How local fashionista Margaret Zhang has become a woman of influence


Georgie Gordon

Sydney-born Margaret Zhang, 23, is a photographer, stylist, writer, and consultant to some of fashion’s biggest brands. At age 16, she started the website Shine By Three to showcase her photography, which led to her working with Swarovski, Louis Vuitton and Dior as well as Harper’s Bazaar and Nylon. In 2015, Elle named her Digital Influencer of the Year.

Having finished a commerce/law degree at the University of Sydney, she recently moved to New York.

Stylist, photographer, writer – what do you enjoy most?

It’s like choosing a favourite child! It’s hard to say, because I really need to have that balance of intellectual stimulation plus interaction and collaboration with other people, while being able to communicate my creative vision. It works for me to have quite a few things going on, because it means I’m never bored and never get stuck creatively

How would you describe your personal style?

For the most part, very boyish – I actually buy a lot of menswear, but I’m not opposed to the beautiful ruffles and the more feminine, off-the-shoulder silhouettes prevalent at the moment.

 What are your current go-to pieces?

A really great bomber jacket from menswear brand Insted We Smile with an embroidered rose pattern across the shoulders – it’s really warm and amazing for travelling. And I always need a tailored black trouser, so at the moment it’s a pair of A.L.C. satin drop-crotch pants – almost like cargo pants – which are quite regressive and ’90s, and a lace camisole.

Favourite designers?

In terms of true visionaries and people who drive fashion as an art form: Raf Simons, Miuccia Prada and Nicolas Ghesquière. And I think Dion Lee is exceptional. I have been a fan of the Sandro Paris brand for some time and love working with them.

What inspires you?

Music and performance art have always been my primary sources of inspiration. I try to go to live shows and performances because I think that visceral reactions and raw emotional connections with performers are really important to take your head out of the digital space. It’s very easy to get sucked into your phone and your computer and think you can see everything online.

 How do you relax?

I play the piano, and do a few hours of ballet when I can. Piano and ballet are my first great loves: at one point they were an option for me to pursue professionally but I’m glad I didn’t, because now they remain my emotional escape.

What’s next?

I will be directing a short film project, and also playing the piano in it. We are filming in Australia and the US and it’s coming out in January

Fashion Editor: Penny McCartney, Photographer: Bec Parsons



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