24 HOURS WITH WANG CHEN TSAI-HSIA

The de­signer and founder of Shi­atzy Chen on a day in her life in Taipei. As told to Cai Mei Khoo.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

The de­signer and founder of Shi­atzy Chen shares her daily sched­ule

6AM I usu­ally get up at about this time ev­ery morn­ing. Af­ter some stretch­ing ex­er­cises, I have a light break­fast of bread and milk with cof­fee and a glass of freshly squeezed mixed fruit juice. Then, I get on with my English course, which lasts for an hour. I started learn­ing English about five years ago and take ev­ery chance I get to prac­tise with friends and col­leagues. 8.30AM Time for a quick shower – I love prod­ucts from L’Occitane and use its hair and body care as part of my morn­ing rit­ual. Then it is time for a lit­tle makeup be­fore hit­ting the of­fice. How long it takes me to get ready in the morn­ings de­pends on whether I have spe­cial ap­point­ments or oc­ca­sions to at­tend that day. Oth­er­wise, I try to spend as lit­tle time as pos­si­ble to get dressed. My sig­na­ture style is usu­ally jeans with a Shi­atzy Chen top or jacket, or a sim­ple shift dress. My favourite jeans are from my own label, of course, as they are so com­fort­able. 9AM The of­fice is my first stop af­ter I leave the house. I get driven to work so I have about half an hour of more English prac­tice in the car. I al­ways have my head­phones on and lis­ten to an English au­dio CD. 9.30AM A reg­u­lar day at work for me in­volves lead­ing my de­sign and creative team mem­bers through the sea­sons and over­see­ing the work progress. We come up with new de­signs and ideas on a daily ba­sis, which is how we put an en­tire col­lec­tion to­gether. Right now we are in the midst of work­ing on the Spring/Sum­mer ’ 14 col­lec­tion. It is split into var­i­ous groups by theme and colour, and we con­tinue to work on draw­ings, pat­terns and fit­tings un­til we are sat­is­fied that each piece com­ple­ments the col­lec­tion per­fectly. I like to lis­ten to mu­sic at work. Of course, mu­sic al­ways de­pends on one’s mood but it is usu­ally ei­ther jazz, clas­si­cal or pop. 12PM Reg­u­lar meals make a dif­fer­ence so lunch is at noon on the dot. I try to main­tain a bal­anced diet and eat in the right pro­por­tions to keep healthy. 2PM It’s usu­ally back-to-back meet­ings with my team post-lunch. Apart from Shi­atzy Chen, I also run a life­style brand called Cha Cha The so I try to ded­i­cate a fifth of my daily work­ing hours to that. I’m ei­ther con­firm­ing fab­rics with my Shi­atzy Chen team or have a food tast­ing ses­sion with my Cha Cha The team. Work days usu­ally last an aver­age of 10 hours for me but of course it’s more hec­tic in the lead up to Paris Fash­ion Week. There are cast­ings and fit­tings for nearly a hun­dred mod­els and this process takes us at least three days. If I’m not at meet­ings with my peo­ple, I try to get some quiet time in and lis­ten to mu­sic in pri­vacy. 4PM Truth is, I am a to­tal fan of the pas­tries and tea served at Cha Cha The so some­times I al­low my­self a naughty snack for af­ter­noon tea. 8PM Din­ner is al­most al­ways at home or at Cha Cha The. I sel­dom cook now as I’m way too busy at work but if I do, I pre­fer cook­ing au­then­tic Tai­wanese cui­sine, which my fam­ily is re­ally into. I try to catch up with fam­ily and friends for din­ner. Post-din­ner, if my grand­son is around, I free up some time to read him bed­time sto­ries. If I’m by my­self, I get on the tread­mill or watch a good movie. 11PM My son and daugh­terin-law have been sweet enough to upload some mu­sic onto my iPhone so I usu­ally ei­ther lis­ten to mu­sic be­fore go­ing to bed, or prac­tise English be­fore bed­time. I’ve also learned to use What­sApp and WeChat, which makes it so much eas­ier to con­nect with my beloved fam­ily. 1AM My bed dressed in silk and cot­ton sheets of the high­est qual­ity. It’s only nat­u­ral for me to be par­tic­u­lar about the qual­ity of fab­rics I use.

Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia

Shi­atzy Chen Au­tumn/ Win­ter ’13

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