A true international tastemaker, Shauna Mei works at the intersection of technology, fashion and business. Born in inner Mongolia, she studied electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and has lived everywhere from Beijing to Stockholm to London. After working for Goldman Sachs, she founded Aronsson Group, an advisory firm working in the luxury industry, and later served as COO for Swedish activewear label Casall. Now based in New York, Mei combined her passions to create AHAlife, an online discovery destination for unique products from around the world.
What’s hot right now?
Synchronicity. People become enlightened with universal connectivity. We’re in a world bombarded with too much noise, but curation is happening in media and technology to helps us collectively cut through to what’s authentic. But rather than receiving information from an omniscient source, it’s leveraging the masses where importance rises with popularity.
What design-related digital platforms are on your radar?
I’ve been looking at Pinterest for a while, which is a collective curation image platform—it’s good to see people being engaged with the pubic endorsement of their taste. I just came back from Japan, where I saw examples of online and offline purchasing using QR codes that are driving online commerce. That trend is coming to US. Talk To Me, an exhibit at the MOMA, does an incredible job in showcasing how users attach emotional or functional values to physical and digital objects.
What trends are you looking forward to this fall?
I’m looking forward to sustainability not becoming a capsule collection anymore, whether in fashion or other product categories. It’s mainstream and not a gimmick.