Describe your role.
Where are you located or based?
For the moment I am based mostly in Bangkok, Thailand.
What would be considered a day in the life for you
Since I have 2 brands to take care of, my routine is always busy. Whether it is talking the design team through the design process from the beginning till the end or meetings with the marketing team for my own boutique in Bangkok.
Did you always envision a career in design?
Yes, it has always been my favorite industry ever since I was a child, I always enjoyed art class the most. So I knew in the beginning that I want to work in the design industry.
Tell us about your background.
I graduated from architecture school in Bangkok, Thailand before I heading to Antwerp, Belgium to complete my second degree in fashion before I started my own brand in 2009.
Did you have any formal training?
I studied fashion field when I was in Antwerp, but not in the jewellery. But the education itself drove students to design in every detail of their collections including jewellery. So when a lot of students graduated they became accessory designers instead of fashion designer, and that includes me. We may not had formal training but we did have a strong concept to create a unique collection.
How did you establish Ek Thongprasert?
I establish Ek Thongprasert after I graduated from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. I actually started the brand from the jewellery I made for my graduate collection, which by luck went well from the beginning so I had the confidence to first establishes my brand.
As such a conceptual designer, where do you draw your design influences?
I mostly draw my inspiration from normal human perception, a perception on any subject in their life that sometimes they might found normal and look past it. But for me that a very normal subject, it can become something so special and make people look back and wonder about the message is. From the beginning when I design, I ask “what is luxury?” a simple one word that define fashion industry nowadays, luxury. How do we classify what is luxury and what is not? Are there from their material/ shape/ colour/ texture or anything else? And happens if that core idea is changed to something else? And the answer to that answer becomes the fundamental design element from my first collection to now. My classical collection is the obvious answer to that question, a silicone necklace make in classical diamond necklace shape, a twist between industrial materials an noble diamond shapes. A design that makes ambiguity between high and low in luxury perception.
The brand philosophy of Ek Thongprasert is about challenging the perception of jewellery, re-modernizing forgotten eras and shapes. How do you stay true to this vision with each collection?
I always questioning myself about the human perception toward anything in their life from piece of jewelry, clothes, furniture any in their daily life. My interest is to change that perception and re-present into something new and exciting. In the beginning the brand philosophy is all about re-modernizing forgotten eras and shape, but when time move on, I step forward and make a collection more variety not only jewelry but include bag and ready to wear collection. Now the new brand’s philosophy is “innovative luxury” and again I questioning about the world of luxury, what’s define it and how to change that perception. My design is all about twisted between high and low, refined and unrefined.
Has there been a favourite moment in your career thus far?
My favourite moments are always when I see my prototypes of new collections, its a of symbol of movement, of new chapter. I always feel excited to show my audience my new ideas.
Describe your customer in one sentence.
Sophisticated and a daring women who seeks statement or unique pieces.
Do you feel business acumen is just as important as one’s design skill?
For todays fashion industry, business ability can sometimes be more important than design skills when it come to growing , I feel only great talents will not help you to survive fashion business nowadays, where the world around you move so fast and customer interest shift dramatically through time. So the designer who can see that movement and can predict the real needs of customer will be at advantage to the designer who sinks into themselves and is not looking into world around them.
Do you have a brand muse or mentor?
For the moment I must say, my client is my mentor, school and the real business world is so different. When I step into real world, all the comments from clients help me to shape my vision and push me further and further.
What is your favourite city in the world?
I always like Iceland in spring time; I like a place that is quiet and lonely. I need to be in quite places for me to relax sometimes.
How closely connected is the art world with the fashion industry?
For myself the art world and fashion is closely connected, they’re share a same audience. Designers are inspired from artists and vice versa. The audiences, who are in love with art are also in love with fashion.
What advice would you give to a young emerging designer?
The fashion world is tough and cruel and maybe one of the toughest industries. You must be strong and keep believing in yourself. You must find a balance between business and creativity. The next chapter for the Ek Thongprasert brand will be our Aw16 collection, my fine jewelry collection. I have always been fascinated with the fine jewelry segment. After making costume jewellery for sometime, I think it’s the right time to challenge myself.
You can find Ek Thongprasert on Instagram @ekthongprasert