Founder, Basics for Basics; LGBT advocate
Kayla Wong founded ethical clothing label Basics for Basics three years ago with the goal of driving free-trade and sustainability in the Asian fashion industry.
The Hongkonger graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles around six years ago, then came back to the city and started working as a marketing coordinator.
“The working environment wasn’t something that I was particularly fond of, so I decided to start my own thing,” she says. “I did a lot of research and realized the dark side of the fashion industry — and wanted to do something to change that.
Wong says the greatest challenge she faces with running Basics to Basics is in “educating people about the topic” — though there have been moments of triumph along the way. “There always seems to be a glimmer of hope when someone who tell me how much they love wearing our tees or how they really believe in the brand,” she explains. “These little moments always stick with me.”
Wong is also actively involved in LGBT advocacy in Hong Kong. “I started getting involved when I came out to the public about five years ago.” She believes, however, that there is still a long way to go until Hong Kong achieves marriage equality. “While there is a lot of great work and talk happening for the LGBT community, there are still people who are trying bring us down and the government hasn’t been the most supportive.”
She is using her passion in photography to shed more light on the topic. “I started a photo series around the topic of intimacy between LGBT couples, and it is something that I would like to continue working on,” she says.
Her first job? An internship at fashion house Christian Dior.
What inspires her? “People’s stories.”
See the full list of The Loop HK’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2019.