Photo courtesy of Jesse Chun
Interview

BRANDON SUN

09.11.11

Brandon Sun launched his namesake label of fur accessories with a collection in Fall/Winter 2011. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, he worked at J. Mendel for five years before serving as Design Director at Oscar de la Renta.

Interview

Can you talk about your experience at Oscar de la Renta and J. Mendel working with fur? For your own line, was there consideration for materials other than fur? Do you plan on adding different material in the future?

Working at J. Mendel was one of the most rewarding challenges of my life because I had the chance to work on a couture level with the best fur, best fabrics, and best atelier in NY.  I really had a hands-on approach in learning how to do many things and I definitely want to jump back into doing more than just fur.  In my upcoming Spring collection, which will be presented in the Greg Mills Showroom this week, you’ll see a lot of workmanship in both technological fabrics and delicate tulle and chiffon. Some pieces don’t even have fur!

With Oscar de la Renta, I really learned a lot about merchandising and defining the market I’m working with. Oscar really teaches you how to understand your customer and create a world for them, a fantasy.  So for me, being the design director for the fur division, it was a natural way to start with fur on my own and realizing/defining my own world/brand.

Do you have a vision of the woman wearing your furs? What is she wearing with them?

I think the best part of designing a collection of accessories is that it’s a universal product for everyone: women, men, uptown, downtown…everyone. Someone who already has fur could add something completely fresh to update their closets.  Also since they’re smaller, more affordable pieces; they can be entry level purchases for new fur customers as well.  The pieces from my collection are meant for layering into whatever people already have in their closets.  They’re practical accents to a favorite leather jacket or trench…they add a touch of luxury to anything that’s already someone’s personal style.

The collection is also designed to be worn in multiple ways to be accommodating while running around town with need to make a quick switch to a fancy dinner.  So pretty much, the customer can be anyone who wants to luxe up their wardrobes with a bit of furry fun!  I like to fantasize about a person who can take the accessory and reinvent it by wearing it their own way whether it is cool/slouchy/relaxed or refined/together/prim.  Either way, I always appreciate people who are confident in their appearances and know how to work new ideas into their looks.

In launching your namesake collection, was accessories where you always wanted to be?

I think it just happened.  Its funny because I’ve never thought much about accessories until I began wanting to wear them and my friends started asking for them.  Suddenly, I was sketching them all the time and decided to try making a few and test the market.  I had a lot of support from the fur industry which led to a few large accounts who were interested from the get-go….there is somewhat of a void in the market for my type of product so it just made sense to go for it.

What is the narrative behind the collection?

My first collection was all about practicality and refinement.  I knew what the stores were asking for and so I began to simply think about what I would want and instinctively began making things.  I mixed the unexpected: soft chinchillas with spiked silver foxes and lined things with leather bands.  It was all about opposites – hard and soft; then working them into a lifestyle that’s constantly on the move.   I developed complex colors with my dyers that would play with all skin tones.  Most importantly, it was still about retaining a strong sense of luxury and elegance.  I wanted to romanticize the clash between opposites.

I have this overall philosophy for a certain “zen” lifestyle….where everything just kind of happens to fall in place whether it’s upside down or right side up.  It’s about a flow or transition that carries you through the day – through life.  My upcoming spring line plays with technicolor and light tech fabrics juxtaposed against luxurious pleating on silk and feather light quilting…I jokingly called this collection “technicolor dreamcoat” and it just stuck.  But really, it’s about transitioning seasons and transitioning hours.  The challenge is to create pieces that are versatile enough to accommodate all levels of this transition.

How many styles are offered through Moda Operandi? Are they one- of-a-kind pieces?

We offered the entire collection to Moda Operandi for their internet trunk show, but nothing was one-of-a-kind. They were allowed to edit what they wanted to show, but they picked it all up!

Do you have plans to grow the collection?

Of course! The lineup and our list of stores are always expanding. Some stores are already asking for a greater assortment so we’re now trying to figure out how best to plot the next few years.  It’s a really exciting time and I’m really lucky to have great friends/mentors supporting and coaching me.

Is there a stockist you think would be the perfect fit to house the Brandon Sun collection?

There are so many great stores that I personally love to shop in and a bunch of those have already begun to carry the collection such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Boston, Savannah, Julianne’s and Boon the Shop in Seoul. I’d love to see my stuff at Maxfields, 10 Corso Como, L’Eclaireur. Haha, it’s not easy to list!

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