IN Interviews : Croon
Six months ago, Bangkok based label, Croon, started gaining global kudos, making pastel Oxfords adorned with bows and glitter. Croon's footwear is the perfect addition to primp a slightly stale ensemble. You know that feeling when everything in your closet starts to feel www? There is nothing better than a new addition to spruce things up; a great shoe can really make or break a look. Designer, Bloom Tripwatana's approach to design puts fun into footwear without creating something immensely decorative or unwearable. This spring/summer, Croon's offering has expanded into more than brogues and Oxfords. The collection showcases Tripwatana's take on platform sandals and heels as well as razzle-dazzle leather detailing, oversized appliquéd flowers, and scolloped edge on heels. Tripwatana has updated Croon's previous selection of Oxfords, creating new colorways in conjunction to an Oxford with a slightly pointier toe.
It was great to catch up with Tripwatana before she ventured off to her busy SS14 London Fashion Week début. Scroll through our interview as well as images of Croon's most recent SS14 look book. Also read about Croon on Brown's London Blog, where Bloom is featured in a four part post highlighting her travels for vintage, the SS14 photoshoot process, Croon's collaboration with the CSR Silk Project, and Bloom's friend and Illustrator, Peachji, who is responsible for Croon's illustrations, and more recently, the evolvement of the brand's website. Full interview after the jump.
Name: Suphakanya Tripwatana [Soo-paa-kahn-yaa Trip-what-taa-naa]
What aspect about your daily job do you value most? To me, I love the feeling of constantly being creative with my mind. It makes me feel alive and respect myself as a 'human.' Also, the thought that there are some people out there who might be happy when they get my shoes is a big part of it. Seeing someone smile and make their heart beat faster gives me power.
Where is your birthplace; how has your heritage played a role in the branding and development of Croon? I was born in Bangkok, but spent my childhood and most of teenage years in a countryside north of Thailand. I wouldn't say my heritage played a direct role in the making of Croon. Of course, indirectly, my designs will naturally be 'Thai,' but my city and country roots definitely shaped the way I think about my designs. From living in the country, I grew to appreciate nature, being barefoot, and having rice fields for scenery. But in the city, I have a different experience. I love loud music and dancing. The city hwwws a different beauty that's completely made by human hands. Both those things give a different shade of colour and different feelings; pure experience is important for a creator.
What are some of your favorite movies, magazines, or books that inspire you? I love Harry Potter books and Hermann Hesse. I have a bad habit: I love reading and eating at the same time. I've finished the whole Harry Potter collection five times. The writing is perfect in its simplicity. As for Hermann Hesse, he reaches into a different part of my psyche that I never knew was there.
What is your favorite place to find inspiration? It always comes when I least expect it. Some are just small moments, like when I smell something, a colour combination pops up in my head. Sometimes I wouldn't know I was inspired right away, and the colours I collected in my memory come together. Sometimes there are small things in nature that expand in my heart. I love the city, too, because the clashing energy is interesting. Both make me excited.
What is the one thing you cant live without? Animals. They remind me of real instinct, honesty and true-heartedness. I try to remember that we are one of them.
How does it feel to have a chance to show your SS 14 collection at Paris Fashion Week? I never thought that I would come this far. From the start of daring myself to make a dream come true to making shoes that people feel happy to wear. I'm still just beginning and there are many things I have to learn, but I will try my best to be better. Not only for me, but for all the girls in the world because we know shoes aren't only just 'shoes!'
How has your seven years of experience working for a Thai fashion company? Has working at a place like Kloset Red Carpet contributed to your current success? Kloset was a big learning experience, especially getting to know more about the women that we are marketing our creations to. Getting to know a variety of target groups is important. Designers can be artists, but marketing is really what turns our creations into real business.
Tell us about the fashion scene in Bangkok? Do you think people are influence more by trends or personal style? Many people in Bangkok have a really unique style, but many people love to follow trends. Social networking in Thailand is booming like crazy, it seems like a Bangkok Instagram style idol is born everyday. There's nothing wrong with following trends—we all do it to an extent—as long as you adapt it to your personal style.
Also, there's a big [plagiarist culture] growing in Bangkok, as well. It's sad for all creatives and designers. After working hard on a piece, you can be walking around in a market and all of a sudden see your design in public, or floating around on Instagram. Sometimes it's heartbreaking, but we just have to work harder.
What advice would give to aspiring designers? The right time will come when you feel ready. It will come, and when it does, don't let go of the chance and don't compare yourself to anyone because you are the one and only.
-- Special thanks to Bloom (Suphakanya Tripwatana) from Croon for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with us. Article/interview by James Buford, and edited by Alicia Fairclough for Infashuated © 2013. No part of this content or information included therein may be reproduced, republished, or redistributed without the prior consent of Infashuated.