Bright Young Things: Cassey Gan
Sometimes you may just find yourself on a path you never expected to be on. Just as how fashion designing became Cassey Gan’s chosen career path, even though she graduated with an engineering degree.
“After finishing my studies, I knew I needed a change in career path. I started working for a local fashion magazine and found myself extremely interested in fashion, especially in the construction of garments and design,” she recalls.
Cassey enrolled herself in a local fashion school and studied fashion designing for a year before moving abroad. “And I ended up in London College of Fashion, just like that. I pursued my interest and made that switch from engineering to fashion, thanks to my parents who were very supportive of my decision.”
Under the guidance of a tutor who saw a potential in her doing colours and prints, she managed to find a style which has now become the signature of her brand – print blocking.
Breaking the rules of balance and playing with prints, forms and silhouettes, her clothing were quickly lapped up by women who exude quiet confidence, especially those who are not afraid have a little fun in their wardrobe.
Her first break happened when she was invited to showcase her work at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week in 2014. She had all the ingredients – an element of surprise, a well-thought out collection and an innovative mix of functional design, fabrics and silhouettes. Cassey Gan came out on top and has been on a roll since.
“Another very important moment for the brand is a showcase with Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week in 2018. I also must add that seeing women wearing our creations and feeling good in them are the high points of my career so far.”
The key to nailing the print on print look according to Cassey is to be bold to experiment and have an open mind during the design process. “Anything is possible! I throw in clashing prints, uneven hems and a mixed bag of details for maximum impact,” she shares excitedly.
The sources of inspiration are varied, it could come from her favourite architect or her many travels, an art gallery or a meaningful conversation with someone. “All of it can spark an idea. Having said that, I am particularly drawn towards artists and architects for inspirations.”
In her latest collection Moving Point, also her twelfth series, Cassey delves into the brilliant mind of British artist David Hockney. A strong believer in change, Hockney pop-art-ish works served as the perfect moodboard for Cassey’s crazy mix of brights and serendipitous drapes, pleates and asymmetrical shapes. This collection also takes a leaf from the most recent life-changing general election and in itself, becomes an ode to the power to rewrite the future.
But how has the Cassey Gan style evolved?
“We have gotten even more print heavy and we are experimenting more with different textures and we look forward to playing with different silhouettes,” said the diminutive designer who will be showcasing the brand’s autumn winter 2019 collection in London with Fashion Scout yet again.
Also in the pipeline and set to be launched later part of the year, some cute-sy home products which will definitely add some spark to your favourite space. Starting this month, her brand will be stocked at Maud, Switzerland; in addition to Nana and Bird (Singapore) and Bev C (Johor Bahru) as well as casseygan.com.
Reflecting on the secret to her success, she says it lies in learning more about customers’ wants and striking a balance in her designs while also staying true to the Cassey Gan style. “Fashion is hard work and it is not at all glamourous as a lot of people may think,” she stresses.
She started the label as a one-person team, handling everything on her own - from designing and sourcing to sewing and meeting buyers. “It was a lot of one person hustling for the first two years of the business. I am very thankful that I now have a very compact yet efficient team who has been extremely instrumental in helping to improve the daily operations of the company.”
Given her design prowess, unflagging hard work and insane work ethics; this is one designer we believe who has a bright future and a mash-up of success in-store.
- Images Cassey Gan