I remember meeting this gentleman at the Durban Fashion Fair 2014 and I thought he had an incredible sense of style. It didn’t take time before I discovered that he is known as the Prince of Print in South Africa. Originally from Thailand, Chu has shared an impartial slice of being in the backseat seeing him work and studying in Paris as a Stylist. 14 years ago, he moved to South Africa where he has been working as a Stylist, Fashion Editor with media houses such as YOU, Huisgenoot and Drum on his sleeves. In February this year, Chu Suwannapha launched his Autumn Winter 2015 Collection under his label CHULAAP at the SA Menswear Week 2015.
I briefly chat to the Most Innovative Fashionista of the SA Style Awards on the journey to the début and the future for his brand.
GilmoreTee: A few years back, who was Chu and what were his aspirations?
Chu: I am originally from Thailand and I lived in Paris for 10 years. I have been in Cape Town, South Africa for 14 years now. Before South Africa, I was a merchant and my works are inspired by different cultures and art.
GilmoreTee: You recently launched your label at the SA Men Fashion Week, how long has been this dream and why the move now?
Chu: The launching of my ‘CHULAAP’ label has always been part of the plan for my fashion career in South Africa. I never thought that it would happen this soon, but it is something that I always expected. You can dream and you can plan but you can’t predict it. I was approached by South Africa Menswear Week and Cape Town Fashion Council on doing my own show. I thought about it and realised that it was a great opportunity. It is one of my life changing moments!
GilmoreTee: You have an outstanding look, how do you expect your feel to be transferred to your clothes and how is one expected to feel, when wearing your range?
Chu: My collection is all about celebrating Africa and is inspired by South African street styles. I played a lot with African prints and some Japanese twist. I used ‘ORIGAMI’ as the big theme for the collection ‘Wings of Freedom’. It’s cool, current and quirky, with a touch of tradition.
GilmoreTee: What from now, seeing the brand is out?
Chu: Taking one step at a time. I would like to move slowly but surely.
GilmoreTee: Is Africa in the right direction with the business of Fashion?
Chu: I believe Africa as a whole is one of the main business of fashion in the world, especially when we talk of fabrics and traditional craftsmanship. It is rich of cultures and art.
Follow the South Africa’s Prince of Print – Chu Suwannapha on Instagram: @ChuSuwannapha | Twitter: @ChuSuwannapha
Photo Credit: Simon Deiner / SDR Photo
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