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Ek Thongprasert (Bangkok, Thailand)

Ek Thongprasert’s eponymous label challenges traditional social and menswear paradigms while staying elegant and classic.

Somewhere between Bangkok and Antwerp, menswear designer Ek Thongprasert has etched out a niche that- like his multi cultural background- is difficult to define. Both challenging and conservative, avant-garde and classic, innovative and practical, Ek Thongprasert's deigns are a fantastical conundrum of contradictions. Delightful, playful and witty, the juxtaposition of a religiously glorified deity pulling the puppet strings of a more deconstructed counterpart, speaks volumes of on devout piety, while giving a tongue in cheek nod to the sometimes dogmatic reign of fashion. Here, the designer talks to Dazed about breaking down the wall, Alber Elbaz and becoming a dancer…

Dazed Digital: How old are you?
Ek Thongprasert: I'm 28 years old.

DD: How long have you been designing?
Ek Thongprasert: For 10 years already, I started with architecture which I studied in Bangkok, designing building and then 5 years later I went onto fashion design joining the Royal Academy of Antwerp.

DD: Where are you based?
Ek Thongprasert: Between Bangkok and Antwerp.

DD: How would you describe your own style?
Ek Thongprasert: It's a mix between these three words: poetic, conceptual, classical.

DD: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Ek Thongprasert: For the moment I’m thinking a lot about French artist Sophie Calle, I just adore her way of thinking.

DD: Who do you have in mind when you design?
Ek Thongprasert: I'm always thinking of a doll, a simple white one. I just think how it would look when I put clothes on it. I just don't want to design for a specific person.

DD: What inspires you at the moment?
Ek Thongprasert: An Art video by Bill Viola called Hatsu Yume (first dream).

DD: Who are your favorite designers and why?
Ek Thongprasert: I like the style of Alber Elbaz, I think his designs look great in the show but in the same time normal people can live in it and still look fantastic.

DD: Were you interested in fashion while growing up?
Ek Thongprasert: I always liked clothes since I was young, even though it feels a bit strange when I look back at what I used to wear back then.

DD: What are the difficulties faced being a designer today?
Ek Thongprasert: Too many factors that young or new designer depend on, the budget, the economy, etc… New and old designers are facing a tough time in order to survive from season to season. More and more frames are created around designers, less and less designers have to survive in order to get through all those frames.

DD: If you weren't designing, what would you be doing?
Ek Thongprasert: Maybe I want to become a dancer. 

DD: What are your plans for the future?
Ek Thongprasert: Of course continue fashion and my label but I also want to diversify into other design fields like interior design and art.

DD: Can we buy your collection?
Ek Thongprasert: By special order only for the moment.