Kolin Chong

LIFE IS SHORT. GOTTA MAKE GOOD USE OF IT. 生命短暂,活出最大的自我。

Kolin is a quiet and steady sort of person. Back in 2009 he was a businessman: as the Finance Director for the Armani Hotel being built in Dubai, he spent time traveling all over the world away from his friends and family and working on spreadsheets and long-hours meetings.

Kolin看上去属于那种安静又稳重型的。2009年,作为Armani酒店在迪拜分部的财务顾问,Kolin整日穿梭在世界各地,埋首于各种报表和冗长的会议,远离家人和朋友。

0-B

Then the dazzling city sent him a clear message: it was time for him to reset his priorities. And so he did.

Kolin意识到这座城市给他隐隐传达出另一个信号:是时候重新找寻生活重心了。然后,Kolin开始寻求改变。

2

Kolin is now a Singapore-based fashion designer investing his energy to make his brand styl.myl. [www.stylmyl.com] grow day after day.

Kolin目前是一名时尚设计师,坐标在新加坡。他经营的独立品牌styl.myl.[www.stylmyl.com]正处于稳步上升阶段。

3

Was it painful to leave your career to do fashion?

Well, my career as an accountant was extremely lucrative so of course I had to adjust to the different economic scenario. But everything else was not too difficult: I was extremely bored and the property crush that hit Dubai around 2009 didn’t make things easier. I thought the time was right for me to leave that environment – after all life is short and I wanted to have a happy life.

从高级商务人士转型做独立设计,这个过程困难吗?

这么说吧,从经济收入层面上来说,财务顾问的收入的确很诱人,转型后必须要调整心态去面对这个改变。但其他方面都不是什么问题:当时我对工作已经很厌倦了,2009年迪拜房地产虽然遭遇崩盘,但我的工作仍然很忙碌。我觉得是时候离开这个环境了,毕竟生命是短暂的,人的生活应该过的更幸福。

4

Was Dubai sending you a clear message?

Yes, I think so. Only in Dubai I had time to stop, focus on my life and reset my priorities. It might sound strange, but life there after work is extremely slow and lonely, without friends or family around. I rediscovered my passion for art and fashion. Also, back then [in 2009] Esmod had just opened a branch there – and I read that as a message the city was sending me.

这个城市给你传达了非常清晰的信号。

我觉得是。只有在迪拜,我才能专注在自己的生活上,重新确立生活重心。也许这听上去有点奇怪,是吧。但其实在迪拜,除了工作以外,生活节奏都很缓慢,但也很孤单,因为家人和朋友都不在身边,然而这也帮助我重新发掘了自己对艺术和时尚的热情。2009年,Esmod(巴黎高级时装学院)在迪拜成立了分校,我觉得这就是向我传递的一个改变信号。

7

Why did you feel the urge to go back to school?

After working for 10 years I felt I had to go and learn more about fashion design. I wanted to broaden my horizon and above all to do things in the right way. Going back to school, in Dubai first and then in Paris, was refreshing: I tried to learn as many things as possible rather than just going through a process.

后来你又重新回到校园去读书,为什么会做这个决定?

工作十年之后,我希望能够了解更多关于时尚设计方面的专业知识,扩展自己的视野,用正确的方法做事情。所以我返回了校园,先在迪拜的学校学习,之后转去巴黎,校园生活改变了我。我很努力消化吸收学到的知识,而不是仅仅走个过场。

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When and why did you come back to Singapore?

After working in Paris as an intern for Veronica Leroy and Balmain among the others until 2014, I wanted to do something by myself and to launch my own brand. This is why I came back to Singapore, my hometown. I found a much more vibrant fashion scene then before. And I found friends and family waiting for me – I would have never found the strength to do something I had never done before.

你是什么时候回到新加坡的,为什么选择回到这个地方?

在巴黎时,我曾在Veronica Leroy和Balmain(两者都是著名法国时尚品牌)实习。直到2014年,我希望能为自己的事业努力,建立属于自己的品牌。所以我回到了我的故乡新加坡,这儿比以前更具有时尚活力;而且我的家人和朋友都在这里,同时我发现自己充满了创业的劲头,精力之旺盛前所未有。

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What about the Singaporean market for independent labels?

Well, Singapore retail market is extremely small – there are only 5 millions people and the offer is so wide. Also, there is no wholesale market for local designers and I think this is not acceptable. Of course there is some interest towards independent design, but the majority of people keep buying LV or Prada. This will change in the future, but we are not there yet.

对于独立设计品牌来说,新加坡市场怎么样?

新加坡的零售市场非常的小,毕竟这儿只有五百万人口,但是选择性却非常地广。除此之外,对于本土设计师来说,不存在批发市场,这点让人不能接受。当然,人们对于独立设计会有一定的兴趣,但是更多的人还是对LV、Prada等品牌趋之若鹜。我相信这点会慢慢发生改变,但是现在还不是时候。

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What’s your fashion approach?

I mainly design detachable jumpsuits – I find them very stylish and fun at the same time. As a young man I joined the army for 2 years in Singapore – during that time I wore overalls every single day. So now I feel jumpsuits are something I’m extremely familiar with. They are unique pieces, stylish and edgy.

你的设计属于哪个领域?

我主要是设计可拆卸的连体裤,我觉得(连体裤)很时尚、也很有趣。年轻时,我在新加坡参军两年,那时几乎每天我都要穿(类似)连体裤。所以现在我对它非常熟悉,觉得很特别、很有范儿也很有个性。

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What are you focusing on right now?

My focus is to keep the business small and steady. And I need to look at foreign markets, as Singapore is extremely overfilled. The best way I can think of is to attend trunk shows in Paris and NY and work with experienced buyers. Only once I have orders I start production. There might be other adventures waiting for me around the corner, but my brand is still young, and I need to build a stable base for it. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying it so much.

现在你主要精力是做什么?

现在主要是维持业务稳定,不随意扩张;我还需要观察一下国外市场,因为新加坡市场已经饱和了。能去参加巴黎和纽约的一些非公开的时装秀,然后与经验丰富的时尚买手合作就最好了。原则上,有订单我才会启动生产。也许未来有其他的机会,不过,我的品牌还很年轻,我需要建立一个稳定的基础。虽然工作挺辛苦,但是我很享受我的工作。

Editorial 5A

Kolin’s story is so inspiring. It has all the perfect ingredients: strong passion, hard work, past unhappiness, final sense of fulfillment.

Kolin的创业故事真的很打动人,也给人启发:热情、努力、摆脱桎梏、拥抱成就感。

Editorial 5B

With stories like this, who needs Hollywood movies?

身边有这样的励志故事,还需要看好莱坞大片找灵感吗?

Editorial 6A

La storia di Kolin Chong ha tutti gli ingredienti per essere la base per un film: le location da sogno, Dubai, Parigi e Singapore, una passione trascinante, per la moda, e un sogno da inseguire a tutti i costi, quello di fondare il proprio brand. E poi ci sono la fatica di lasciare la propria posizione stabile per un futuro ignoto e la soddisfazione per ogni piccolo risultato raggiunto. Ora aspetto solo il lieto fine.

Editorial 6C

 

For the pictures, special thanks t0 styl.myl.

图片由styl.myl.友情提供。

 

Translation by Jasmine Wang.

翻译由Jasmine Wang完成.

 


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