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From their design studio in London's East End, Chris Liu and his business partner Tibor Matyas aim to create a brand synonymous with cool and dynamic men's fashion
Chris Liu and Tibor Matyas hatched a plan to launch their own label, Chris & Tibor. Provided to China Daily
Designer Chris Liu has made his home in London - living and working in one of the city's trendiest districts - but his creative influences hark back to China, in particular people in an army troupe that his set-designer father was attached to. The young Liu traveled all over the nation during the 1970s with a People's Liberation Army theatrical ensemble. Members were allowed access to imported fashion and lifestyle magazines, which gave the impressionable youngster a glimpse into a colorful new world.
"The troupe had very creative and artistic people," recalls Liu, 43. "I was very privileged to have that kind of exposure, not many people did in those days. I was always surrounded by music, I still know all the songs. It also meant I lived all over China: I was born in Urumqi.
"I get my creative and design side from my father, and my organized side from my mother who was a professor of mathematics. I think both my parents are happy that I have found success in design."
Liu trained and worked in New Zealand, Hong Kong and latterly London, where he had a spell with the renowned Burberry brand. It was at the British fashion house where he met Hungarian Tibor Matyas, also a design consultant. The pair hatched a plan to launch their own label, Chris & Tibor.
Initially the focus was on promoting Liu's high-end dresses, worn by, among others, diminutive Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, but more recently the Chris & Tibor brand began to focus on menswear and accessories, in particular classy bags for discerning executives who want an item that is fashionable as well as functional.
The flagship item in the duo's range is the Strong Holdall collection, multi-compartment bags that are designed to be versatile enough to be used for the gym, office or even weekend breaks. Prices start at just over $640 and go up to $1,300.