Article by Kevin Young and Siyu Lucy Liu
Photo credit Niko & Xue Liang
Malan Breton is a Taiwanese born fashion designer based in New York who competed on America’s staple fashion reality show, Project Runway. Although not winning on the show, Malan would later launch his own brand. His label ranks as one of the top 300 most luxurious brands in the world. Breton will presented his recent collection which was showcased at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, for AsianInNY’s 10th annual fashion show at Grand Central Terminal. In the following interview, Breton talks about his inspirations for the collection, trip back to Taiwan, fall 2015 trends and his passion for designing.
How does it feel to be invited by AsianInNY again to showcase your collection at Grand Central Terminal?
It’s lovely. I had such a lovely experience last year. It’s always an honor to present for Taiwan. This collection in particular was a collection we presented at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and it was inspired by different areas of Taiwan. The architecture, the aboriginal tribes, inspiration from natural elements, and inspiration from the people of Taiwan.
Can you elaborate on how the Taiwanese people inspired you?
Actually the people from Taiwan have always been very lovely. I lived there while I was growing up and it’s always been such a great experience. Everyone is always so kind and open. In my eyes the people are very modern and open.
You have been designing since you were 11 years old. What were your original designs?
My original designs were just some fabrics I draped over different frames. My grandmother was very supportive of my creativity, so many of the elements in my collections came from those experiences when I was a boy. I was self-taught. I went to Julliard actually and studied to become a performer. But I left the entertainment world to focus on fashion.
Your theme is Malan Breton A Journey To Taiwan. What can we expect to see from these collections?
It’s a collection that embodies the silhouettes, the fabrics, the shapes, and even photographs of flowers that inspired the whole collection of the show.
Many A-list celebrities ranging from Michael Buble, Arianna Grande, Scarlet Johansson, Kathy Griffon, and many more have worn your designs. What was the defining moment in which you felt you were a top notch designer?
You know I don’t ever look at it that way. I always look at it as an opportunity to grow every season. If people respect what I do and they enjoy my work, it’s a lovely thing for me. But it’s not about being a top notch designer. I just create from my heart, a tremendous aesthetic, and have a tremendous education in fabrics from when I was a child. This passion and skill came from my childhood in Taiwan. So I think if you look at the fabrics at my collections since I began it’s always been silks from Asia and silhouettes have always been reminiscent of traditional silhouettes from Taiwan.
Fashion is always fast pace moving forward. What do you think the trends will be for fall 2015? How is the fashion industry changing?
I think it’s a very interesting time in the world. I think you know there was a period when people weren’t taking care of their bodies. But now I think people are getting more into fitness because now they are seeing all these celebrities in these very strategically placed gowns and suits. So I think everyone is inspired to exercise and take care of their bodies. Therefore, I think you’re going to see a lot of clothes that are silhouette conscious. Everything also repeats by the 20s. So we are going back to this era in the mid to late 90s where it was very sort of grunge period in fashion that blended with high fashion couture. It’s like what Madonna epitomized wearing these intensely constructed gowns and suits but I think now both genders are switching roles. Women want more comfort while men are more interested in formal elements and clothing that shows their statuses.
Malan is a great designer who is also a classy, talented, passionate, and humble man persevered and endured to become internationally known. Malan stays true to his cultural upbringing combining heritage into his designs as he continues to amaze audiences with unmatched luxury apparel. As Malan’s elegant models sported his lavish collection down Grand Central Terminal for AsianInNY’s fashion show, the crowd remained in awe the whole thrill ride on this journey exemplifying the Taiwanese culture.