A Day In The Life Of… Ming Ray

4 min read

Have you ever wondered what some of your favourite female figures get up to each day? MOJEH’s A Day In The Life series follows some of the region’s most influential female movers and shakers, from business owners and entrepreneurs to fashion designers and art gallery owners. This week we’re talking to Ming Ray, London-based designer and founder of eponymous luxury handbag label which creates exceptionally crafted, delightfully whimsical pieces.

I wake up at… 

I used to wake up between 6:00 and 6:30am. Since lockdown happened, I was able to slow down and take a much-needed break. Now I get up around 7:30am.

My morning routine normally consists of… 

I used to dive right into my emails after making myself a fruit and veggie smoothie. Since lockdown happened, I was able to re-examine everything and decided working from dusk until dawn for the sake of it wasn’t the best for me at this stage.  Now I start my day with meditation; I absolutely love centering and aligning my energy before doing anything else.

I’m responsible for…

Designing, choosing materials, visiting factories and suppliers, as well as most of the sales.

I don’t have any design intern or assistant as I love every stage of the design process from start to finish. I usually spend a few weeks on research and rough sketches, before I load the sketches on Adobe Illustrator and photoshop for rendering. I am very OCD when it comes to precision – this is an old habit from my training at Alexander McQueen: what you see on paper is what you get from the factory. As a result, the designs I send to factories are not rough pencil doodles, but 100 percent real scale technical sheets that are marked with the measurements of every detail of a design down to the millimetre, so factories can produce a mould or sample straight away. Then, a lot of back and forth with factories during production, which means I had to get up at 4:00am and catch a morning flight to Milan quite a bit, at the same time liaising with with sales and PR side.

My typical day…

My typical day changed a lot before and after lockdown.

I used to dive right into my emails and enjoy the rush of adrenaline from work all day long.  This went on for about five years before I realised this level of workaholism was no longer sustainable. The lockdown provided an opportunity to reset my daily routines. Now my typical day starts and ends with meditation, and a 90-minute long bike ride across London in the afternoon. After my mind and body are taken care of, then I fill the gaps with work.

The Ming Ray working wardrobe consists of…

Half of my wardrobe is reserved for glamour from my favourite designers such as David Koma, Christopher Kane and Prada. It’s part of my job to make sure my clothes live up to the handbags that I design. This half is an escape from the “ordinary”. The remaining half of my wardrobe is T-shirts, sweatpants and comfy loungewear.

For lunch I eat…

Everything! It’s a feast, followed by lots of sugary stuff such as ice cream, chocolates and pastries. This is because I only drink lemon water and coffee in the morning and mostly skip dinner, so my lunch has to include everything that makes my heart content.

What I love most about my job is…

The polar opposite worlds of complete solitude when I design, and the energy of meeting new people when I sell my products. I love being cut off from the world when I’m “in the zone” when coming up with new designs. It is absolutely delicious to swim in my own world of imagination and creativity, where nothing negative exists. After designs and productions are done and dusted, I love meeting new clients – many of whom turned into dear friends. I love how a small item such as a handbag brings together people from opposite corners of the world.

What I enjoy the least is…

Emails

A day in the life of Ming Ray

When I get home I…

Netflix! I can’t live without my shows and movies. I love Modern Family, Killing Eve, The Handmaid’s Tale and whatever that’s trending. I’m eagerly waiting for the new season of The Witcher, because who doesn’t fall for Henry Cavill.

I couldn’t live without…

My friends and families, meditation, audio books, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

When I feel stressed I…

Walk in Hyde Park, hop on a bike or talk to a friend.

If I wasn’t in my current position, I would be….

In my imaginary world I work at Australia Zoo so that I can be around koalas and other cute animals all the time. I literally can’t control myself when I’m around a cute animal. My friends who just adopted puppies know they need to show me their fur babies right away or I won’t leave them alone. Animals are so pure, I feel nothing but happiness when I’m around them. Shop Ming Ray’s designs at mingray.com

Image Credits: Instagram/MingRayOfficial

Read Next: A Day In The Life Of… Jessica Kahawaty