Epoch Times, Singapore Edition (Issue 495, Sept 19 – Oct 2, 2014)
Epoch Times Staff
“Designer by day,
Rebel by night,
Artist by choice,
Travelista by fate.”
This is how Euny L., the founder cum designer of ERA ORA describes herself, a charming lady who used to work in business development at an American law firm prior to establishing her own label.
ERA ORA, which means “Finally!” or “It’s about time!” in Italian, is a haute coutre label that specialises in stylish collections of scarves and pockets squares.
Her trendsetting designs include artistic prints of old world maps, the Hong Kong skyline, the buildings of New York City and the reflection of a river in Darwin, Australia, amongst others.
Euny’s inspiration comes from her wide travels and passion for art and photography. Influenced by artistic styles from Edgar Degas, Dali to Warhol, Euny designs to spark the imagination, and she likes exploring a broad range of themes that range from the real to the surreal.
ERA ORA’s scarves and pocket square are eco-friendly as they are made using certified natural dyes. Manufactured in Shanghai and Kashmir, India, the pocket squares are predominately made from 100 percent silk while the scarves are made using either silk chiffon or cashmere modal.
Manufactured in limited quantities, each ERA ORA scarf and pocket square is a unique, special gift for the individual.
Why is your fashion label called ‘ERA ORA’?
ERA ORA means “Finally!” or “It’s about time!” in Italian. First, I liked the way it rolled off the tongue and more importantly it was symbolic to me as it was “about time” I started off my fashion business, after hesitating for so long.
What does it take to start your own label and make it as an independent designer?
To begin with, I researched several similar brands and saw what their brand strategy was like and how they made their product and brand work for them. Because I didn’t come from a fashion school background, I had to learn a lot of things by myself (that they probably teach you in freshman year of fashion school!) and also singlehandedly source for good manufacturers with quality textiles that were capable of producing my designs. I had to learn a lot of lessons along the way, and with each collection you gain more experience on how to make the product even better.
It takes both Fear and Courage to start anything new, I think, especially when your livelihood is on the line. Fear because you need the fear of being broke to push you to create something that will be financially viable, and Courage because you need courage to persevere and believe that you can succeed, especially during the times when it doesn’t seem so.
What’s your personal aesthetic? What excites and inspires you?
I heard an italian word today that I really liked—“Spezzatura”. According to Wikipedia, it is defined as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”.
Basically, an effortless aesthetic style. I like that. I am inspired by people or institutions that are game changers. Reinventing the old, and creating something new and interesting, that excites me.
What are your favourite colours to work with and why?
For women’s scarves, I find that I tend toward black and white, as well as acid pink. I am not sure why but I think those colours put together are edgy yet cool and feminine. For menswear, I like darker tones with just a hint of bright colour to add some element of “Sprezzatura” to it.
What was the first article you ever designed? What is your favourite design so far?
I designed a pair of flying shoes when I was 8 years old in art class. But commercially, it would be a scarf. My favourite design is the Dear Diamond. I wear it out all the time, it really adds an element of cool to my ensemble.
What is your advice for someone interested in setting up their own fashion brand?
Start saving. You’re gonna need all the money you can get to develop any business, but especially so to develop a fashion business which can be tougher than most.
Also, being commercial is very important in fashion, you can’t be too niche unfortunately.
The piece of clothing every woman should have in her wardrobe…
A good black dress that goes from day to night.
And the piece of clothing every man should have in his wardrobe…
A plain white pocket square. Every man over 30 should have one. It’s that one male fashion accessory that takes you into full fledged manhood, even if you only wear it once a year.
What are your top career moments so far?
Getting commissioned by Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore to design a special edition collection of scarves and pocket squares for their hotel. I was very honoured as it is a hotel that is very contemporary art centric and I am a huge fan of their well-known art collection.
What are your plans to grow your fashion label?
I plan to expand the product line in the coming year and also create a line of home décor items inspired by contemporary art.
To purchase ERA ORA scarves and pocket squares, visit www.eraora.com
From – http://printarchive.epochtimes.com/a1/en/sg/nnn/2014/09%20September%202014/495/SEPTEMBER19-OCTOBER2_24_lowres.pdf, http://printarchive.epochtimes.com/a1/en/sg/nnn/2014/09%20September%202014/495/SEPTEMBER19-OCTOBER2_25_lowres.pdf
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