Hard work and a determination to chase a dream run in Jaime Xie’s blood. A first-generation Asian-American, Jaime is pursuing a career that was unfamiliar to her parents. Although they envisioned a somewhat different path for their daughter, Jaime says they just want her to be happy and follow a career path she’s passionate about.
While it took some convincing, her parents’ support makes it possible for the fashion influencer and digital content creator to continue her pursuit of making a mark in the world of luxury, high-end fashion.
“It was extremely challenging in the beginning to get my parents on board when it came to my fashion career as neither of them used social media and had no idea how Instagram worked,” explains Jaime. “Being Chinese, my mother and father grew up with the notion that hard work equals success.”
One glance at this young entrepreneur’s Instagram page will leave any fashionista obsessing over an impressive wardrobe that needs no captions. Add in a love of shoes and handbags, especially the minis, and you can understand why she fell in love with fashion in the first place.
Surprisingly, though, it was not her first choice for a career. Jaime is an accomplished equestrian, and as a young girl had dreams of competing in the Olympics. Her commitment to riding meant trading in the experiences kids her age got to have in order to travel the world and compete against some of the best equestrians. It’s an experience Jaime says she doesn’t regret.
“Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing,” she says.
These days, the former champion has traded in her riding apparel for a completely different look. And although she’s shifted her career goals, Jaime’s determination and competitive nature remain strong.
BELLA sat down to chat with Jaime about her love of luxury fashion, her days of competitive horseback riding, her new show coming out on Netflix, and what she’s looking forward to in 2021.
As a former competitive equestrian you spent many years dedicated to the sport. What did you love most about it?
I loved everything about it! The connection you share with your horse is so special. I loved the exhilaration from jumping and navigating my horse through a course. I’m very competitive by nature; I loved being challenged by my peers and vying for that number one spot.
What led to your decision to retire from the sport?
When I decide to pursue something I fully commit and will do whatever it takes by dedicating all of my time and energy. As I got older, other things became a priority, and in order for me to be the best I could, I had to shift my focus and energy. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time for competitive riding anymore as I’ve decided to dedicate my attention to my career in fashion. I still try to make time whenever I have a break from traveling, but it’s a demanding sport that requires time and dedication.
Do you still ride for fun?
Yes, whenever time allows. Horses and riding will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a big part of my life and something I truly enjoyed and cherished.
When did you fall in love with fashion?
I’ve loved fashion for as long as I can remember. I would play dress-up in my mother’s closet ever since I was a little girl. She believed I got my fashion sense from my grandfather as he was a very successful men’s suit designer in Taiwan. He’s also the only person in my family who loved fashion as much as I do. It’s a shame I only got to meet him through my mom’s recollections and stories.
Your Instagram showcases a myriad of looks. Do you have a specific style, or are you more of a chameleon when it comes to fashion?
I am definitely more of a chameleon—I truly wear everything and anything that makes me feel good. I can be feminine and flirty one day and dark and edgy the next. It really depends on my mood that day.
Being a part of the fashion world includes attending amazing shows, but in the beginning you had to get creative in order to secure invites. Do you think persistence, along with creativity, are what opened those doors for you?
Because of my father’s success [her father is cybersecurity expert Ken Xie, who has built three cybersecurity companies], people automatically assume that things come easy for me, but I still have to hustle and put in the time and effort like everybody else.
While he may be well-known and successful in the tech world, the fashion industry has no idea who my father is. Thus, I have to work hard to prove myself without using my family name and start from square one like everybody else. Persistence is what opened the door, but what cemented my place in the fashion world is my creativity and authenticity.
Would you say competing at a young age contributed to your strong work ethic?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time surrounded by people who were older and wiser. Both of my parents are immigrants from Asia and they instilled in me the value of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. I think traveling and competing at a young age allowed me to mature faster than my peers, and it also helped me understand the amount of time and effort that goes into achieving my goals.
As an influencer, companies want you to promote their products. When it comes to promotions, what do you look for in a brand?
I think everyone is an influencer these days. Whether you are Bella Hadid, Jennifer Aniston, or Christian Rinaldo, anyone with the power to inspire and influence holds the responsibility to send a message.
As a fashion entrepreneur, I am fortunate to have the audience and platform that I have, and I am grateful for everyone who supports me. Therefore, I only partner with brands I feel align with my own identity and story. If it’s not something I can see myself wearing or using, how can I promote it to my audience? People can tell if someone is promoting a product just for money, or if it truly aligns with who they are as an individual. Authenticity is something consumers look for these days, and it is extremely important to me so I stand by that in all I do.
Which brands have you worked with, and what part of the collaboration process do you most enjoy?
I’ve worked with Valentino, Tiffany & Co., Piaget, Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, Luisaviaroma, Sephora, and Jimmy Choo, to name a few. Brand trips and experiences are my favorite ways to collaborate because I get to experience new cultures and meet different people that I otherwise wouldn’t.
You have a new show coming out this month on Netflix. Can you tell us about it?
“Bling Empire” is an unscripted show with an all-Asian cast. Cameras follow the lives of myself and other cast members as we navigate life in Los Angeles.
To date, what has been your biggest career highlight?
My biggest career highlight would probably be shooting Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam in Capri with Luisaviaroma.
In thinking career long-term, what are some of the entrepreneurial goals you’ve set for yourself?
Both of my parents are successful investors and business people, and I want to combine their strengths with my own. They have the ability to spot companies with potential from the get-go, such as what my father did in the early days of Zoom. I’m hoping to do the same thing with fashion companies. I also want to channel my creative energy into developing a sunglass line that will truly be mine.
As a new year begins, what are you most looking forward to?
I hope to continue working with my favorite brands, as well as continue developing my sunglass line. The one thing I miss the most is Europe and traveling in general. As soon as the global situation improves, you’ll be able to find me in Paris and the rest of my favorite cities.
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