Interview: Kit Bencharongkul Stars In The Bangkok Edition Of Breguet's Global Classic Tour Campaign
There are several character traits about Kanachai, known to all as Kit, that make him an ideal presenter for Breguet’s Classic Tour video campaign. Aside from the fact that he is an experienced photographer and art curator, he is also unfailingly courteous and has a face that could be placed in any time period in the last two centuries.
“I think it’s my hair and moustache,” he laughs. “The side-sweep is a classic look for me. As for my moustache, it started off with me simply being lazy and not shaving for a few days, but then people kept telling me that I looked better with it, so it stayed and has become something of a personal signature.”
Stealing some time with Kit between the shooting for the video campaign, we were able to get a few style tips from the man who seems equally comfortable behind or in front of the camera. “A smart blazer or suit is always good for events,” he says. “I like to opt for classic palettes like navy and white—blue in its various hues is my favourite colour—although I do play around with other colours occasionally. For instance, I might wear a bold red jacket or something patterned.”
If you’ve ever seen him on a casual night out with friends or grabbing coffee on the weekends, you’ll know that for these occasions Kit loves a simple yet stylish combo of a plain tee and jeans or chinos. You’ll also hardly ever spot him without a cool pair of sunglasses, a neat pair of shoes and a simple but elegant timepiece on his wrist. It comes as no surprise then that he names the late actor James Dean as one of his biggest style icons. “It’s just the way he wore his hair or a simple T-shirt with a leather jacket—he always looked so effortlessly cool.”
When asked why he tends to gravitate towards classic aesthetics, Kit explains that such styles have the trait of timelessness. “These long-standing pieces look good and retain their value, that’s what I love about them.” The photographer also cites his parents for helping to shape his tastes. “Growing up, they would play me stuff from groups like The Beatles and The Carpenters and other music from back in the day. We would also have a movie night at home every week and the films we watched together have become cherished childhood memories. A weird one would be Gremlins,” he smiles. “My dad would always put that on for me when I was really young. But the first Star Wars movie is truly a classic for me. I’ve seen it so many times. It’s a film you can go back to again and again and enjoy.”
The creative director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA Bangkok), Kit’s latest obsession may come as a surprise. “I’m working on my musical skills at the moment. I took piano lessons as a youngster but stopped playing after a few years. Now I’m taking lessons again. It’s quite difficult because your fingers don’t seem to be as fluid as they once were. It’s fun though. I think music is one of the best ways of relaxing and I’m having a go at writing music as well. I’m actually planning to release a couple of singles by the end of the year.”
Music, photography, art curation—it is all part of a wider mise-en-scène for this creative spirit. “I’m still shooting regularly of course and working at MOCA. I think all my endeavours relate to one another because they’re all in the arts. What I do with photography or film work I try to use in my music as well. And at MOCA I often bring in artists and sometimes photographers. It can be a lot of work doing these three things full-on at the same time, but I enjoy it,” he says.
Whether you reflect a more classic vibe like him or a sense of style that’s more cutting edge and avant garde, it’s important, according to Kit, “to present yourself in the way you want people to perceive you. Because a lot of the time you are meeting people who barely know you. Their first impression of you—whether it’s based on what you are wearing or how you act—comes to determine who you are to them. So, as commonplace as it sounds, the most important thing is to be true to yourself. And be confident! I think confidence"—as in a neat side-sweep or well-fitted blue suit—"is something that never goes out of style.”
Story by Mika Apichatsakol
Photos by Gareth Sheehan
Video by Khomthong Rungsawang
Locations: Cortina Watch Erawan, The Somchai and Black Amber Social Club