Han Chong is the 37-year-old designer behind London-based womenswear label Self-Portrait.
The ultimate success story, the Central Saint Martins student founded the label three years ago and has achieved the kind of publicity most young brands can only dream of, with celebrities clamouring to wear his designs.
On Thursday Meghan Markle attended the Invictus Games Sydney celebration reception in London wearing a floral cold shoulder dress by label. She teamed the floral dress with a blazer by Alexander McQueen, a pair of Manolo Blahnik heels and Roland Mouret cross body bag.
The same dress was also worn by Cariad Lloyd to the British Academy Television Craft Awards the next day.
The Duchess of Cambridge is also a fan of the label. Back in November 2016 she wore a £320 long white bodice dress with a pleated skirt and daring side split from his collection, establishing the brand as a household name.
US socialite Paris Hilton had been snapped in the same dress a month before, but when Kate wore it, the eyes of the world were upon her, projecting the brand’s name around the globe.
What we love most about the label is that Chong set out to establish a brand that produced luxury clothing with affordable price tags. His ultra feminine designs could easily command thousands of pounds, but they don’t.
Snapped up by top tier buyers like Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Matches Fashion and Net-a-Porter, dresses start at around £280.
Back in 2015, having already garnered some serious red carpet publicity, after celebrities like Rachel McAdams, Emily Blunt, Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon to name a few, wore his designs, Chong chose to show during New York Fashion Week.
At the time he explained: “Celebrity is so important for a small brand and people look to them as role models, but when I’m designing, I don’t have that in my head."
Chong kept a level hand and concentrated on developing his brand, designing beautiful dresses in his trademark lace.
And it’s the steady approach that has helped to develop Self-Portrait into a successful globally recognised brand.
He added: "It’s moving so fast – my office needs to cope with that. It’s important for me to build a base that’s really strong and to do it well. I don’t want to take on too much just yet."
In 2016, it was reported that Selfridges sold one Self-Portrait piece every six minutes. Fast forward to now, and thanks to the Kate and Meghan effect, the sky really is the limit.
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