Raised in Hong Kong and now residing in Los Angeles California, blogger of My Belonging, Tommy Lei has made a living out of expressing his unique fashion style, recent travels and life on social media. We spoke with Tommy exclusively:
What made you decide to launch your blog mybelonging.com
There is no real impetus behind MYBELONGING, at least not in the beginning when I purchased on the domain on impulse. You could say it was out of boredom. Or the many precursors preceding it: My Xanga, LiveJournal and MySpace days. I saw writing as a way to express my deepest passions and, sometimes, secrets. MYBELONGING gradually became an exercise in self-expression and it still is. I want my readers to know that my journey is a personal yet universal one in living life on your own terms and to the fullest. Style is a strong and major component of that in mine.
In essence, MYBELONGING is an ever-evolving novel of curated lifestyle and sartorial experiences. It’s a conversation starter that evokes intrigue and fascination.
Describe a regular day?
As a textbook Cancer I crave regularity and stability. My career path with MYBELONGING as a creative multi-hyphenate and freelance brand/image consultant has brought me out of that comfort zone. There are days when I spend countless hours behind the computer just dedicated to content creation, photography editing and production deadlines for projects, right before heading out to an intimate dinner or event (you won’t find me at after parties, I’ve aged out of that since I was 22). And then there are days spent on back to back trips through different continents. Recently I embarked on quite the adventure in Costa Rica with Andaz Papagayo, so I went from being on the laptop to an intense 12-course zip line in a matter of hours. To answer your question, there is no day-to-day schedule.
How would you sum up your fashion style?
I dress based on my mood, an instinctual feeling. I never follow trends nor would I pick up a magazine for how-to “inspiration”. Sometimes, I feel feminine. Sometimes, I feel masculine. But I know it’s always going to be me.
What is luxury to you?
Luxury is an undefinable measure of personal, intimate space. It’s that surging rush you get in a spur of the moment rendezvous, whether it’s that corner booth you occupy at your favorite coffee shop or waking up to a scenic ocean views outside your hotel balcony or enjoying a 13 multi-course meal at a 3 Michelin star restaurant with only 10 tables. To me, the ultimate form of luxury is a sacred kind of intimacy.
What artists are you currently inspired by?
I've inspired by fearlessness, the Frida Kahlos, Yayoi Kusamas and Michele Lamys of the world.
Where is your all-time favourite travel destination and why?
Of all the trips I've taken over the past few years (and there's been a plethora), my mind incessantly reverts back to Mexico City. It's a sprawling metropolis that reminds me so much of Los Angeles, a second home, but with a real sense of magic and majesty. Contrary to what the mainstream Western media may portray, Mexico City is far removed from the violence associated with the cartels. It's an ancient city with many modern amenities. I feel simultaneously inspired and overwhelmed when I step into the city; the sheer richness of its history is evident in every brick, every tile and every cobblestone.
Where to next?
Back to Mexico City.