On June 1, 2013, haute couture designer Zang Toi was conferred the highest honorary title of Datuk from Malaysia’s King. Zang Toi was knighted in recognition for his contribution and services to Malaysia.
RH: Congratulations on your Fall 2017 Collection! The impeccable designs feature royal blue and is contrasted with black and navy and features “Uber Luxe” winter white! The fabrics include silk and velvet and display exquisite diamonds! How do you decide which of your designs hit the runway and which ones stay in a design sketchbook?
ZT: The collection is very well thought out and well edited. Once a sketch is created it's 100% guaranteed to be on the runway.
RH: How old were you when you realized how much you loved fashion, and what inspired you from your childhood that drew you to pursue fashion design as a career?
ZT: I realized at age 5 that I love beauty and to draw. It wasn't necessarily fashion that was my first love. Beauty always served as an inspiration to me.
RH: You grew up in Malaysia before moving to New York at the age of 18 to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design. You also apprenticed with Mary Jane Marcasiano and RonaldusShamask before branching off and launching your own atelier, House of Toi. Tell us about your journey from design school to starting your own line?
ZT:I actually moved to NY at the age of 20. It was love at first sight with NYC and studying fashion design at Parson's School of Design. Many countless hours of studying + worrying during Parson's School of Design + 15 hour days working at Mary Jane Marcasiano which definitely paid off.
RH: Your collections are always inspired by beauty and sophistication. What is the creative process for designing a whole collection for the runway? What are your current inspirations/muses and why?
ZT: I traveled to great places/hotels around the world for inspiration. No muses are necessary as Beauty always serves as my inspiration.
RH: Your company has shifted from having your designs offered in high-end department stores to now mostly being sold as made to order pieces and trunk shows. Can you tell us how that decision was made and how has this business model affected the company as it grows?
ZT: This is a Business Strategy. Trunk shows and special orders is a business model which is much more lucrative.
RT: You also have collaborated with companies like Zoya (I have some of your nail polish and its gorgeous), Lexus, Epson, and now Papyrus! How do you make sure your own vision and the company’s vision complement each other?
ZT: I worked very closely with my partner to achieve as perfect a vision for both the House of Toi and my passion.
RH: Many celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Fergie, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Preston and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few, have been fabulously attired in the House of Toi designs. Do you custom design the beautiful piece that each client wears, or do some of them choose based from your existing collection as seen on the runway?
ZT: Please add Farah Fawcett and Sharon Stone to the above celebrity list. These stars have always chosen from my existing collection as seen on the runway.
RT: Tell us about what you are currently working on and what a typical runway show is like for you, and when the next runway show will be. Your designs are always beyond incredible and we can’t wait to see what you have planned for us in the future!
ZT: Spring 2018 Luxe Life on Lake Garda is our latest collection, the new Zang Toi boutique and discussions with 2 potential licensing partners.
Jr. Editor We Blab Entertainment Magazine