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Hotseat - M

849_hotseatChatting to Celebrity designer Mr. M

Celebrity fashion designer Mr. M has been designing from young. The 39-year-old was born in Manila to a Chinese/Spanish father and a Spanish/Filipina mother. The family moved to the United States when he was five-years-old. His lines include Mthemovement, a luxury designer street wear line for men and women; SML (Simplicio Michael Luis), a super couture line for men and women and MVMT, a smart and functional line comprising easy, but fresh separates for the youth of today. His clientele have included The Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Nick Cannon, Jill Scott, Kid Rock, Far East Movement and LMFAO. He showcased his latest collection at a fashion show at the Sonesta Maho Casino Royale on May 23 and 24 and speaks about his experience and his plans to have his line retailed here.

Who is Simplicio Michael Luis Asis Herrera (Mr. M)?

I am a fashion designer by profession and an optimistic, philanthropist by nature... I'm also a shy, quiet, solitary world explorer.

How did you end up doing the recently held fashion shows in St. Maarten?

The show was produced by X's Encore Magazine by Magali Art. I have known Magali for a while and love her energy and work ethic. She gets the job done! I believe our team and the love from the island made the show successful. People, who didn't know my brand, now do. As well as getting more visibility to the casino, which is great! And the people on the island (as well as tourists) got to experience something a bit different for the night! I believe it was a win-win for all."

From a celebrity designer's experience, what were the shows like?

The shows were great for the limited amount of exposure, advertising and preparation. All in all, it worked out great! Fashion seems to be this way... People seemed to enjoy the energy of the show.

Apart from the fashion shows, what else did you get to experience here?

The beaches of course; the local nightclubs and the great music bars like The Red Piano!

Was this your first visit to St. Maarten? If yes, what is your impression of the island and its people?

Yes, it was my first visit. It's a very polished island...super chic, but still organic. Sunny, but comfortable; and the turquoise waters are amazing! The people seem to all be friendly and welcoming, especially at Sonesta Maho Casino Royale, where the show was held! Seems when you're on a beautiful island, no other way to be, but to be happy and friendly!

What is it about your clothing that you think appeals to the St. Maarten's populace?

It seems the people of St. Maarten love the fabrics and textures, that's what I've heard. However, I know they are feeling the energy the line brings as well. It's very cutting edge, but wearable. I used a lot of the designs as performance pieces for the celebrities I have dressed.

How and where can local fans purchase your designs?

I am in talks with some people in St. Maarten about carrying the line. I hope to maybe have a store soon here as well. I'm looking into the possibilities! For now they can purchase the "love more tee" on www.mthemovement.com or message on the same site, for custom pieces.

When can we expect you back on The Friendly Island?

We are now in talks with Casino Royale for another event! Hopefully soon, but for sure before the end of the year.

What do you like best about your job as a designer?

I love meeting new people and energies! Keeps life fresh and exciting – and my line brings me to places like St. Maarten! It's amazing.

Do you wear your own designs solely?

I generally tend to, although I am not opposed to other brands, just ends up that way.

Who is your favourite designer (apart from yourself)?

Marc Jacobs.

If you could choose to personally design clothing for anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you design for them to wear for a special occasion?

This is an interesting question – probably Elvis – because he was so huge and special. I would make him into a slick, cosmopolitan for today!

As a designer, I am sure you're around clothing all the time, what's your go to everyday comfort wear?

Joggers are my favourite now. They're very easy and comfortable, but stylish. Comfort is a big deal.

Wine or beer?

Definitely wine.

What message do you have for St. Maarten youngsters who want to follow in your footsteps?

I say know what you stand for and keep moving. As long as you never give up, you will eventually get there. But the only motivation you have to continue when times are tough is that original vision you had and passion for it. That's why you should focus on who you are and what you stand for, and that will determine what you want and fuel you.

What else are you involved in outside designing?

I also do music and branding. I do consulting for many up and coming brands out of my design agency Haus of M (www.hausofm.com).

Any projects planned for the Caribbean region or St. Maarten in the future?

I believe Magali Art and XS Magazine will be planning a couple of things for me here. We shall keep you updated!

Future plans?

Lots! Some confidential! But big projects starting soon and I will incorporate St. Maarten somehow!

Since Father's Day is coming up, what do you think are the best ways to be a father?

I think the best way to be a father is just to be present. Children don't need (or adults for that matter) anything else, but love. So as much as you can, just to be there for your kids through all they do in life.

Hobbies?

I sing and travel and eat! I love finding new places to eat and new flavours. In this sense, St. Maarten is a treasure for me!

Pet peeve?

Insecurities and the acts that stem from them; people need to love themselves more.

Favourite quote?

Love more.

What's your favourite type of music? What artistes do you listen to?

All around, all genres... Cold Play, Kanye West, Niki Minaj, Train, Script, Chaka Khan and Hozier.

If you could ask any three persons (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

I would ask Elvis Presley for sure – anyone else, I am not sure. I don't cook, but maybe a steak?

Visit www.theworldofm.com and follow M on social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @mthemovement