Mimi by Milin
The buzz: After celebrating her fifth anniversary on the Thai fashion scene, designer Milin Yuvacharuskul, of the brand Milin, has launched a second fashion brand, Mimi, focusing on daily wear with a more energetic and younger look. The designer says Mimi is the kind of clothing a Milin girl would wear on vacation (see interview, right). In the Fuel-Fill collection for Spring/Summer 2015 you can expect to see lots of a basic pieces like sweatshirts, crop tops, denim shorts and mini-skirts in keeping with Milin’s ultra-sexy style.
Available at Mimi Pop-up Store, 1/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-8000. BTS Siam. www.milin.com
Mimi reminds us of your A.B.C. collection from Summer 2014 with its street-glam theme. Why launch a whole new brand?
Both Mimi and the A.B.C. collection touch on street style, but they’re actually quite different. With Milin, we blend elements of street style into our cuts and pattern, which stick to the concept of something you’d wear to a party, not on a daily basis. As for Mimi, I wanted easy to-wear pieces that Milin girls would choose on their vacation. It’s true that sometimes in Milin, there are pieces like crop tops and jerseys, but these only appear in some collections. Fast fashion has taken over the scene thanks to pocket-friendly prices, so I decided to create Mimi, not as a second line, but as another brand altogether.
What differentiates a second line from a separate brand?
Personally, I don’t mind how people see it, but I’d call it another brand. I see the potential in this brand to reach a wider audience beyond Milin customers. The character of the brand leaves more room to play around with. There’s also more room for collaboration.
How has launching Mimi affected your workload?
It’s double the amount of work. Mimi is still young. The brand needs a close analysis of customer behavior. But in terms of inspiration and design, each brand is independent of one other—there’s no overlap. If there’s a new technique that doesn’t fit with Milin, I know I can use it in Mimi.
Vick’s Weekend by Vickteerut
The buzz: After six years honing his womenswear brand Vickteerut, designer Teerut “Vick” Wongwatanasin rolled out his second line in mid-2014. Vick’s Weekend offers casual-yet-stylish items for women, along with more affordable prices. Inspired by Teerut’s and Pang Sudhinaraset’s (brand director) passion for traveling, the new brand comprises basic, mostly linen pieces for the modern-day active woman, while retaining Vickteerut’s minimal style and earth-tone color scheme.
Teerut “Vick” Wongwatanasin
How did Vick’s Weekend start?
After working on Vickteerut for a while, I noticed that my brand wasn’t really tailored to working women. The elegant pieces are the sort of thing you’d wear on a night out, not day to day. I wanted to do something that would appeal to active women. For me, Vick’s Weekend is not a second line; it’s not something similar but more affordable. It’s a whole different concept. The things that both brands have in common: clean and simple design pieces that you can actually wear.
How has launching Vick’s Weekend affected your workload?
Vick’s is easier than Vickteerut; it’s not a brand that needs a lot of detail. There are no abstract inspirations. We play around with new fabrics and new colors to go with basic forms, while with Vickteerut there’s a lot of attention to technique.
What makes a good second line?
I personally like T-Wang by Alexander Wang because both lines look the same but come in different fabrics. All items from T-Wang can be mixed with the first line perfectly. A good second line needs to reflect the main line’s identity so that the two can be mixed together.
Why do you think more Thai designers are coming out with second lines?
I think Thai people are still confused with the idea of what a second line is. A second line keeps the main one’s identity with more affordable prices and easier-to-wear designs. I wouldn’t say mine fits this, as it’s something completely different. For me, the main thing is not that more Thai designers are doing second lines; the simple fact is new brands are popping up every other day. One or two collections won’t guarantee your position in the scene. You can’t just follow the trends; you need to create your own identity in order to survive.
ASV by Asava
The buzz: Designer Polpat Asavaprapha founded Asava in 2008, putting the focus on elegant womenswear with timeless designs. Two years later he launched ASV featuring the same sophisticated fabrics and techniques but with more casual patterns and lower prices. Asava’s latest spring/summer collection, The State of Mind, goes down the sophisticated, red carpet route, while ASV’s, The Hippie Ingenue, takes inspiration from the 1970s with items like doubled-breasted blazers and flared pants that you can actually wear to the office.
Available at 1/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 080-049-1335. BTS Siam
Playhound and Play Too by Greyhound
The buzz: One of Thailand’s longest standing designer brands, Greyhound continues to enjoy a huge following to this day. The brand started out in 1980 as purely menswear, before launching women’s items and building up a reputation for stylish, minimal-boyish casual wear. In 2002, the second line Playhound was born, taking Greyhound’s concept more towards the street with playful and outgoing styles, and cheaper prices. Play II is the latest addition to the ‘Hound family, running under the Playhound brand. For spring/summer 2015, both Playhound and Play II have both unveiled collections titled The Art School, but the latter is even more colorful, with plenty of prints. Perhaps the best thing is that all three brands can be mixed and matched effortlessly.
Available at 3/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd.,02-252-3861. BTS Siam
Garden and Flynow III by Flynow
The buzz: Garden is the latest member of the Flynow family founded by Somchai Songwattana in 1983. Known for its sophisticated cuts and unusual patterns, as well as lots of prints, the main line rules Thailand’s runways these days. Flynow III sticks to the unique prints but has a greater focus on daily wear and collaborations with artists like Chira “Gui” Chirapravati Na Ayudhya, guitarist of Samurai Loud, and Jeep Kongdechakul, owner of the Ballet Shoes brand. As for Garden, it was launched in 2013 and, similar to Flynow III, puts heavy emphasis on prints. The items are casual in nature, ready-to-wear and can easily be mixed with the other lines.
Flynow available at 1/F, Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd., 02-610-9410
Flynow III and Garden available at 3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-1170