Interview w/ J.Lai
We recently got a chance to catch up with Joseph Lai. Check out what he had to share with us below.
Who is Joseph Lai? Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Taiwan, but moved to the States with my family when I was 8. Grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, high school in Chicago, college down in New Orleans, and have been in Rockville for the past 7 years.
What is your career and what do you do?
I’m an architect and I work for a local firm that does mostly multi-family work in the DMV region. What I love about the projects we do is that our work is very community oriented. We do a lot of affordable housing with the goal of improving the people’s lives and neighborhoods through architecture.
What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies?
I do a lot of volunteer work with the AIA (American Institute of Architects), where we focus on educating the public on what architects do, and why design is important. I’m also a member of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. I love anything that is creative and expressive, which includes art, music, fashion, etc.
What interests you in the fashion world?
I think fashion and architecture are very much related in the sense that they’re both design fields. It goes back to my interest in anything that allows people to express their personalities and ideas. I’m interested in knowing what makes people tick and why they do what they do. Fashion is the most noticeable part of our personality since it’s right on the surface. You can tell a lot about someone from what they chose to wear.
What would you define your style?
I like clothes that are classic, but have a bit of creativity or edge. Or example, a suit with an interesting lapel pin, or wearing a leather jacket with a shirt and tie. Basically anything that gives a sense of that individual’s personality. Also, I’ve learned that fit is the most important thing.
Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
GQ, Esquire, Gilt, Upscale Hype, Hype Beast, The Sartorialist, are some of the media outlets that I check from time to time. But for the most part, I just pay attention to what people are wearing, and get my ideas from others.
Are you into music? What artists do you like?
I love music. Growing up playing piano and violin various orchestras, I have a great appreciate for classical. With my friends, we grew up in the 90’s with Tupac and Biggie, so I love Hip-Hop as well. EDM is something that has grown in the past couple of years, and something I’m interested in as well. I have lots of favorite artists, but my favorite would be Kanye West. He’s someone that’s constantly pushing the envelope in both music and fashion. There is no denying his creative powers.
They say “this economy is tough.” What advice can you share with those getting ready to graduate college to be able to stand out to their potential employers?
Know what your strengths are and focus on those. Go into an interview with 3 or 4 marketable skills that you know will benefit your potential employer, and bring evidence to highlight and sell those skills to them.
Anything you care to speak on?
Happiness is a state of mind.
How can people connect with you?