Chatting with Malaysian Designer, Vincent Siow
Meet Vincent Siow - a budding menswear designer from my hometown, Malaysia.
Siow delved into the world of fashion after winning a government grant from the Malaysian Government’s Finance Ministry a few years earlier and launched his first menswear fashion label, The Comoddity back in 2014.
Amongst the many things we chatted about, my first question to him was about the name of his brand. His reply? “It’s a portmanteau of the words common and oddity,” Siow explains.
Fascinatingly enough, Siow didn’t actually have any background in fashion or design though he has always loved art and paints on a regular basis. Instead, Siow explained that he first stepped foot in the industry as a buyer for luxury brands and later decided to start his own collection after enjoying his time designing a collection for the company that he was working for.
Fast-forward to present day, Siow designs three labels of his own: The Comoddity, Como and 221BC. The three different labels give him a diverse set of margins that targets a specific style and category.
Comoddity is rather semi-formal, Como a street wear label while 221BC is intrinsically artistic in terms of design where it is more high fashion and prioritises influences of haute couture. Despite the differences in styles, all three of his labels have one feature in common and that is in the extent of all the little details in each line.
Much like his paintings, Siow said that his design process and philosophy are "pretty easy, relaxed and based on how and what I (he) feel."
With his designs often consisting of bright and playful colours with hints of abstract art, one might wonder where does the creativity come from... “I draw inspirations from everywhere! But mainly from art, literature and storybooks and sometimes even my own paintings,” Siow muses.
During our conversation, Siow went on to reveal his favourite piece of literature and much to my surprise, it's Dante’s Inferno along with the Harry Potter series!
If like me, you'd like to get your hands on some of Siow's designs, you'd be glad to know that I asked the million-dollar question all you girls out there wanted to know: will he ever create womenswear for us ladies? The answer is: "maybe in the future”.
Spotlight on 221BC
Created by Malaysian designer Vincent Siow, 221BC is a brand of distinctiveness and brilliance. This menswear label has a strong attention for detail, featuring the use of custom luxe fabrics, materials and eye-catching designs.
In its essence, 221BC’s design aesthetics are heavily influenced by a thematic juxtaposition in the elements. A combination of contemporary culture and high fashion produces a sleek line of menswear that is quintessential for the modern man.
Having appeared at several different fashion shows, including Paris and more recently at Shanghai Fashion Week, 221BC is one of Malaysia's emerging brand to-watch.
This article is rewritten based on an interview I conducted as part of my undergraduate's final project submitted to the University of Chester for marking in 2016. All facts and information are correct at the time of the initial interview and write-up. The Comoddity brand is now known as CMDI menswear.