Talented Cheng-Huai Chuang heads towards a bright and colorful future as he begins to make his mark in fashion
(By Blythe Liu)
The next John Galliano or Alexander McQueen? Cheng moved from Taiwan to New York in 2006 at the age of 18 to study fashion design in Parsons School of Design. After his arrival in New York, he knew that this was the place he wanted to settle down because he enjoyed the freedom, the culture, and the lifestyle. Influenced by his parents’ clothing store, Cheng fell in love with fashion at a very tender age. In high school, he studied fashion design, and had his very own show. He had a clear picture of what he wanted to pursue. However, his parents didn’t want him to be a fashion designer at that time. Regardless, his passion and ambition led him to dream of a city in which he could make it happen: New York.
Cheng took a year off while at Parsons to intern for a small company. “It was a Philippine wedding gown company with only three people, the boss and two employees who were in charge of the marketing department. I felt incredibly lucky to have found an internship where I could hone my skills, but also because I was the only person there who had studied fashion design. Every time clients came, I would quickly come up with a sketch for them according to their needs. I would then select the texture of the fabric, and even the color for the designer in the Philippines to make the final sketch. After the sample was shipped to New York, I would schedule the clients in for a fitting and adjust the dress to what they wanted. I interned there for almost a year, and I felt amazingly fulfilled to have had that experience. I learned a lot.” Cheng went on to launch his first collection during the 2010 Fall/Winter New York Fashion Week.
Cheng has been featured in many fashion publications, including Marie Claire, Elle, Vanidades, Culture Magazine, Creem, ZINK, Flaunt, and Vesta. His collection is truly high-end and one of a kind, as he often works with lots of lush materials: lambskin, satin, lace, leather, and organza. An organza bustier with sequins, rosettes, and ribbon straps, a high-rise chiffon pleated skirt with lambskin, a cocktail dress with Swarovski crystals, a paillette fringe bustier, and denim with multi-color metal mesh skirt are some of the detailed pieces of Cheng’s Spring Summer 2013 collection. Expertly combining soft and hard materials together with lambskin and chiffon, Cheng gives us a distinctive flavor of his collection. Cocktail dresses and flowing gowns, all made to order, are his signature style. Cheng is detail-oriented; he believes the smallest detail can totally change the dress. When asked what his next step would be, Cheng told us he would like to give himself two years to see how the market goes. However, if he is not satisfied with the results, he will open his second line with lower price points some time in the near future.
John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are Cheng’s favorite designers. As for the other fashion designers, he likes Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana, all with a sexy and romantic aesthetic feeling. “Sex and the City” is one of his favorite movies, and his target customers are just like the four characters in the movies, intelligent and independent business women who appreciate their lives.
“Film provides an endless source of inspiration. As for my Fall 2012 Collection, my inspiration came from the heroine Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei) of the movie Lush, Caution. I really admired the courage of the character she portrayed; she was willing to sacrifice herself for the country. My collection is all about capturing the soul of this.”