Fash­ion Comes First

Thailand Tatler - - TO OUR READERS - —Napha­lai Areesorn Edi­tor-in-Chief

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!

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