Har­ris Chan

Deputy CEO and fash­ion di­rec­tor of Moiselle

Prestige Hong Kong - 40 under 40 - - Contents -

Although his par­ents founded women’s la­bel Moiselle in 1997, in its cur­rent in­car­na­tion all the hand­prints found on the brand are those of Har­ris Chan, who has helped turn it into one of the most suc­cess­ful Hong Kong names on the in­ter­na­tional fash­ion stage. The 31-year-old de­signer reg­u­larly in­vites his friends to sit front-row at his shows, and they proudly go all out for the charmer who di­rected two land­mark events in Hong Kong dur­ing 2018: Stop the Sea, be­side Vic­to­ria Har­bour, and the epic Stop the Air Traf­fic, held on the rooftop of Chek Lap Kok’s Ter­mi­nal 2.

Chan meets us fresh from a trip to Shang­hai, where he held an ex­hi­bi­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Rus­sell James, who shot a se­ries of ex­quis­ite black-and-white por­traits. Even big­ger things are in the works, how­ever.

“Well,” he says, “a show in Paris in Septem­ber 2019, a new cam­paign and idea to kick­start 2019 which I can’t re­veal yet — but a big splash in March. We’re go­ing to have 40 stores open­ing world­wide. Re­cently I was pro­moted to deputy CEO and I want to bring about a new cul­ture and a new team struc­ture for the whole com­pany.

“I want to hu­man­ise Moiselle — make Moiselle a three-di­men­sional per­son. When you close your eyes, I want you to know who she is. Not just a brand.”

His pass­port stamps bear wit­ness to his trav­els, though in the past year it’s been mostly within Asia. “I see my­self as an Asian de­signer,” he says. “I travel nearly ev­ery week, to Shang­hai, Bangkok, Sin­ga­pore. And we have strate­gic stores in all those places, but ob­vi­ously China is my big­gest mar­ket” — and one where his af­ford­ablelux­ury brand is en­joy­ing record sales.

“We’ve seen tremen­dous growth in online sales,” says Chan. “We have four ma­jor e-channels in the main­land and a strong net­work. We opened stores back in 2010 in China — we had part­ners and fran­chises since 2002 — but e-commerce is where we dra­mat­i­cally took off in the past year. We had three-digit growth and ac­cord­ing to sev­eral eco­nomic re­ports we might have been the only brand to see that.”

Chan also made strate­gic moves to en­sure his brand has prime po­si­tion­ing in vis­i­bil­ity. “Since 2015, I closed down all the whole­sale and the fran­chises in south­ern China,” he says. “We saw a drop in rev­enue ob­vi­ously, but I promised the fi­nan­cial depart­ment that we’ll re­cover within five years through the re­struc­tured com­pany.”

As for all work and no play mak­ing Har­ris a dull boy, he smirks and says, “Apart from work, I don’t have much else to talk about. I en­joy be­ing busy. It’s fun — I don’t tor­ture my­self with work, as it’s been in­ter­est­ing to ob­serve hu­man man­age­ment. It in­spires me, it’s my leisure and plea­sure. When it’s your com­pany you hap­pily make cer­tain sac­ri­fices...”

Which clearly means a pause in his per­sonal life. “Oh trust me, I’m very happy,” he says. “With my Asia Miles points!”

“I want to hu­man­ise Moiselle — make Moiselle a three-di­men­sional per­son. When you close your eyes, I want you to know who she is. Not just a brand”

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