’re not smart, and super self-aware. Ironically, in pushing you to your limits in your professional life, personal life and sense of self, New York really forces you to crystallize exactly what it is you’re pursuing, what it is that you truly value in people and your work, and makes you cut out whatever is unnecessary. If you allow yourself to confront those things, you come out the other end so much happier, calmer and more determined amidst the noise and clutter. If not, the city can swallow you whole. As such, you’re either a New York person, or you’re not at all.
Photos courtesy of DKNY Fragrance and Estee Lauder Companies