Virtual Man catch up with designer on the rise Khim Hang designer of label – Han.  

It seems that you have taken quite a gradual and considered approach to growing the brand over the past year or so. Has this been an organic process for you and why do you think this has served the brand well so far?

Our approach has been organic and very well thought out. The focus is to build a brand that embodies certain values, and beliefs. We aren’t aggressive brand pushers who strive for mass in all respects, whether it be through press or social media. The products should themselves communicate everything that the brand is. It’s like movie vs. book.

What was it like to be named a finalist for the Woolmark Prize last year and how did this process help to propel your creative vision as a designer?
I was really humbled to be the youngest nominee for the Woolmark price since Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1954. Creatively it pushed to view inspiration in a new light.

The luxury basics market is a very popular one here in Sydney, how do you think that HAN fits within this market and what are some of the key stockists you would like to partner with, moving forward?

HVNXHAN represents a small portion of our business. It was implemented to widen our consumer base and present a transparent production chain that in essence bypasses all the fluff in between our product getting to the final consumer. We are very proud of what we are offering and believe partnerships form organically.

Margaret Zhang will be styling your presentation for MBFWA this year. Do you feel that this will lend a new vision to the brand and, if so, in what way?

Our vision is our vision. In my opinion what makes someone ‘great’ in a sense, is the capability to stay true to that and not be blinded or discouraged by all the bullshit in between. Margaret acts as the perfect facilitator to bring this vision to light rather than redefine it.

How did this partnership come about and why do you think Margaret herself makes a great ambassador for the HAN brand?

We wanted to work with someone who really understood our vision. I think the idea of being an Australian, Parisian of Italian brand doesn’t exist in a world where we are all so connected. We are not an Australian brand, we are HAN. Thankfully enough our paths crossed and there was such a harmonious synergy and thorough understanding.

How would you describe the HAN aesthetic and who is the customer you are designing for primarily?

Minimal soft tailoring. Clothes for young professionals who want nice clothes but at the same time are on a budget. Not saying that our clothes are cheap, but their worth every dollar and cent.

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming collection for MBFWA?

   ‘Cambodian monks in Paris.’

What were you most inspired by throughout this design process?

Cambodia and what it could have been and what it is now. There was such a strong and rich culture that existed in the music, architecture and lifestyle. In 1975 the country came to a complete halt for 3-4 years because of the Khmer rouge, it put them back to year zero. Trying to present what it was me was the most inspiration part.

 What are some of the fabrications we can expect to see on the runway this season?
We’ve worked closely to re-interpret traditional Cambodian fabrics in more modern and functional respects. We looked at rich silks and heavy embellishments then, refined and repurposed these elements for more functional use. Gold, beige and khaki filter through a monochromatic array of curated fabrications.

 Finally, what are your plans for the expansion of the brand into the future?
Forming the pillars that become the strong foundation of what will be a HAN empire.


Interview – Rosie Dalton

Backstage images Ryan Peter