Jun 21, 2012|
BK: Had you always dreamed of being a fashion designer?
No, I initially wanted to be a doctor but actually ended up studying Thai at Chula because I was good at it. One day, I attended a fashion competition called the Gift festival at Silapakorn University. I decided right there and then that I would compete the next year. But I knew nothing about fashion at that point.
BK: How did you prepare?
I started going to libraries, every day, just reading about fashion, and spoke to people in the industry. One year later, I placed third in the competiton, landed a job as an assistant designer at Greyhound, and eventually got a scholarship at the Institut Francais de la Mode.
BK: How did you come to enter the Mango Fashion Awards?
In fact, I competed for the Mango award twice. The first time, my teacher saw the work I submitted and said, “You disappoint me. If you study here and that’s the best that you can do, it’s such a waste of time.” It was painful to hear but I decided that I would prove myself to him.
BK: What was your inspiration in creating the collection?
My collection for Mango is called “Reincarnation.” I had lost my father shortly before I created the collection. I was sad about the loss and I went to lot of temples to heal my pain after coming back from France. It helped me absorb my own roots, dharma, and consider where we all go after we die. My collection builds on that, and the idea of the dead strengthening the living. I represent it through snake yadong [a herbal alcohol], which people believe will give them the strength of the dead snake in the jar. The other aspect is the high level of craftsmanship, in little details like the leatherwork and braiding.
BK: What’s next?
I now work as a cultural officer for the Ministry of Culture’s Office of Contemporary Art and Culture so I will try to push our fashion industry forward. As for my brand, Wisharawish, I want to use my prize [300,000 euros] to help it grow, too. I’d like to break into Asian markets like Singapore and Japan before shifting my focus to Europe and the US. My biggest dream is to present my work at the Paris Fashion Week.
BK: Do you sell your collection?
I don’t want to depend on the traditional system in the fashion industry where they normally do collections twice a year and rush to the factory to produce and sell it in 3 months. I don’t have enough time and money for that. So I just make it for customers who love my collection, of whom, to be honest, there are only 10 people.
BK: What’s your motto?
Depend on yourself before seeking help from others.