A Beautiful Theory

A Beautiful Theory Jessica Harkiewicz Theory Opposite House 31

She’s a fan of The Opposite House. A Taiwanese, Polish, Irish mix born in Taipei, Jessica has lived in Germany, South Korea, England, Hong Kong, LA, Boston, and Shanghai. She first came to Shanghai in 2003 as an intern at a luxury hotel. In 2009, she became the main PR for Theory. I asked her a few questions about style and living in China.

Jessica Harkiewicz是个汉族,波兰,爱尔兰的混血。她在台北出生,在 德国,韩国,英国,香港,美国,上海都生活过。她是时尚品牌Theory在中国的公关。她2003年来到上海,现在经常来北京出差。

NF: You are a Hong Konger living in the Mainland. Can you name one thing that is better about living here (in comparison to HK) and one thing that is worse?
JH: I’m not sure if I would consider myself completely a “Hong Konger” as I grew up in seven countries and Hong Kong just happened to be where I spent the most time. But when it comes to comparing Hong Kong and China, I enjoy the excitement and unpredictability of living in China – it can be a bit raw at times, but it’s definitely an adventure. I feel lucky to be able to participate in a community that is evolving so quickly you can almost feel the changes happening around you. I have never experienced that in any other city in which I lived before. The one thing I prefer about Hong Kong is the beauty of the city and how convenient it is to get away and be in nature. I love seeing tropical birds flying around and the trees, mountains and waters of Hong Kong. It is so easy to be in the hustle and bustle of Central, then 10 minutes later be able to walk along some path that leads up to the peak and not see a soul.

NF: You switched from hotels to fashion. In what ways is your life more glamorous now?
JH: I get to travel a lot more now that I am working in fashion, there are a few more parties that I get to attend to, and I have more opportunities to dress up and play with clothing and accessories.

NF: There must be some unique challenges you face in marketing to mainland Chinese. What is some advice you might give to other foreigner brands trying to develop here?
JH: As a foreigner working for a foreign brand it can be very easy to live in a little bubble and avoid speaking Chinese, but it is very important to immerse yourself as much as possible in the local Chinese culture and language and to explore cities beyond Beijing and Shanghai to really understand the needs, dreams and lifestyle of the Chinese consumer.

NF: Do Beijing and Shanghai fashion customers have any obvious differences in the way they dress, consumer, or think?
JH: Shanghaiers seem a little more fashion forward and tend to dress up more, while Beijinger’s seem to intellectualize their fashion choices, but I haven’t spend enough time in Beijing to really compare the two.

NF: Any style advice for Beijing girls?
JH: Don’t be afraid to mix and match and don’t worry about looking to your friends for approval. Start with a foundation of timeless investment pieces that are versatile and easy to wear made of good fabrics and that feel really good when worn. Then each season add a few trend pieces or accessories to freshen up your look to stay fashion forward. Be confidant in what you’re wearing and everyone will notice. Create your worn style identity, that is what is so fun about fashion!

NF: What are your favorite hotels, restaurants, bars, galleries, etc. in Beijing?
JH: I haven’t had many opportunities to explore Beijing in the past but hopefully that will change with our Theory flagship opening in The Village at Sanlitun this May. I did love the rooms at the Opposite House though which are so light, airy and spacious you feel like you’re in a little oasis.

NF:说一个在大陆让你开心的事情和一个让你更烦的事情?
JH: 大陆很热闹-每天都是个冒险。我觉得很荣幸能参与一个 变化怎么快的国家。以前都没有怎么兴奋过。 只有一点是在大陆城市生活好像离大自然特别远。在这方面香港好很多。

NF: 你从酒店行业转到时尚. 你的生活现在比以前更有魅力在哪些方面?
JH: 现在我出差比以前多,也有很多party,还有更多机会玩服装和配饰。

NF:做推广在中国是个独特的挑战. 你有什么建议给其他的外国牌子想在这里发展?
JH:作为一个外国人在时尚行业很容易生活在一个很小的裙子里,避免讲中文和体会到除了北 京和上海以外的城市。我得了解中国的文化和语言还有其他的城市如果要把握中国客户群的生活习惯和梦想。

NF:北京跟上海的时尚客户群有哪些明显的区别在穿着,思想,品味?
JH: 我觉得上海人更喜欢打扮也喜欢追求潮流,但北京人可能会从知识分子的角度来面对时 尚。

NF: 能不能给北京的女孩几个建议关于style?
JH:不要怕混搭也不要担心你朋友会不会赞成你的选择。首先要买一些质量好,面料好的可以每年穿的“投资”产品。然后每个季节可以加一些潮流的服装或 者配件。主要是自信-还要创造 你自己独特的“时尚身份”。

NF: 你在北京最喜欢哪几个酒店,餐厅,酒吧,画廊,等等?
JH: 我还没来得及真的去了解北京但我希望我们新店在三里屯开了以后我会有更多的机会。我比较喜欢住瑜舍 酒店。

A Beautiful Theory Jessica Harkiewicz Theory Opposite House 211

The belt is by a South African design based near Boston.
皮带是个在美国波士顿生活的南非独立设计师做的

A Beautiful Theory Jessica Harkiewicz Theory Opposite House 23

The watch is from Cartier which she got seven years ago, while the platinum chain is from her mother’s necklace which she stole to wear as a bracelet, and the silver and gold pink topaz bracelet is from John Hardy who is a New York jewelery designer who’s workshop is in Bali.
手表是Cartier. 白金链子原来是母亲的项链的。

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