Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The buzz about...

Bloodbuzz is an independent local fashion label with designs that marry both elegance and edginess. The label promises to deliver great design, workmanship and service to customers. Find ready-to-wear items that are one-of-a-kind yet easy on the wallet and practical; there’s a piece for every occasion. Read on to find out more about the designer behind this label, Kimberly K Wong.

Graduating with a fashion & marketing degree at the London College of Fashion, Kimberly has dabbled with designing menswear for a while, and showcased at the debut Wardroblings fashion show, the first ever prelude to the annual Wardrobe design show at Zouk jointly organized by FashionTV and The Fashion Fraternity.

With a strong love for designing, that goes beyond fashion design, she is generally fascinated with good, interesting designs - be it product, graphic or typographic design. For her, it's about aesthetics as a whole, the thought process behind the beautification of everyday life and that feeling the designer translates into his or her work, that takes new life in the aesthetic and emotion that the final product evokes.

Now that she is back in Singapore, Kimberly K Wong is ready to take on the Singapore design scene with her very own fashion label Bloodbuzz. I recently had an opportunity speak with this passionate designer as she opened up about her inspirations and dreams for her label.

What made you want to start your own brand?

I think even as a kid, I knew I wanted to do something creative with my life. I was never big on dressing Barbie dolls, so that's one cliché I can deny. But I was always looking for something to draw or make or create.

I like to think I was also inspired by my time in London. Each different area is represented by such unique street styles. I would spend my weekends in London's East End - an area with street art, design markets, (affordably) independent labels and food from all sorts of faraway places. An amalgamation of people, cultures and styles would manifest itself. When I came home, one idea led to another, and Bloodbuzz, which we like to think of as a lifestyle label, was born.

Tell us more about the brand philosophy.

Bloodbuzz was approached with the belief that fashion is less about trends and more about style, the concept that independent fashion doesn't have to be an expensive luxury and the fact that "designer" doesn't always have to be avant garde - it can be practical and wearable, it just needs to dare. To dare to be different. Personal style and individualism are key concepts in the Bloodbuzz label.

The design philosophy for Bloodbuzz was simple: to create effortless wardrobe staples with an understated contemporary feel. The difference lies in the impeccable proportions and intricate details - both in the design process and the garment aesthetics.

What would you say is your design signature having had to design pieces in the course of your time in London, and then for your label, Bloodbuzz?

If I had to define a design signature, I'd say what ties the collections together is the marriage of elegance & edginess. Combining classic silhouettes with a modern edge, quality fabrics are twisted and turned; ruching techniques are meticulously executed to create complex knots, draping sleeves, quirky pockets and unique hemlines. I like experimenting with clothes; I enjoy playing with juxtaposition - contrasting colours, elements, details, fabrics and silhouettes.

How would you describe the Bloodbuzz clientele?

I imagine my client to be a confident woman who is passionate about life, is unafraid to be different. She has a curiosity for the finer things in life - I imagine she enjoys music, art, good food and wine, is happy to spend Friday night embraced with a good book and some hot chocolate. I imagine she would like to wander the world.

(I should clarify that personally, I think the "finer things in life" I mentioned doesn't always necessarily have to be expensive - I do believe it's the intangible value that matter most when speaking of art & life)

The line is created for beautiful, whimsical dreamers who appreciate understated luxury, who understand personal style.

How do you feel about the design scene in Singapore? Do you feel that Singaporeans are very supportive of local designers?

I'm 100% supportive of all things Singaporean - from our local hawker fare to quirky start-ups, and of course local designers.

I feel like Singaporeans are more exposed to high street fast fashion brands, as well as branded luxury, and sometimes the little independent designers tend to get drowned in between. But I do think that's slowly starting to change, with an increasing emphasis that Singaporeans' are now placing on lifestyle and, consequently, design. When it comes down to it, I think it's not being easy being a "local designer" any where in the world. Wherever you are, every designer still has to fight for the opportunity to succeed, still has to work for their dream. It's definitely difficult, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

With so many local designers sprouting up, how will you differentiate Bloodbuzz from these other offerings?

Competition is definitely fierce, now more than ever. We're choosing to focus on Bloodbuzz instead of trying to compete or compare, because every designer is different, every label is different. We believe in working hard, having fun and staying true to our own brand vision and design philosophy.

It's funny, because so much of our thinking are influenced by our parents - who often tell us to follow our passions and let life take it's course  - "love what you do, do what makes you happy and worry about everything else later". I always say we're lucky to have such supportive parents.

Who are your design heroes, and why?

I don't think I have one specific design hero. Every season, I find myself blown away my different designers and the different things they do.

Tell us more about your sources of inspiration.

The truth is I'm inspired by a myriad of things, tangible and intangible, that manifest themselves in different details - it’s all about the details." I do think much of my inspiration comes from the life I live - little words in the books I read, a still from the films I watch, a specific emotion that is evoked by the music I listen to. Conversations with the different people in my life. I think a big part of me is also inspired by my travels - experiencing a different way of life, understanding the people and their cultures, there's no feeling quite like the feeling of getting lost in a new city.

And because of these intangible translations, even within a single collection, each piece is different from the next - which as a designer, I have to admit, is somewhat unorthodox.

In 5 years' time, you will be...

I'd like to be running a very successful Bloodbuzz, working on an indie magazine, travelling the world taking beautiful pictures, meeting beautiful people, and still head over heels in love. I guess if there's one thing life's taught me, it's that nothing ever turns out the way you expect it to. I just know I'd still like to be pushing my creative boundaries, exploring the world and filling my life with lots of love, family, good food and better friends.

To shop Bloodbuzz, visit Kimberly’s online store at


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