10 Things You Didn’t Know About Han Chong

In the world of fashion, some names command respect and adoration just by their mere mention. Han Chong, the mind behind the Self-Portrait fashion label, is one of them. Known for his intricate lace designs, classy yet cutting-edge fashion motifs, and a universally appealing fashion line, Han Chong has created a distinct space in the industry. Here are 10 things you might not know about this fashion visionary.

1. From Penang to the World Stage

Chong is a Malaysia native, born and raised in Penang. The worldwide success of his brand might seem far removed from his humble beginnings, but Chong’s early years in Penang significantly influenced his design sensibilities. The colours, patterns, and culture of his hometown are often mirrored in his collections, making them relatable across different cultures.

Despite having successfully built a brand in the UK, Chong maintains a strong connection with his roots. This harmonious fusion of Eastern and Western influences is what sets his designs apart from others in the industry.

2. Humble Beginnings

Chong did not have an easy start. After completing his studies at Central Saint Martins in London, a premier institution for fashion and art, he initially struggled to establish himself. His first label, Three Floor, co-founded with friends, inevitably faced challenges due to differences in creative vision.

However, Chong didn’t let this setback affect his determination. In 2013, he started his independent brand, Self-Portrait, which quickly gained recognition for its exceptional designs and affordable prices.

3. Fashion With a Purpose

Han Chong believes in making fashion more inclusive. The initial vision for Self-Portrait was to create high-end designs available at accessible price points. Chong firmly believes that style should not be dictated by money or social status, which is why his brand mainly focusses on contemporary luxury fashion at a lower price point.

The intricate and delicate designs that Self-Portrait offers, commonly worn by both royalty and celebrities, do not come with extravagant price tags. By creating this affordable luxury, Chong has broken the stereotype that high-end fashion is exclusive for the elite.

4. Unique Mix of Artistry and Business

In contrast to many of his industry peers, Chong possesses a balanced blend of creative mind and commercial acumen. His ability to capture the essence of modern women’s fashion while ensuring profitability is what sets him apart from other designers.

Chong considers fashion a form of wearable art, but he also understands the need for his designs to be commercially viable. This unique dichotomy of art and commerce has been crucial for the success of Self-Portrait.

5. Proud to be an Outsider

Despite finding enormous success in the mainstream fashion world, Chong confesses he still feels like an outsider in the industry. But, instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, he appreciates this unique perspective. It allows him to think outside the box and bring innovative designs to life.

He doesn’t follow the traditional expectations and norms of the industry. Han Chong’s Self-Portrait is a daring, audacious brand that is not afraid to go against established fashion norms and carve its own identity.

6. Fashion for Empowerment

Chong’s designs are not just about looking good; they aim to empower the wearer. His collections often reflect strong, independent women. The designs don’t just flatter the female form but also enhance the overall persona.

By focusing on creating clothes that make women feel confident and powerful, Chong has managed to form a unique connection with his customers, one that is based on respect and empowerment.

7. Celebrity Fanbase

Not many designers can claim to boast a diverse fanbase of both A-list celebrities and royals, but Chong is among the few who can. His designs have been sported by the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyoncé, among others.

This extensive celebrity following is testament not only to Chong’s unique designs but also to his philosophy of inclusive luxury. From the red carpet to royal engagements, Chong’s work has left a mark in haute couture.

8. Chong’s Signature Lace Dresses

One of the things that Chong is most known for is his signature aesthetic of intricate lace dresses. These lacey numbers have become synonymous with the Self-Portrait brand, enabling women to feel both feminine and strong.

Often mistaken as handwork, Chong’s lace creations are a harmonious blend of machine-made precision and human touches. The complex designs and attention to detail make these creations stand out in the industry.

9. Eye for Detail

Chong’s success can be accredited to his discerning eye for detail. Even the minutest factors like choice of material, layering, and contrasting combinations do not escape his notice.

This trait, combined with his passion for creativity and innovation, allows Chong to consistently deliver collections that surprise and captivate both the industry and his clientele.

10. Appreciation for Collaboration

Chong understands the value of creative synergy. He has collaborated with various designers and artists to create exclusive collections. From partnering with shoe designer Robert Clergerie to working with Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor, these collaborations only enhance the brand’s distinctive image.

Chong’s willingness to open his brand to different artistic visions underlines his commitment to pushing the boundaries of what fashion can be.

Now that you’ve learnt more about Han Chong, we encourage you to explore his work and experience the melding of culture, style, and luxury in his designs. Here are a few resources to get started:

Self-Portrait Official Site
Han Chong’s Instagram
Business of Fashion – Han Chong Profile