Tia Lee: The global C-pop superstar as style icon

Tia Lee was specially selected by esteemed fashion designer Julien Macdonald.

Tia Lee: The global C-pop superstar as style icon
Tia Lee exclusively in Julien Macdonald FW23 at London Fashion Week

Global C-pop artist and fashion icon Tia Lee (Lee Yu Fen) made a splash at London Fashion Week. In particular, she turned heads at the show of esteemed fashion designer Julien Macdonald, as the first one to wear an exclusive piece from his Fall Winter 2023-2024 (FW23) collection.

"I'm truly honored and excited about Julien Macdonald's invitation. Julien's dress is a unique piece tailored and fitted just for me. It gives me the confidence boost to be myself," Lee told Digital Life Asia.

London Fashion Week

Tia Lee exclusively in Julien Macdonald FW23 for runway show. Image credit: Dave Benett for Getty

Lee wore a tailored crystal-embroidered lace slip dress complete with a flowing black chiffon cape. This came fresh off the fashion designer's FW23 collection, and Lee was specially selected as the only international celebrity to be dressed in it prior to the show.

Lee also made a special appearance at the exclusive Moncler Genius show at Kensington's Olympia.

Tia Lee at Moncler Genius FW23 show. Image credit: Dave Benett for Getty

She donned the attention-grabbing pure white Ostrich feather Moncler Maya coat, an iconic silhouette of the Alpine label’s collaboration with Giambattista Valli, over a chic polo neck top and curve-hugging skirt and sunglasses – all from Moncler's current collection – with glitter mesh boots from Balenciaga.

Lee was also a head-turner at the shows of Richard Quinn and David Koma.

Asked to describe her fashion style, Lee replied: "I like classic and minimalist fashion style. My favorite daily outfits are in neat cuttings and classic shapes. I'm also attracted by retro-style pieces."

'Goodbye Princess'

As an international fashion icon, Lee has graced the covers of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. She also shares her beauty and fashion tips through a number of Vogue's social media channels.

In December, Lee launched the music video for her single "Goodbye Princess", which broke the record for the fastest Chinese pop music video to reach 100 million views on YouTube.

The single was produced by Grammy Award-winning American music producer Swizz Beatz. "Goodbye Princess" is the first Chinese song produced by Beatz, who has created hits for a long list of music legends, including Madonna, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and more.

With Swizz Beatz at the Moncler Genius show

How does Lee feel about this record-breaking achievement?

"I believe this is something that everyone involved in the production process and everyone in the production teams of 'Goodbye Princess' is very proud of. The global publicity campaign has allowed more people to know and listen to Chinese pop music," she said.

The ingenious pre-release campaign for "Goodbye Princess" featured a six-part series of animated clips. This told the story of Lee's journey in the music and entertainment industries, as well as her subsequent reinvention.

Thematic image echoing content of the first animated episode, 'Falling in the Deep'

"Through the six short fantasy animations which combine the song 'Goodbye Princess', animation, music, and virtual characters, I hope that my own experience will inspire women to get out of the limitations defined by stereotypes of the society.

"It is also my hope that, through 'Goodbye Princess', people can realize the many possibilities that our life can bring, jump out of the box which others set for you, and live your own life and shape. I hope that everyone can get the courage and power to step out through the artistic concept of 'Goodbye Princess,'" she said.

Lee also shared more details on the technology used to bring the music video to life.

"The MV of this song was produced by Actual Objects, an experimental production team based in Los Angeles. Their unique charismatic style and CGI presentation fit entirely the genre of 'Goodbye Princess'. Before applying CGI face reconstruction technology, I had to have every aspect of my facial expression collected with special equipment and from many different camera angles," she said.


Was becoming a singer Lee's childhood dream?

"I had many dreams and fantasies when I was a kid. I loved to draw and paint so I wanted to be a painter. I once thought about being a hairstylist. It has actually taken me a long time to go from loving to sing to becoming a singer," she said.

Asked what are the most memorable experiences in her career so far, Lee replied: "So far the most unforgettable moment was the days when we created music together, which was also the first time I went and stayed in LA for a few months and created music with an entire production crew in a studio. Together we made 10 songs which all began with a few pieces of melodies and stories. We refined the songs as we recorded them. Creating music in such a way is very enjoyable and is a blessing. The songs are filled with our power of music passion and wonderful memories of that time."

The release of "Goodbye Princess" also saw Lee launching her philanthropic #EmpowerHer campaign.

"In tandem with the release of 'Goodbye Princess,' Tia has also announced the #EmpowerHer campaign. In the spirit of women supporting women, and as a vehicle to continue spreading her important message of empowerment, Tia has partnered with four different women-centric charities, helping raise awareness for each of their respective missions. So far, she has joined forces with Beats By Girlz and Women in Music in the United States, Daughters Of Tomorrow in Singapore, and Teen’s Key in Hong Kong, all of which are committed to empowering and supporting women and girls around the world."

Asked why she decided to launch #EmpowerHer, Lee replied: "I have found strength and confidence by embracing my true self. I have always hoped that women can support each other, believe in themselves, and hold their heads high in times of adversity. This is why I have founded the #EmpowerHer campaign."

The campaign also sparked a viral dance challenge on TikTok, with various international TikTok creators participating and raising money and awareness with each view.

"Through this campaign I know that many ladies have empowered other women with music, united them, and lived with confidence. From the aura they radiate I find encouragement and support. I'm totally moved and I feel fortunate about this way of calling out female power and the various ways to respond to the call," she said.

What message would Lee like to share with her fans and aspiring actors and singers?

"I want to bring more good works as soon as possible and have more opportunities to interact with fans. No matter if it is as a singer or as an actress, I still have a lot to learn, and I hope to work with and learn from many different professional teams," she said.

Make no mistake: Tia Lee is a remarkable woman empowering other women.