The excitement of creating beauty appeals to Ethan Koh. The London-based Singaporean couture and bespoke designer of his eponymous label, Ethan K., had an early start to craftsmanship. His grandfather and father set up Heng Long tannery in 1977, supplying crocodile leather to brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès. Some of his earlier memories include visiting ateliers in Japan and Europe with his father, where he fell in love with exotic skins and fashion.
He started his brand in 2011, at just 22 years of age. Specialising in crocodile skin bags with playful hardware such as hedgehogs and frogs, the Central Saint Martins graduate now shows off his arm candies at renowned retailers such as Harrods, Galeries Lafayette Paris and Ritz Paris. At home, you can get up close to his works at Malmaison by The Hour Glass and Pedder On Scotts.
It’s not every day you meet a young Singaporean who ditches the corporate ladder for a career in luxury fashion. But where others see risk, Koh sees opportunity. He continuously connects with the collectors of his work, and hopes to expand to a more diverse network for a younger feel towards Ethan K. Currently, his clientele boasts personalities such as Elizabeth Hurley, Carina Lau, Pearl Lam and Princess Beatrice.
In 2018, Koh broke boundaries by designing a pop-up store in collaboration with renowned architect Juan Pablo Molyneux in Galeries Lafayette Paris. Unifying old world glamour with modern day inspiration, the project was a feat for any young Asian designer.
“People should have more candor in the workplace and clarity of purpose and intention,” replies Koh on the one thing he’d like to change about the luxury goods industry. Look forward to his latest collection, Mystical Landscapes, due to launch anytime soon.