Polpat Asavaprapha understands better than most how to make a woman look and feel good
A MAN who invariably says what he thinks and who is always open to new ideas and challenges, Polpat Asavaprapha, creative director and founder of Asava Group, is perhaps the best-known personality in Thailand’s fashion industry.
His brand is now marking its 10th anniversary and to celebrate, Polpat is collaborating with veteran director Pen-ek Rattanaruang on a short film that aims to inspire and reflect his love for the industry while also presenting his new collection of such signature designs as tailored suits, shirtdresses, cape dresses, and trench dresses.
Looking back over his beginnings, Polpat, who is affectionately known as “Moo Asava”, recalls how he started building his brand in a storage room with only four employees, himself included. Today, he employs more than 100 staff and has shops all over town. The group entities include the elegant and sleek chic Asava line, the lavishly youthful ASV, the stylishly functional Uniform by Asava, the dreamy bridal label White Asava, and a fine dining restaurant called Sava Dining.
“My schedule is so full that I’ve to turn down a few great opportunities to make sure my older dressmakers get enough sleep. I consider them family and I care for their well-being so much that I can’t do everything I want to do,” Polpat says.
“Our 10-year journey in building the brand is not long but the foundation is very important. There were times when we veered away from our core ideas but thankfully, we got quickly back on track.”
Asava represents the lifelong passion of the designer and has adapted effortlessly to suit its wearers’ characters and lifestyles with a timeless, sleek and minimalist style.
After earning his MBA from Claremont and his fashion design degree from Parsons School in New York, Polpat trained with a selection of well-known brands including Giorgio Armani, Maxmara and Marc Jacobs and this, he says, gave him a clear idea of how the women of Asava should look.
During the brand’s early days, he stressed the sophisticated styles and tasteful designs of the New York woman and introduced them to Bangkokian fashionistas.
“My inspirations at that time tended to revolve around life in the United States, where I lived for more than 10 years. I can honestly say it was the most enjoyable time of my life – it was like I was a child living in a theme park. But these days, geographical fashion is very unfashionable. We no longer create clothes like that. It is about being unique. As the result, with each collection of Asava, we try to convey a message of dedication and understanding of a psychologically urban lifestyle, and assist women to be confident and comfortable in their present well-rounded lives that encapsulate career, family, relationships, and personal luxury. We also aim to captures the inner value and the essence of each woman, whose intellect and thoughts are reflected through her opulent yet serene style,” he explains.
To embrace such thoughtful notes, Asava’s clothing boast a strongly timeless silhouette, classic cuts, highest-quality materials and attention to fine details. Asava’s signature can be seen in silhouettes like his one-shoulder and cape dress. The sense of femininity is accented through the use of a bustier silhouette paired with A-line skirt or high-waisted trousers embodying a masculine touch to create a sleek and sophisticated look. Draping is also a prominent technique. Influences of sportswear add a hint of boldness to bespoken finesse.
“We don’t want to be just a tailor. We want to reflect attitude and an intelligent lifestyle. I think the world has moved towards things that have no boundaries – a man can marry a man, or wear women’s clothes and vice versa. Beauty is very versatile. Those who buy our clothes are not models but real women who wake up in the morning, get the kids off to school, go to work, attend meetings, hurry back to the school to pick them up, then get changed for the gym or for an event. This is the real world and we would like to make these women happy with the fashion that is part of their lives. Actually this applies to both men and women. We live in a world where we all need to empower and to embrace ourselves. Fashion should work this way.”
And despite being criticised during his time as mentor on “The Face Men” television programme and for creating the looks for Miss Universe Thailand candidates; Aniporn Chalermburanawong, Chalita Suansane, and Mareeya Poonlertlarp, Polpat and Asava continue to stand apart for their creativity and open-mindedness.
We congratulate them on their 10th anniversary!