PHOTOGRAPHY ROWAN PAPIER
STYLIST JULIEN ALLEYNE
Thi Wan, born in Burma, grew up in Brooklyn under a strong Buddhist influence, which he credits for his spiritual and poetic designs. Initially hoping to pursue a career in scientific research like his parents did, Wan instead decided to enter the field of art and design after being offered a full scholarship to Parsons Scholars Program at the age of 15. While at school, he freelanced for fashion designers outside, eventually getting to work on projects for Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas.
For this collection, he says, Wan studied the concept of borders. Representing a physical partition between an object and its environment, as well as symbolizing cultural divide in the modern world, the word 'border' speaks to a set of themes he explores through this fashion thesis. Culture, being a distinctive habitual event of customs, beliefs, and social behaviors that characterize a society, is slowly changing in its definition under contemporary influences of technology and globalization; cultural borders, whether physical or mental, are slowly disappearing. The citizen is becoming the global individual, and his cultural border is shrinking down to the physical border of his own skin. This collection is a study of the designer’s individual body and skin as a personal border. What got you into design?
THI WAN My background is actually in sculpture. Fashion and clothing came as an accident after I helped create accessories for local designers. I became interested in fashion after I discovered work from designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Henrik Vibskov.
Who, if you could dress anyone, would wear your clothes?
TW An obvious choice would be Tilda Swinton. Also, Ezra Miller intrigues me a lot. As I expand and develop my work in a more ready-to-wear approach, I would want a wider audience to be aware of the brand and appreciate it.
What is the state of menswear today, as compared to a few years ago?
TW Menswear is arguably the fastest growing in the fashion industry. Especially, we are seeing designers push the boundaries of traditional menswear. The best part is that men are starting to be more open minded and appreciate fashion as more than an everyday necessity.
What are your personal favorite brands?
TW Not brands per se, but Chalayan, Haider Ackermann, and Margiela are some designers that I look up to. Japanese designers, such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake also inspire me. As far as my personal style goes, I find myself wearing a white T-shirt with black pants a lot. And of course, my backpack completes the look.
GROOMING Joey George Make Up Eugene Kevin Models Dylan (IMG) AND Ryan (Colby Models)