Emerging accessories label, ESEMBLĒ (pronounced assembly) is establishing itself as the newest, transformative option, in the luxury brand obsessed city of Hong Kong, where more is more, when in fact, we may need less.
“They (ESEMBLĒ girls) care about work, and how they look, but they don’t care about status, or showing wealth.”
Tink Wong, 2016.
Minimalist in design but rich in detail and meaning, ESEMBLĒ bags are infused with the philosophies of it’s creators – Tink Wong and Alex Jiaravanont. HausMag had the pleasure of meeting the designer duo in person, and learnt of the personal touch that Tink and Alex pour into ESEMBLĒ.
Chief Designer Tink is a true embodiment of the ‘modern girl’ that ESEMBLĒ stands for. Growing up between Guangzhou and Beijing and attending international school, Tink had the opportunity to explore her creative sides. She cites Sailor Moon as the root of her interests towards womenswear design; “when she transforms, her outfits are flowing, all this light and sparkles – as a kid, that was gold.” This element of magic stayed with the Chief Designer during her studies at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, New York. Working at Diane Von Furstenberg and Carolina Herrera honed Tink’s understanding of the industry, and built an appreciation for modern design. However it was her experience at Madewell that introduced her to the world of accessories.
“Designers (at Madewell) would take objects they found in hardware stores, flea markets and re-vamp it. And I found that so interesting. Turning something that’s older into something new.”
Tink Wong, 2016.
As the Director, Alex’s self described “constructive and destructive OCD” mentality lends to fine tuning the brand. As a child, Alex was named ‘duo shou’ (many hands in Chinese) by his mother, due to his restlessness and need to create. Developing a love for model building, he said “I’d stay up all night sniffing glue and paint, with my flash light trying to build models”. Eventually leading him to Architecture design, though Alex laments on the insanity of an Architecture degree and how “doing 48 hours of models is not a good thing – I once dropped a knife right on my toe!” HausMag had a good chuckle over the Director’s salad bowl analogy in regards to his resume. Architect, Vice President to a corporation, to ESEMBLĒ; he says it is the wealth of one’s experiences that informs your “creative library” and cultural outlook.
ESEMBLĒ services women of the new millennia: “the type of girl we’re designing for is the modern girl – she’s career driven, multi faceted, she has a active lifestyle”, says Tink. As such, the ESEMBLĒ bags have an multi-functional element that is highly appealing to many. The clutches can transform from day to night via removable strap. The backpacks allow ease of movement and reach. The business bag can fit a laptop perfectly.
ESEMBLĒ FW16 | Photography courtesy of ESEMBLĒ
However the gem of the ESEMBLĒ bags if you will, is the underlying philosophy anchoring the entire brand: Celebrate Always. Tink explained to HausMag, “celebrate always came from our outlook on life – it’s about finding happiness in what you have around you.” Reflecting this ethos, the bags have small gold-foiled phrases, inspiring the ESEMBLĒ girls through their journeys. Another design detail includes a oyster-shaped bag charm; playing off the phrase “the world is your oyster”. For Fall-Winter, the collection is available in soft Nappa leather, in the complimentary colours of Amber, Blush and Navy.
HausMag is particularly looking forward to the upcoming Spring-Summer collection, featuring a delightful lime green and yellow, in a new bucket-style shape. Recently joining Lab Concept, Harvey Nichols, and Kapok K11, ESEMBLĒ is set to become the new “it” bag for those looking for quality, heart, and design.
With special thanks to Tink and Alex for their artistic insight and personal comments. Many thanks to Patricia for her hospitality and press materials.
Discover ESEMBLĒ online and at Harvey Nichols, LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.