In Conversation: Godfrey Gao


Here to add blazing star power to the fashion festivities, Taiwanese model-actor and SK-II Men brand ambassador Godfrey Gao shot to international fame when he was chosen as the first Asian face for luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton, and was last seen making his Hollywood debut as the polymorphous pervert Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We catch up with the always affable and down-to-earth Gao since his appearance on our cover last September.

Godfrey Gao

You appeared on our cover last September. What have you been up to since?

Yes! It was an honour to have worked with [photographer] Leslie Kee, and after I saw his work, I was amazed! During that time I was doing promotions for The Mortal Instruments, and after that, I did a couple of micro-movies in China, before going on holiday in Penang. Recently, I just started shooting another Korean/Chinese movie; we’re still in production right now and it’ll be finished in a couple of weeks. Aside from that, there are a couple of things coming up, but we’re still trying to confirm the schedule and the time.

You’re here to open Ashley Isham’s show.

This is actually my first time getting to know about [Ashley Isham]; I’ve never really met him yet. I heard he’s a local designer that went to – London, was it? – to study fashion, and I can’t wait to meet him. His clothes are so beautiful! It’s certainly like a high-end luxury brand that I’ve worked with before, and I can see he’s going to do really well in the future.

Are you excited to be on the runway again?

Well I’m kind of nervous, because I haven’t really walked in a [fashion] show for a long time. The last I did was for a TV drama. [laughs] An actual show was years ago, maybe 2009 in Hong Kong? So we’ll see what happens. I’m thinking of just going out there and saying hello – say hello to Ashley, take a picture with him and come back!

You have also started your own clothing line in Vancouver.

Yes, it’s called Flagship Lifestyle Inc., and we’re all about urban gentlemen-wear that’s sophisticated and pimp. Whatever we like, or whatever we feel is suitable for our brand, we try to make it ours – we just collaborated with New Era on a series of baseball caps, so that’s a huge step for us. Now we’re just trying to get production going.

Any advice for those who are also trying to start their own clothing line?

I’m still an amateur really, but I think it’s important to stick to what your brand is all about. Stick to what you like about it, and to what you think is right. You can listen to advice, but you need to stick to what you believe in, and you’ll do well in the future.

Who are your style icons?

I’ve always looked up to Pharrell [Williams], I don’t know why. He’s one of the best-dressed men in the world, and I’ve looked up to him ever since he was a simple t-shirt guy, before moving on to suits. Now he’s rocking hats all the time! He always brings something different, and I enjoy that.

Are you a stylish person?

Somewhat stylish. I’m a lay low kind of guy when I’m not working, so just [basics and denim]. I really like All Saints from London – casual, simple and without too much design. Something you can feel comfortable in. But when I’m working I like to wear something different, something that stands out. If I’m lucky, I get to pick the clothes to wear for events, but most of time they don’t fit, so it’s tough for me to choose. I’m really great with Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Dolce & Gabbana – those are some really awesome brands I’ve worked with before. I wish I could wear every luxury brand out there every single day!

Tell us how you’ll be spending your summer this year.

Hopefully not working! I’ll be attending a wedding in Vancouver this summer, but aside from that, I’d love to go on a beach to chill and relax, see the sunshine and enjoy the ocean.

Do you have a favourite summer destination?

I’ve been to Hawaii – I loved it. I’ve been to the Maldives – I loved it. Anywhere that’s tropical with clear blue waters, I tend to find myself there, enjoying a nice cool glass of beer!

 Godfrey Gao