This past weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting the incredibly talented fashion designer Zang Toi at Saks Fifth Avenue Columbus. Zang brought some pieces from his runway collection that was recently shown in NYC. I was intrigued by the feminine silhouettes and attention to detail in his collection. The lace detail on the coat sleeves is so unexpected, yet adds a ethereal feel and the beading on the dresses is true craftsmanship. I’m so grateful to have had a moment to chat with Zang about his collection. See more below from our Q&A!
Mrs. Ladylike: What was your inspiration behind this collection?
Zang Toi: “Courchevel Chic” is the name of the collection and it was inspired by my recent trip to the exclusive french ski resort, Courchevel. I wanted to incorporate ski inspired clothing in the beginning of my show. There are lots of fur trimmed coats and jackets in this part of the collection. Even though Courchevel Chic is the main inspiration, Paris also had a great impact on me during this time. I was in Paris 13 days after the attacks occurred and I wanted to pay tribute to a city that has brought me so much joy.
Mrs. Ladylike: What is your favorite piece from this collection?
Zang Toi: My favorite piece has to be the red gown that I sketched in one of my favorite restaurants in Paris, Le Grand Vefour. It symbolizes my love for Paris. (Photo above that was featured by NBC NEWS)
Mrs. Ladylike: Who are some of your favorite celebrities to dress?
Zang Toi: My favorite celebrity to dress is Sharon Stone. She has such a star quality, pure glamour, and has her own sense of style. Sharon comes to me and knows exactly what she wants. She doesn’t work with a stylist. Also, Farah Fawcett’s kindness is very admirable and we have shared many special moments together that I will cherish forever.
Mrs. Ladylike: I recently watched a documentary called Dior & I, and it was about the appointment of Raf Simones at the House of Dior. He only had 6-8 weeks to create the whole couture collection. How long does it take to prepare for NY Fashion Week?
Zang Toi: It usually takes about 10 months to prepare the whole collection. Samples usually take 6-8 week and all is done in my atelier. We do the final fittings 1 week before the show to make sure everything fits perfectly. Even though the collection is done, my mind never stops working. I usually already have a lot of the next collection done in my mind!
Mrs. Ladylike: Where do you see the Zang Toi Fashion House in the next 5-10 years?
Zang Toi: I want to continue to make women look and feel beautiful and glamorous! I want to instill a good work ethic in the youth. I came to America with $350 in my pocket and I wanted to make something of myself, which I did. I run an independent house, don’t take on any debt, and continue to live the American dream. Also, I see a lot of people thinking that they need to do drugs in order to be a creative genius. That is not so. You are born with this creativity, don’t look to drugs to bring it out.
Thank you to Mr. Toi for taking time out to speak with me at Saks Fifth Avenue-Columbus. Visit the link below to see his whole runway show!