Pushing The Boundaries
Vincent Siow derives inspiration from art and literature. “A lot of myths and fictional topics,” he says, are reflected in his label Comoddity. Case in point is his most recent collection, inspired by Frankenstein, which was showcased at the recent KL Fashion Week 2015 that bagged the award for Best Men’s Wear, proving that despite being relatively new to the fashion industry, Comoddity is indeed a brand to contend with.
Photographs by Vincent Paul Yong/Studio Verve, Outfits by Emporio Armani, Watches by Bell & Ross
“I was quite surprised,” he says. “I really didn’t expect to win anything but I think it is a bit of a validation for what I have been doing. I think sometimes you are stuck in your own little world, so it is nice to be acknowledged.”
Interestingly, Vincent didn’t actually envision a career in fashion. Instead, it was something he felt he could do after landing a job as a buyer. As a buyer, he says, you acquire the technical know-how behind the creation of garments. That gave him the knowledge to take the next step, enabled by the fact that he won a government grant from MyCreative Ventures (an investment arm under the Finance Ministry).
Now Vincent designs for three different brands that target different segments and different styles. These include, Como which is street wear and very relaxed. Comoddity, which is a little bit more formal but with a twist in terms of fabrication and lastly, 221 which is more luxurious containing more details, extravagance and more luxurious materials.
That allows him to address the conflict most designers feel which is finding a balance between what sells the best and what a designer wants to design.
“That’s why I have different designs that capture different segments of the market. Within a collection, you have certain designs that are more eye-catching or more out of this world and the rest are more basics.”
It is perhaps also his strategy to push the fashion sensibility of the Malaysian male.
“A lot of people are becoming more open in terms of design,” he says. “In Comoddity, for example, you start by putting something special in a garment. Once they accept that then you can get them to try something else.”