Never the Same
Andrew Wong has worked in various categories, has over 20 years of design experience and has held senior roles in all of those markets. From his beginning years in New York designing bridge market major labels, to menswear in a mid size manufacturer in LA, to swimwear/loungewear with licensing partners and major big box retailers, he has streamlined their operations, trained designers and elevated their products in various ways.
Andrew thinks that good design and good taste can come in different markets and price points. whether it is menswear or womenswear, he treats every job as a design challenge and problem solving in addition to it being an expressive art form. He is currently setting up a consulting company hoping to work with overseas manufacturers to understand the American market.
What should everyone know about you?
AW: I love clothes. I like designing. It gives me so much satisfaction. I have done extensive work on womenswear, menswear and swimwear and worked in small start-up companies to large corporates. I relocated 4 times for jobs and enjoyed each time I am in a new city.
How would you describe what you do?
AW: I make things that hopefully will make people feel good when they wear it.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
AW: I didn’t want to sit in a lab or an office doing the same mundane work over and over. I believe I need to work on something I like for the rest of my life.
What steps did you take to become a designer?
AW: I went to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
AW: Best part – samples come in as envisioned
——–Challenging part – sell your product.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
AW: Doctor? Lawyer? Chinese pop star? LOL
How did you get started in design?
AW: I was a microbiology sophomore student in UCSD and took a costume design class for their La Jolla Playhouse production. After that I have decided I need to make clothes, but clothes you wear everyday. Then I started to do research on design schools and ended up with Otis.
What do you like about what you do?
AW: It changes every season. It’s never the same thing over and over.
What’s a common misconception people have about what you do?
AW: That we just draw, shop and drape and make cute little things. In these days we need to be business savvy and also numbers driven in some cases. Which is what I hate most.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AW: Retired in Italy. Just kidding. Designing of course! Maybe my own store one day.
What sparked your interest in design?
AW: The idea of creating something from nothing. I see how Phillip Starck transformed every day life items into something we have never seen before. Why not clothes too?
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
AW: I like modern clothes and the more I design the more I realize I like simple things. Less is more.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
AW: Ugly ones. And Crocs.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
AW: Social media. Instagram gives me information that will normally take days or weeks to research. There are a lot more places to get inspired these days without leaving your office.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
AW: Don’t burn your bridges. This industry is SMALL.
What advice would you give to young designers?
AW: Expect long hours of work, very hard work and very tough competition.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
AW: Something different. I am entering another phase of my career and needed a new challenge.
Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?
AW: Work so hard that your boss cannot live without you.
What’s your motto?
AW: Try everything once.
Learn more about Andrew at StylePortfolios.com
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