Vancouver just got a new menswear designer and his name is Will Shung. Read all about it below.
Adele Tetangco: So you just launched a new mini collection, Guillermo, for men. Can you tell me about that?
Will Shung: Guillermo is a very simple collection of dress furnishings that comprises of essential wardrobe staples for the classic man.
AT: How many pieces did you launch with?
WS: There are two shirts and four ties in this inaugural collection, and each shirt and tie can essentially be worn with each other and paired with everything from suits, to jeans, or even outerwear.
AT: Ah, ok. I like what I’m hearing so far. What types of fabrics do you use? WS: I only use the best fabrics I can get my hands on. In this case, the shirts are made from the finest 2-ply Italian cottons, and the ties from the finest of Italian silks.
AT: There are a lot of fashion students in Vancouver that are dying to launch their own collections like you. How long has it taken you to launch?
WS: The process of launching this clothing line has been a journey of trial and error, hits and misses, and many setbacks. I came up with the original idea for the clothing line back in 2006, but didn’t really put anything into action until 2008. That year I invested a good chunk of my money earned from my day job into samples and other promotional material for the label. Unfortunately (and long story short) things didn’t pan out and I was forced to put the project on hold for the next couple of years. Then, after a long, hard struggle to recoup from my losses from 2008, I began to rethink the concept and decided I was going to do a couple of things really well first, rather then jump into doing everything “just okay”. Hence, the simplified dress furnishings collection.
At the beginning of 2011 I began to reinvest heavily, both time and money, into Guillermo. Many, many hours were spent sourcing out the best manufacturers, fabric mills, and everything else that has to do with starting up a clothing line. And, in 2012, I began to reach out to select organizations and companies about doing business. Luckily, the ones I wanted to do business with all along were on-board. From there, we worked on getting the aesthetic, fits, and details right. And finally, in early 2013, I began taking delivery of the first pieces.
AT: Sounds like you’ve been through quite a journey to get here. What’s been your inspiration behind the collection?
WS: My inspiration for the collection spawns from my infatuation with classic menswear. Brands like Brioni, Kiton, and Brunello Cucinelli have been great benchmarks of quality to aspire to, while some of my most inspirational subjects from a design perspective have been Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, Frida Giannini, and many, many more.
AT: Is everything produced in Vancouver?
WS: No, actually. Most of my early samples were produced right here in Vancouver, but the entire Guillermo collection is made in Italy.
AT: What’s your design background?
WS: I have little to none design background; a fashion merchandising certificate is as close as I’ve come to graduating from design school. I have the utmost of respect for the real fashion designers out there – the ones who sketch, make patterns, drape, sew, tailor, etc. I have nothing on them. All I have is a vision and a drive.
AT: What can we expect from you in the future?
WS: The Guillermo Holiday 2013 collection will be coming out in September as well as the introduction to the made-to-measure service, and the Spring/Summer 2014 collection will hopefully be ready by January 2014.
AT: Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Tell me the easiest way to tie a bow tie. WS: Wow. Skip.
AT: Ok… guess there’s no easy way.
AT: Predict the future for me. What are the new emerging trends for men’s suits? Ties?
WS: I think the three-button suit has been knocking on the door of a comeback for a couple of seasons now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a lot of it in the next season or two. As for ties, I don’t think they’re necessarily skinny or wide anymore; they’re just a perfect width right now. Knit ties seem to be a classic style and have been very popular as of late. There are a couple of knit ties in my Fall/Winter 2013-14 collection.
AT: Do you practice what you preach? Do you wear a suit and tie everyday? WS: Almost everyday. Sometimes I wear a suit on a day off, even. I just feel more comfortable in one. With the weather turning nice and the temperatures rising, it’s tough to put on a tie this time of year. But, for the most part, if I’m in a suit, I’m wearing a tie. AT: Preach on.
You can purchase Guillermo at:
R222 – 757 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1A1