Get To Know Han Chong, Founder Of Self-Portrait Fashion Brand, In One Minute
Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama and Khloe Kardashian are just some of the women who have worn his dresses. Malaysian-born designer Han Chong is the mastermind behind Self-Portrait, a popular British fashion house known for its signature feminine flower laced dresses and floral prints. We had the opportunity to sit down with the accomplished designer at his first boutique in Asia, at Central Embassy, to talk style, women and the future.
Why did you choose Thailand to be the home of your first store in Asia?
Thailand has always been very close to my heart. I’m from Malaysia, so we are neighbours. Growing up, I came here a lot, and I've been working with my partner in Thailand for the past five years. We also have very high demands in Thailand, so it was very natural for me, after five years, to open a store here. Also, I love Central Embassy. I think it's super chic. When I come to Bangkok, I always hang out here.
Tell us about your latest Resort 2020 collection. What are you trying to convey through the collection?
It's about partying. I usually design my collection based on what women do at a particular time. It’s the festive season—Christmas and New Year's—so it's a lot of holidays, a lot of sequins and something for special events. My designs are also about empowering women. It makes me very happy to see someone put on my dress and become confident. I'm not changing her, but I want to present her in the best version of herself.
Is this philosophy why your clothing is received so well by women across the globe?
I think it’s because when I design a dress, I always think if she can have fun in the dress. When you put on a dress and have fun memories in that dress, when you want to have the same feeling again you can put on the same dress and be reminded of the good times you had in it. People love that experience... Also, fitting is very important for me to make sure the dress is flattering.
What’s your philosophy on price tags?
I’ve always wanted to design for every woman. I want people to afford it, so I work very hard to make sure the pricing is honest. I make sure I have the best quality and finishing. It can be hard for the factory to achieve such quality while saving cost, but I still make sure the pricing is reasonable.
What do you do when you are not designing?
I still have to run the business, apart from designing, which is only a small part. I do around four to five collections and designing takes up around two weeks. Then, we have to do fitting, campaign shooting, lookbooks, negotiating deals, collaborations and all that stuff. There's just a lot going on apart from the designing. But when I’m not working, I enjoy furniture design, architecture and art.
Favourite fashion items for yourself?
I love a good jacket. I also have a lot of shoes.
What's an item every woman must own?
A good dress that makes her feel very special.
What's after Thailand?
China—Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Having started your brand in the West and expanding now to Asia, do you feel the need to change the style for the Asian market?
I grew up in Asia, so I’ve got the Asian in me. Everything I design, no matter where I am, there are Asian roots in it. The only thing we'll definitely consider are the different sizes, but we are quite a global brand and have balanced the collections to cater to every region.
Self-Portrait's boutique is located on the second floor of Central Embassy. For more information, visit self-portrait-studio.com.