I have to say writing this blog was not only enjoyable, but was also amazing. I absolutely could have talked to Anni Kuan (the designer) for hours to get her story. Unfortunately we had only a limited amount of time since Fashion Week is right around the corner.
So without further ado – here is this week’s blog!
Interview with Fashion Designer Anni Kuan
When Anni Kuan was a little girl in Taiwan, the only dolls she had to play with were paper dolls – which she would draw herself and draw clothes for. She told me, “When I would draw the paper dolls, I remember having a line of girls waiting for me to draw one for them too.” She was around 8 years old at the time. She moved to the US when she was 12 and continued her love of drawing.
Anni first thought of attending an art school when her high school teachers recommended it after watching her talent develop. She attended Pratt Institute for Art & Design with the help of scholarships and loans. She has had her own design company since 1986. Her fashion philosophy is “trends come and go, but good style lasts forever”. She sculpts the designs herself and makes the patterns and has a staff of 4 in her studio.
She shows her designs at the Fashion Coterie in New York City. The Coterie is THE place to show buyers the new lines. Anni used to have a runway show, but she told me it did not have the buying power she was looking for so now she shows only at the Coterie – twice a year – in September and February.
Chris Riely, the graphic designer for Anni Kuan, first presented the idea to use Tonner dolls in the promotion of the spring 2013 line along with 6 or 7 other ideas. When Anni saw the dolls they struck a chord in her. She told me that the dolls had an air of sophistication about them. She loved the idea of using the dolls. So she contacted Tonner about using the dolls in her ad material. Of course the answer was yes!
“Tonner dolls are my new muse!” Anni told me during our interview. She even named them. The blonde is Katrina, and the brunette is Celina. (Obviously, Anni “believes in the power of play” too!)
Anni told me she had fun playing with dolls again. I asked her if it was hard to fit her human scale designs onto the dolls. She said it was pretty easy and she used the exact same materials that she used for the fashions. “The visual is very important.” Chris painted the shoes to go with the fashions and even made an umbrella.
Check out the photos of the process.
And here is the final product! Awesome!!
LOVE the intoxicating designs!
Anni Kuan also has a Facebook Page – she has more photos there so be sure to take a look!!
A very special thank you to Anni Kuan for allowing the interview and giving us such great photos!
Have a great weekend!