French fashion designer Claude Garrigues set up his limited edition t-shirt label [cgbcn] in Barcelona six years ago.
French fashion designer Claude Garrigues set up his limited edition t-shirt label [cgbcn] in Barcelona six years ago. Moving to Phnom Penh at the end of 2010 after a few years in Bangkok, Garrigues has found a steady supply of inspiration in the city’s street style and burgeoning fashion community.
1. What makes Cambodia an attractive place to launch a brand?
The growing interest for fashion by Cambodian people, supported by magazines and different events connected to fashion makes Cambodia attractive. We can benefit from an increasing level of industry for mass production as well as an interesting network of manufacturers for small production, and the location is definitively a good asset.
2. Your market is primarily urban Asian youths. How quickly do their tastes change and how much fun is it to anticipate these shifts?
For [cgbcn] the priority is to define its own style and identity. Of course we always stay close to new trends in order to satisfy the stylistic tastes of my clients – who are mostly urban people over a large age range – but all of them with have the same desire to be different and unique and upto date with new trends.
3. You recently you expanded your range from up-market t-shirts to collector’s edition clothing. How long did it take you to develop the concepts?
When I launched [cgbcn] in 2006 the “total look” concept was already in my mind, but it’s not easy to handle in this totality, which is why I decided to start with the t-shirt collection. Once I got the right network of suppliers I felt comfortable to take the second step this year and expand the collection to an urban concept of clothing for men and women.
4. What makes your brand distinct?
Maybe the main use of the black as the principal colour, and the mix of fabrics gives [cgbcn] its singularity.
5. Are you very observant of youth street trends and do you get inspiration from Cambodian youth styles?
I’m always connected to fashion blogs from around the world as a to source for inspiration and keep informed of the latest trends; I also observe the work of fashion photographers in different local and international magazines and other media. The street is always an important source of inspiration, especially here in Cambodia where tradition and modernity live together.
6. You’ve been selling primarily on the internet, but you’ve also been meeting with retailers about your products and brand. Do you plan to expand into retail and is it important to sell across all platforms?
The internet is a powerful tool to work and communicate. Through the net I’m in contact with clients and retailers worldwide, is why [cgbcn] is considerably present on the net and social media. Actually, my priority is not the retail sales or to handle my own shop. I prefer to develop custom tailored clothing and receive customers in my studio.
7. Are you planning to expand across Asia?
Yes, my idea is to be present in Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.