5 questions with
Photographs by Jono Ong
We talked with Cecilia Kang about her life as a designer and about the launch of Fashion Club Inc Art.
her experiences shape and inspire her designs so feast your eyes on the stunning collection from cecilia kang couture below
Cecilia Kang and Allan Myers at the Fashion Club Inc. Art launch in Parnell, Auckland. Photograph by Jono Ong
1. When was the first instance you knew you wanted to be a designer?
I was discovering my identity as a transsexual woman, I got very interested in knowing about fashion and decided to become a fashion designer in the year 2007. I was so lonely back then and decided to try fashion designing. Seeing my LGBTQIA friends on the weekends as they would always uniquely dress themselves and looking at the amazing drag queen shows made me want to create flamboyant garments for life.
As a self taught designer, I didn't have a platform to get into the fashion industry so I started dressing a few beauty pageant contestants. Then I received an invitation from New Zealand Fashion Week NZFW in 2018 and that's where my fashion career really started off as a designer.
2. What provides you with the most inspiration for your designs?
I get a lot of my inspiration from everyday life, what I see through my eyes and vision. Also, from quite a few celebrity red carpet photos that I come across online frequently.
It's all about the glamour. Moreover, some inspiring New Zealand nature art pieces, from time-to-time as well.
I guess my inspiration develops from my imagination then on to mannequins experimenting through various fabrics to create work of art which becomes the ultimate couture fashion.
3. Can you tell us about the biggest hurdle you have faced as a designer?
One of the biggest hurdles that I have faced as a designer is being myself; a transgender fashion designer. I was abused, hurt, bullied just the fact that I was a transgender woman and deceived by people that I trusted the most.
The journey is not easy when you still have that trauma inside you. I am facing many obstacles in life at the moment due to Covid19 pandemic and I am pretty sure that goes for all the other designers in New Zealand.
I believe we need to keep encouraging and motivate our community and give all the support they need, leading them in the right direction. Also, in the future, I would like to share my journey and life story with fellow LGBTQ+ designers and our youth if I have the opportunity.
4. When you’re not working on your designs, what do you do in your spare time?
When I am not working on my designs, I enjoy going for long walks, catching up with my close friends for a cup of coffee (I love my mocha) and playing badminton to keep myself healthy and fit. I believe health is very important.
5. Do you have any words of advice for aspiring designers?
To aspiring designers, I just would like to say be true to yourself and love yourself. Do not give up and just keep going until you fulfil your dreams. Don't be afraid to fail because failure will only make you a better person and most importantly be kind to one another. You just don't know what others are going through in life right now.
A model backstage at the Fashion Club Inc. Art launch in Parnell, Auckland; featuring designs by Cecilia Kang Couture. Photograph by Jono Ong
Fashion Club Inc. Art launched its first event on the 9th of April, hosted by the founders Cecilia Kang and Allan Myers with the successful launch of the first fashion club inc. art event on the 9th of April by the founders; Cecilia Kang and allan myers, the future of fashion in aotearoa is exciting and we can't wait for more.
New Zealand has one of the most diverse cultural mixes in the world. Because of this there are many different body shapes, skin tones and historical influences in clothing. This has resulted in fashion being more about having your own unique style. For fashionistas this means carefully putting your outfit together and wearing it well. Coupled with the right accessories an outfit can both suit and express your individuality.
‘Fashion Club Inc.ART’ Inc. stands for inclusive.
The purpose was to allow individuals through networking events to dress to excess and express their own personality, passion and desire for clothing. Cecilia and Allan found this and have made Fashion Club Inc. ART, a place for people of all ages, ethnicities and socio economic backgrounds to come together and share their excitement and love of fashion. Yes, fashion can unite and inspire people.
We have many projects in mind moving forward including events, TV shows and projects in the meta-verse. The theme is to unite and inspire through fashion and revolutionize the way high fashion is experienced.