Polly Ho’s designs specialize in Canton silk and proudly celebrate her heritage. At women’s wear brand Loom Loop, vivid colors and graphic prints are paired with traditional fabrics like Canton silk and needlework.
But the brand is best known for the way it interprets classic Chinese legends like the Butterfly Lovers, the
Ox Herder and the Weaver Girl, and Madame White Snake, into apparel. It’s a feature that resonates with
design director Polly Ho’s customers. “They want to buy quality and they want to know the story behind
it, not just spend money,” Ho says. Ho’s calling came to her early. When she was just five, she draped
her sister in blankets like a mannequin. She struggled with most subjects at school, but excelled at
sketching, which she enjoyed. “I became a different person. It was like meditation,” Ho says.
Ho studied fashion design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She studied at Birmingham City University in the U.K. on an exchange visit, and completed an internship at a millinery in London.
But Ho spent 10 years exploring other aspects of the industry, including retail, manufacturing, and trading, before she decided to apply for PMQ’s program on a whim. She took the plunge and started her own brand in 2013. “I want to preserve our own culture,” she says. Loom Loop’s collections feature an updated take
on the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress that often comes in figure-hugging silhouettes.
“You can’t be Maggie [Cheung, a Hong Kong movie star] every time. I have the loose fit, and the asymmetric. I also have traditional ones,” she says. “I want to share the cheongsam with young people. You don’t just
wear it on your wedding day – what if you don’t get married? It has to be something fun. Don’t just wear
it with high heels, wear it with Dr. Martens, or mix and match it with a jeans jacket,” she says.
Although Loom Loop has two stores, at PMQ and Tai Kwun, her customers have to be patient because of the small quantities of prints she produces. “I have to educate my customer every time. If you like it and we don’t have your size, you have to wait,” Ho says.
Photographer: PJ Lam @pj_lam
Styling: Alex Badia @thealexbadia
Models: Chuyan He @chuyanchuyan and Houjing @houjingcui
Hair: Kolen But @kolen128 and Heitai Cheung @heitaicheung
Makeup: Angel Mok @angelmok_makeup
Program/Shoot: WWD, @WWD