She’s known for her exuberant appreciation of fashion, her down-to-earth attitude, and her friendly smile. She’s Leaf Greener (yes, that’s the actual English translation of her Chinese name, Ye Zi), the Shanghai-based stylist, creative consultant, and founder of the WeChat magazine Leaf— not to mention an international social media sensation.
So when the Estée Stories team had the opportunity to follow her as she zipped around town to seven shows and a cocktail party during New York Fashion Week, we jumped at the chance—despite the snowy, freezing weather thrown our way. Greener was a ray of sunshine through it all, and shared how she manages to look—and keep her—cool amidst the chaos.
I don’t want to be a copycat or a wannabe. I have to be me.
ON HER DAYTIME LOOK
I just wanted to keep it very American. Denim is such a big part of American culture. And the colors [in my sweater and cape] were very American: Red and blue, like the American flag. I normally don’t wear jeans, but I always do when I’m in New York. I always like to wear things relevant to the city and the country I am in.
During the day, I always wear a natural makeup look. I like to look very fresh. I don’t like to do overkill things on myself with my makeup, my hair, or my clothes. I like effortless chic—less is more. So I use a light-colored lipstick, like a pastel pink. [Editor’s note: Here it’s Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Powerful.] And I usually wear my hair down, just natural. I’ve had bangs since I was a little girl. It’s a very Asian thing to have a bang. I cannot live without them. But in strong winds, they can look really strange [she laughs].
ON HER PERSONAL STYLE
I don’t have a style. I have personality and what I wear goes with my personality. And there are a lot of layers there [in my personality]. All women, we all have a dark side and a bright side. We are complex. But it’s all a part of me. So I like to play with clothes.
My inspiration comes from my experience. Something I see. Someone I talked to. Somewhere I’ve been. I don’t want to be a copycat or a wannabe. I have to be me.
ON BEING MOBBED BY THE PAPARAZZI
I feel a lot of pressure—especially at the shows in Paris, because every photographer goes to Paris. They take very quick pictures and they don’t do any Photoshopping. And I might be jetlagged or my hair might not be right, but the photos will be released and people comment. Especially in China, people want to look perfect.
Fashion Week is the stage for me—I have to perform. Thank God I don’t have to do it every day, like a celebrity. I’m a very private person actually.
ON HER EVENING LOOK
This reminds me of an outfit I wore in New York five years ago, when the paparazzi first noticed me. The jacket is a piece from the collection I wore then. It was inspired by the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein. I like how my orange-red lipstick [Ed. note: Here it’s Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Volatile] plays off the colors in the jacket.
When I’m going out, I like to try different things with my hair. I like a high ponytail or a braid or a braided ponytail. I wear my hair up because I like to wear oversized earrings. And I like to do a strong, bright lip color and a strong look for my eyes: A cat eye. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on my makeup. So if I do a strong eye and a strong lip, that’s it, I’m done.
ON HOW SHE SURVIVES FASHION WEEK
Champagne! [Laughs.] I try to go to sleep early, but sometimes it’s impossible. I do a lot of face masks when I have time. And I always have a healthy breakfast. I love to have scrambled or sunny-side up eggs. Well, maybe my breakfast isn’t really healthy. I love chicken sausage—a lot of chicken sausage. And then cappuccino, orange juice, champagne [she laughs again], Earl Grey tea. I drink a lot of things for one person. And I always wear something very practical. Very beautiful, but it has to be practical. So for Fashion Week, it’s a lot of leather sneakers.