TV host on German television, model, fashion editor and consultant, the super active German-Chinese Kai-Li Ma, fan of urban streetwear and high fashion brands, never shies away from any challenge ahead.
Michel Temman: You have an unusual path. You studied in LA, in NY and Germany, and became an actress, a TV host and a model. What a life! Was it a dream to be in front of cameras?
Kai-Li Ma: No, it wasn’t my dream but I always knew that I would pursue an unconventional path. I knew I wanted to travel and live my life instead of going straight to a 9-5 job! When I chose to make modelling my career, I realized that it was perfect for me to combine my passion for travel and working at the same time.
M.T.: How did you manage to succeed? What were the main difficulties and challenges?
Kai-Li Ma: I am very ambitious and always try to be the best I can, in anything I choose to do. I don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell me what I can’t do. When people tried to do so in the past, I was even more motivated to achieve my goals. When you really want something, nothing is an obstacle. It is just a test on how much you want it. I knew that this is something I wanted to pursue and I was ready to struggle.
M.T.: You worked worldwide as a model, you appeared in Vogue, New York Post, ELLE, in advertisings, TV programs and movies. How do you manage and combine all your roles?
Kai-Li Ma: Being an entrepreneur means having to be very organized. I am very German in that way. You need to have a really good work ethic and give a 100% at every job. I’m in a position now where I can choose which projects to be involved in and only do what I like. I’m adding more and more projects now and really enjoy being busy and creative. A good balance is the key. In my downtime, I try to just enjoy myself and be in the moment.
M.T.: How do you manage to keep your body line to perfection? Sport and running seems to be important for you. Do you also impose on yourself a special lifestyle? Are you strict with your nutrition?
Kai-Li Ma: I’m an ambassador for The Clinic (1), a high-end wellness and medical clinic where I practice yoga, Pilates and barre class. I also workout at home or go to the gym. I try to do yoga every day and workout at least five times a week. I only started this healthy lifestyle two years ago. Regarding nutrition, it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat. I eat a lot, especially since I’m training. Veggies, fruits and lots of proteins.
M.T.: You pursued MBA Fashion Business at IFA Paris. How valuable was this experience?
Kai-Li Ma: I chose to do an MBA because I wanted to learn more about the business side and applied to many different MBA programs. Finally, I decided to go with the one of IFA Paris because that’s how I could combine business and fashion.
M.T.: Did you ever think about launching your own brand?
Kai-Li Ma: Yes, I was thinking of designing my own clothing line but I have too much to do already. Maybe later on!
M.T.: What are your favourite fashion brands and style?
Kai-Li Ma: I like urban streetwear mixed with high fashion brands. I like to mix and match. Keeping it simple but have a piece which stands out. I like Rag & Bone, Nike, Chanel, Helmut Lang, Topshop….
M.T.: You are also a lifestyle editor for the fashion blog Modern Culture of Tomorrow (2). What are your favourite stories?
Kai-Li Ma: I like to tell people about my workouts and beauty regimes. Lots of “how to” articles. I also like to go to events and share my experiences. Travel and music are also something I like to write about.
M.T.: And what about your next project or wish?
Kai-Li Ma: I want to do more acting. But I’m not stressing myself. Everything is going well and I’ll just keep working hard. I’m always learning new skills to improve myself. This year, I will follow a yoga teacher training. Excited for that!
M.T.: You are also a marketing consultant for the brand Akenz which is a multi-brand store that brings Scandinavian brands to China. What is your mission exactly?
Kai-Li Ma: This is my newest project. I am in charge of their strategic marketing. From digital media to retail, from public relations to events. I just produced a big photoshoot! Many great things will come from Akenz, from the brand itself! The next thing is to organize an event. I will invite IFA Paris, no worries!
To learn more about the course followed by Kai-Li Ma at IFA Paris: MBA Fashion Business
And for more about Kai-Li Ma and her projects please visit: http://www.kaili.info/