Fashion Comes First
hais, on the whole, are a fashion forward bunch, especially those in Bangkok. We may not have sharp city-dwellers in Chanel suits and Louboutin heels walking the streets of Ratchaprasong (that’s because Thais in general don’t walk) but go to any chic event and one will be dazzled at the catwalk styles assailing your eyes wherever you turn. On the streets, however, you can find the latest in style models of cars, motorbikes and even bicycles.
Being fashionabl e and in trend is so vital to any self-respecting Thai that he or she tries to live by it. Other than what one w ears, this concept extends to other aspects of life including what and where you eat and where you play. This explains the phenomenon whereby a new hangout opens, the crowd zooms in on it, a ne w one opens, and, like a swarm of bees, they fly off to it leaving the former empty.
However, getting back to luxury goods, you only need to roam the retail malls and you will find that just about every major designer label is now available in Bangkok. Yes, tourists are a big market for these boutiques, but obviously Thais also buy in no small amount, otherwise the brands would not be able to survive. This then begs the question: with the average person earning salaries more associated with the Third World than the First, how are they able to afford to follow the latest fashions? Most of the retailers prefer not to want to know the answer, just that their customers keep on buying. Some of the Thais may mispronounce the names of the brands as Her-mis (Hermes), David off (Davidoff ), Goocky (Gucci) or Channel (Chanel), but the y buy.
And you would be wrong if you thought that the shoppers are all female. In fact, many of the most fashion forward Thais are men, especially gay men. In this issue, we feature five guys who turn heads wherever they go. These very flamboyant dressers believe that more is better and certainly add colour to the city’s social scene.
It’s definitely hot out there, so stay inside in air-conditioned comfort and check out the rest of the very interesting stories and pictures in our magazine. That’s the fashionable thing to do!