Stalked: Leo Li, Founder, Neo-Ne Studios

7 March 2016

As some of my regular readers will know, I have 3 weaknesses in life.. first; has to be outerwear, second; of course shoes and last but most importantly.. Sunglasses and on the later subject please may I introduce you all to a brand that I stumbled across on Instagram and am currently obsessed with!!!

Neo-Ne is a project which was founded in 2012 by Hong Kong-based Leo Li. Born out of a major interest in the concept of vision, Neo-Ne explores the world of visuality via two different ways: spectacles and photography. After being drawn in by just that I caught up with him to find out more about the brand...

Why did you decide to get into the world of eyewear?

I have been working in design industry for years before I start up the brand and was mainly focus on graphic and photography. But I am always interested in product design, it is probably influenced by my father. I love the sophisticated structure and magical visual effect the eyewear have. After a year of preparation and research, I decided to fully dedicate to eyewear and team up with my best team to establish the brand Neo-Ne. 

What is your latest collection inspired by?

The latest models we have are Argos (below pictured) & Heliar (FW15). They are actually an extension of the concept in SS15 (Fong and Torii) which inspired by architecture and mythology. In 2015, we tried to design eyewear as a temple. People say "eyes as the window to the soul", then we think eyewear could be the temple for these windows. We use thick marble acetate, geometric pattern metal for Torii and Fong to create elegant and dignified look, while we use arch structure with details and metal / acetate combination to give a tough side of the soul. We try to present the beauty of temple and mythical metaphor in the latest collection.

You have such cool photography as a brand, which comes across beautifully on Instagram. Tell me more about these shoots and also how important do you think social media is to start up brands?

We love to work with different creative party and we think it will connect us to more amazing thing. Last year we work with two different photographers in US and have some awesome people to modelling for us. They do give new angle of Neo-Ne and they bring a lots of energy to our team. And more cross over projects are coming this year and we enjoy it very much.

We are actually a late comer for Instagram. We started the official IG one year ago, but it already turns to be a very important media for us to direct communicate with our audience. We found it super important to directly communicate with customer nowadays. It is very different with the mass media channel in old day, niche and direct media is the key for success today. But it is still a profound lesson to us.

Best advice anyone has ever given you?

The best advice is from my father, my forever mentor S.H.Li, "never give up on details." And he doesn't only advice me, he shows me.

What has been your best moment since starting up the brand?

Every time when I have the new design on my hands is the best moment. It always tells me that it's gonna be a new chapter for Neo-Ne. 

Five items you can't live without?

I need Books to inspire me, Camera to keep me sensitive, Eyewear to motivate me, Plants to cheers me up and a pair of comfortable sneaker to keep me walk around. 

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