You will know that a designer has made their own mark in the fashion industry when you can attribute a certain silhouette, color palette, or an overall aesthetic exclusively to them. It’s when they have a clear and resounding identity that they’re able to stand out in the scene. Such is the case for Patty Ang who takes pride in her minimalist approach to design which stunningly results to a covetable, effortless kind of elegance.
For those who have a knack in design, it’s not always easy to dive into an industry that requires a huge amount of inventiveness and grit. When asked what influenced her to design clothes and ultimately pushed her create her own label, she confides, “I would say my body. I’m a young mother, and my body did change at such a young age. And as a woman, I know what I do and don’t want, what I want to show or hide, and where I’ll feel more confident. That’s what influenced me to start designing on my own.”
Here, Patty chats to us about her early struggles, the most memorable piece she designed, and a few words of advice for young aspiring designers.
When did you become interested in fashion?
I think I’d say it’s more of my passion. I knew I wanted to do this since I was in my early years of high school. And I would say that I’m lucky that I knew what I wanted to do in such an early age and had the chance to pursue it as my career. My family wasn’t really for it nor believed that I wanted to make it into a career. But somehow I always believed that you need to do what you love to do and you’ll arrive at the right path.
Did you have any formal training in fashion? How important is it to study fashion as a designer?
I did study. I had a bit of education here then I went to London to study for a bit as well. But I always believe that you just really need to know the basics of what you’re doing, the background, and history of it. Then you’ll learn everything else through time and experience.
What’s the biggest challenge of starting a label?
How to handle my people, how to lead them, and how to grow from it. I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a challenge, but it takes a lot of patience and determination. When I started, I also did not know who to sell my pieces to. My family was there to buy my designs since they had no choice. (laughs) But I think social media is the key. It had that power for me to market my clothes.
You’re known for your clean silhouettes and sophisticated style. How did that aesthetic come about?
I think it’s just me. I am a minimalist person. Even before I started, I always believe that simplicity is beauty and it will speak for itself.
What kind of woman do you design for?
I love designing for confident women. It just shows.
Where do you begin your design process?
I usually would want to see my client or at least see their measurements. Then I ask what they’re comfortable with and where they will feel most confident in. I let them choose the materials we will use. Then after that, magic just happens.
Where do you source your materials?
I love going to different countries and sourcing our materials there. It just has a deeper story to tell.
What quality or personality trait do you value most as a designer?
Humility, authenticity, and transparency when it comes to my clients.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I would say it’s when I see my clients happy with the outcome. Of course, I know I couldn’t please everyone. But I know I always try my best and treat everyone equally. But just seeing them smile and hearing them say “Thank you” is already more than fulfilling.
What do you love most about creating bridal pieces?
The challenge of it. The thought that this is one of the most important days in a woman’s life and I have to make it perfect for them.
What do you always keep in mind when doing a custom design?
Simplicity is beauty – still!
Is there any piece that you made that’s been most memorable to you?
Definitely Andi Eigenmann’s piece that she wore at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It will always be.
What’s one thing you wish was different in the fashion industry?
How people understand fashion, what fashion really is, and the art behind it.
What’s one mistake you would advice young designers not to make?
Giving up, especially when they’re just starting.
What’s your advice for aspiring designers?
Just keep on making clothes and stick to your aesthetic. Never change who you are in terms of designing.
What do you look for when hiring someone to join your team?
Someone who has a big heart and who really wants what they do. I don’t mind if they’re not that “good” yet. I just need someone who is willing to learn. I don’t mind training them for the longest time as long as their heart is in it.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not designing?
Traveling! But in my line of work, even though I’m out, all the work still comes in!
What currently inspires you?
My daughter. All day, every day. She teaches me to brush the negativity away and just do what I love to do. Imagine, a younger person teaching me that!