VANDAL Take Over!
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since we first meet designer Ronald Tam of VANDAL Goods at Fashion Art Toronto. Since then, the Toronto designer has been busy making a name for himself and growing his brand. VANDAL is back at the Toronto Fashion Week tents today after a stunning presentation last season. We caught up with Ronald last week for a chat about his brand and what we can expect from his show today.
The first time I saw your pieces was at Fashion Art Toronto last year (2015), and you instantly became a favourite! Tell me a bit about the journey to that point – how did you collection evolve?
Every collection is a new experiment and lesson from both a technical and creative standpoint. I enjoy a fresh challenge in exploring new pattern making and construction techniques.
What was it that drew you towards fashion design as a form of creative expression?
Fashion is wearable art. As a teenager, I’d always had an appreciation for cool clothing. The ability to create from scratch is very magical.
Your collections could be described as being very futuristic in the shapes and patterns that you choose. You were a perfect fit for Electric Runway, a fashion-tech and wearables showcase this past summer [event sponsored & organized with Raw Finery Studio]. What is the inspiration behind your collections?
The collection shown at FAT 2015 and Electric Runway was largely influenced by my childhood interest of Japanese cyborg anime. It was extremely fun taking cues from animated cyborgs and finding ways to depict that through fashion.
What is your process for creating a new collection? At the beginning of each collection, I ask myself which area(s) of design I want to explore and learn from. It almost always involves trying new drafting techniques, interacting with new fabrics and colours. It all depends on my frame of mind at that time. Since graduated from Seneca’s fashion program, you have been everywhere. What do you attribute to your visibility and success? The fashion industry is very saturated. There is superb talent everywhere you look. The stiff competition fuels me to keep pushing forward.
What is some advice you would impart to other’s following their passion in the industry? Making fashion is extremely consuming in time and resources. Truthfully speaking, it consumes much of your life. You really have to embrace it fully and be prepared to make compromises. The fashion industry has been talking a lot about fashion burnout and changing the landscape of fashion week with “Buy Now” show models. What is your take on this? It’s a fresh (and clever) business model to instantly recuperate some finances from creating a collection which is very expensive. I think showing in-season and allowing consumers to shop fresh off the runway is very fitting for the on-demand attitude we have developed over the past decade. You’ve been tantalizing us all with your teaser images on social media. What can we expect from this season’s collections? All black everything – well, nearly anyway. Very urban. Very ready-to-wear.
How do you hope to see your brand grow in the future?
I’d like to accumulate a list of stockists in Toronto and then other parts of North America.
One thing that I’m sure many fans might be wondering is where can we purchase our very own awesome Vandal Goods pieces?
Tell your favourite boutique/retailer about VANDAL! My biggest goal is to have retailers stock VANDAL goods, even if it’s just a few styles. Every garment you see on the runway is always 100% store-quality ready, QC’ed by my superbly anal standards – excuse my language, haha.
What does the year 2016 hold for VANDAL?
Development for SS17 is already underway. You’ll probably catch VANDAL again later this year at Toronto Fashion Week in October. In between [the shows], I’ll be bugging retailers to take a chance on my products.