When it comes to Thai fashion, tourists all over will point to wholesale malls and street markets as their go-to for quick and cheap fashion finds. But the fashion industry in Thailand, and Bangkok, especially, is seeing a shift in interest in what locals are able to present to the world on the luxury front. International critics may be overlooking designers from Thailand for the more prominent names in other cosmopolitan cities, such as Singapore and Seoul, but there’s no denying that Thai designers are rapidly making their way up to the top.
Thai fashion designers have been critically acclaimed for their creativity and their ability to seamlessly integrate textures and a mishmash of prints together for different looks that are all a reflection of the different personalities that create these wearable works of art. Thai designers are slowly gaining the recognition they deserve that even public figures like, Kim Kardashian and even First Lady Michelle Obama have worn garments by homegrown Thai labels.
There are many places online, like Zalora, where labels by Thai fashion designers can be found. Many of these designers also sell direct to buyers through their online store. But if making a trip to Bangkok, there are thankfully, many places to find such coveted pieces by Thai designers before the rest of the world fights for them. Names that regularly pop up are Siam Paragon, Centralworld, and Gaysorn. These three malls may be well known for the glamorous luxury brands they carry but they are also where many homegrown brands have set up shop within the city centre.
Siam Paragon carries some of the bigger names, such as family affair, Sretsis, dayto-night wear Asava, and avant-garde Flynow. Over at Centralworld are the OGS of Thai luxury fashion, such as Kai, who mentored another Thai designer, Tawn Chatchavalvong, winner of VOGUE’S Who’s On Next competition. Disaya, who has dressed icons like Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez also holds residency at Centralworld. For higher-end names, Gaysorn is the mall to visit. In addition to some of the names previously mentioned, those who also own shops here are brands like Issue, whose designer, Roj Singhakul, has showcased his Oriental-inspired designs on America’s Next Top Model, and Phuket Mermaids, who provides luxury and higher quality swimwear to various pageants around the world.
But apart from fashion, Thai designers are also winning on the product front. Known as “lifestyle designing”, these designers are reinventing the things we use in our home, such as our furniture, lighting and other items that merge aesthetics with function. Check out Thonglor and the neighbouring area for the showrooms of Thai designers. Award-winning Deesawat, who creates anything from furniture to flooring, and eco-friendly home decoration boutique, Corner 43 Décor, both have concept rooms in the area for keen buyers to peruse. For a one-stop shop, try The Jam Factory located on “the other side” of the river. The former factory has been transformed to include an art gallery and restaurant but the front of the space sells a curation of products from Thai designers and international novels translated into Thai.
OPPOSITE PAGE Many Thai designers who first made international headlines now own their own spaces at Centralworld THIS PAGE Alongside luxury international brands are local Thai designers at Siam Paragon