Interviewing Malaysian Fashion Icon Zang Toi at NYFW Fall 2017 Fashion Show

Article by Jessica Laiter

Zang Toi, one the fashion world’s most esteemed designers, is shockingly one of the most unintimidating men I have ever met. A shorter, well-manicured, Malaysian man beams with anticipation, excitement, and confidence as he runs around ironing out last minute details of the show. He takes a few moments in between interviews to make sure his tie and flower pin are perfectly situated around his neck, and on the breast pocket of his jacket. With just a few minutes to spare for out interview, Mr. Toi addressed our conversation with personality, intimacy, and eccentricity.

AsianInNY: What was your inspiration for this season’s collection?
Zang Toi: For 2017 it’s about all about the particular shades of royal blue. That is the starting point of my 2017 collection.

AsianInNY: And which part of the design process is your favorite?
Zang Toi: Its every part, not just one particular stage. I love the researching part of it and finding the inspiration, and then sketching the collection somewhere in the world all by myself. This season, I went to Budapest to sketch, and Munich!

AsianInNY: Do you have any words of encouragement for emerging designers?
Zang Toi: Never afraid to do your own thing, to lead your own path. Don’t follow the trend blindly and hard work. Hard work is the key to success.

The collection was ethereal. It was breathtaking. It was nothing short of magnificent. Royal shades of blue dove as deep as midnight and as shallow as the afternoon sky. Without a strand of doubt, the collection’s precision and elegance directly reflected Mr. Toi himself. Within the confines of blue, white, and black, the story was lustrous. It began with an array of business casual styles, best described as a declaration of crisp tailoring and wearable elegance.

Fur lined blazers and vests, sweater dresses and high collared button ups were romanced by the contrast of a deep red lip and the pairing of multi-tired pearl chokers. Formal wear, fit for a Gatsby affair, followed in heavy pursuit to win over the crowd. High-waisted velvet pants, tops with plunging necklines and billowing sleeves, floor length silk and velvet gowns, skirts, and capes were all almost too much to bear.

Often finding solace in the midnight sky, I was truly indulged.

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