Hong Kong/ Japan, Hong Kong
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My mom grew up working in the garment industry and had her own leather goods store in Toronto. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, my early memories at the age of 10 are of my brother and I going to work for our parents and loving it - I always felt so responsible and grown-up. I loved working in my mom's leather goods store and meeting customers.
Imagine having access to all your heart's desire and being involved in buying, merchandising and meeting new people from around the world everyday. Being a good Asian girl I went to university and received my double major degree promptly in banking and teaching. It was whilst living in Japan where I really found my base so to speak. I greatly admired Japanese artisanal work and the way in which fashion is so serious and yet, so free-spirited. Japanese fashion is so often about the new and avante-garde and this is done so well by many other designers like Issey Miyake. So, I had a strong desire to take the foundation of Japanese artisanal craftsmanship, style and materials and re-define them in a fresh way. I hope that this is translated successfully in our signature Obi Series bags. The obi wristlet was the very first design, it was kept minimalistic in order to truly let the intricately complex craftsmanship of the obi itself shine through while keeping the design and structure modern and thus, relevant and usable. So often, obis and kimonos in Japan are hidden away and rarely used, seen more as something traditional rather than style worthy. Each bag is also numbered from .1 to .5 to enable each customer to know where their bag came from and how each one is special to them. Every collection is also inspired by the people I meet, the places I go and what is happening at the moment. I only ever touch upon trends but I make sure to not follow them as that would make our brand the same as all the other brands out there.
In 2004, I met my current Japanese partner and the relationship has been great, he is always the sounding board for what is Japanese and I contribute the Western element in creating each design. I think, this summarizes part of our brand objective very well. Each person is an individual and I simply want every girl to feel and understand their uniqueness and that the design they choose will make them feel more beautiful. It is never about the bag or the accessory, it is nothing if it does not make you feel and look more beautiful. Each bag and accessory should enhance the lifestyle of the customer in some small way. At the end of the day, we are a small business and I feel very lucky to be supported by retailers and customers as it can be incredibly challenging to manage a business. I simply wish to create beautiful designs that hopefully, will be loved, girls designing for girls.
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