ABOUT CYNTHIA & XIAO
CYNTHIA & XIAO is a knitwear label that believes in making people feel good about themselves. Launched in 2014, the label is the namesake of Chinese fashion duo Cynthia Mak and Xiao Xiao, who combine their respective backgrounds in fashion design, graphic design and knitwear. Since 2018, CYNTHIA & XIAO has focused solely on knitwear, using it as a canvas to create vibrant, bold and colourful designs for men, women and children.
Born in Hong Kong, Cynthia Mak experienced a vibrant international upbringing. She was first introduced to the arts through her studies in graphic design, and later studied Fashion Design with Marketing at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. There she found herself surrounded by talented fellow students whose passion, creativity and community inspired her to pursue a career in fashion.
She devoted herself to experimenting with constructing garments and learning about the industry. Her enthusiasm and endless hours of work paid off, and she graduated from the college with distinction. Her final collection earned her the recognition and praise of Italian Vogue, who named her as a designer to watch and included her in their list of rising new talent.
After working in prestigious fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Preen by Thornton and Roksanda Ilinčić, Cynthia returned to Hong Kong to work with large-scale luxury fashion retailers. Her ambition to create her own label remained, and, in 2014, she connected with fellow Central Saint Martins student, Xiao Xiao to establish their namesake label CYNTHIA & XIAO.
In 2017, Mak was named one of Hong Kong’s top entrepreneurs under 40 on the Generation T List by Hong Kong Tatler.
Born in Beijing, Xiao Xiao moved to the UK in 2002. She discovered her talent for fine art and textiles while at high school and was fascinated by the overlaps between art and fashion. Attending Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, she immersed herself in artistic inspiration and explored new ways to express her creative ideas, before embarking on a degree in Fashion Design with Knitwear.
After graduating, she explored a variety of fashion industry opportunities in the UK, before her curiosity and creativity steered her back to China, where she sought to further develop her fashion career. While working with local Chinese design company, WO Square, she acquired a deeper understanding of the dynamic and burgeoning Chinese fashion market. She gained first-hand insight and experience in the full design process – from sketch to final production – and quickly built a strong and creative portfolio of work.
Carving out her niche as a knitwear specialist prepared her for the launch of her own label with fellow Central Saint Martins graduate and friend, Cynthia Mak, in 2014.