Studio Visit: Alice Longyu Gao
Interviewed by Madeline Carpentiere
Photographed by Stoltze and Stefanie
Alice Longyu Gao is a video producer from China. She currently lives in New York City.
Madeline Carpentiere: Introduce yourself Alice.
Alice Longyu Gao: Well, I come from a very conservative family from China. Everything I do is inspired by my father. He’s very strict, and put me through an even stricter school in China. I couldn’t wear certain clothes that I wanted, or I would be punished for it. Being different was something that was taboo and looked down upon. I remember wearing purple stockings on a weekend and someone saw me from the school, and one of my teachers found out. She called my father and they both said that it was inappropriate and that I looked like a prostitute. It was crazy. I was that rebellious kid in rural China. Then, I met a girl that went to Boston University, so I taught myself to take the SAT, and applied to a bunch of colleges. My father said that I could never get into any American colleges, but I was accepted into all of them -laughs- That showed him. I graduated from BU, and now I’m here in New York working on a few projects.
M: You have a very unique sense of style. Is there anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing?
A: I dress this way because it is a form of expressing myself. I’m always trying new clothing and pieces all the time. So there isn’t one particular thing I’m afraid of wearing. I think that’s just my personality. It’s always about the hustle. I’m always working on new collaborations and projects. I’m not afraid to venture out. I’m a Virgo. I know what I want and will pursue it.
M: Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: I get a lot of inspiration from Japan. The country’s culture, mentality, and landscape is something I find very powerful and interesting. In Japan, there’s a certain freedom there. Everyone has a job to do, and they’re all so efficient. Everything from their style to their traditions, I’m inspired by.
M: Do you think New York is more accepting of you and the way you present and dress yourself than Boston?
A: Honestly, not necessarily. Boston is an academia city, so it’s just not as exciting. I think that New York can be accepting, but it’s a very dog eat dog world out here. There is someone who is always going to be trying to use you or looking out for themselves and their own success. I don’t feel as if it’s my city right now. I just need to keep working more and make money. -laughs-
M: Have you experienced any backlash from the way that you dress or present yourself?
A: From my dad, for sure. But here in New York, it’s different. It’s not about my style or anything, but people can look at some of your successes and use you. Everyone in New York, especially in the industry that I’m in, is competitive and ambitious. You can have friend one minute, and as soon as you get a really good gig, they can turn on you and use you because they now see you as competition. I’m very outspoken as well, again I’m a Virgo. I call people out on this stuff and they don’t take it well because they’re not used to someone being confrontational.
M: What are you working on right now? Anything you want to share to the readers of S?
A: I have a talkshow called #TeaWithAlice with Paper Magazine. And a few upcoming projects: my upcoming projects: Content Creation for Elizabeth Hilfiger‘s new brand, as her brand’s Art Producer; and Producer as Margie Plus‘ new music video. I am also going to launch the video that I produced for Chelsea Leyland‘s epilepsy project!