Idun had the pleasure to interview NYC-based designer and founder, Szeki Chan. 7115 By Szeki’s collections incorporate the perfect balance of quality, attainability, and aesthetic. Szeki’s own background, passion, and aesthetic is what makes 7115 so special. We hope you enjoy getting to know the designer behind one of our favorite brands on Selby Ave.
What is your background? Is it specifically in fashion design?
It isn't actually! Apparel design was never the initial plan. My background is in design and technology. That's what I studied in college. I think that definitely influences why I approach apparel design with such a problem-solving mentality. All my decisions are made from a utilitarian angle but that's what I love most about 7115.
What people/places/things do you find yourself consistently going back to for inspiration?
I would have to say the city of New York is my biggest inspiration. It's where we're based. It's where I live. As much as I love complaining about it (like every other New Yorker) I'm constantly inspired and learning from the city itself. The way of life here has always dictated the designs of our garments - the pace, the diversity, the kindness of complete strangers, the community I live in...everything. I've met so many unique and interesting characters who have walked through the 7115 doors over the years. They've become my source of inspiration. These are the people who I want to help. My inspiration has always been the idea of answering that question of how to make life easier for people in New York. Over the years that's evolved to: how do we make life easier for people everywhere?
How much do you think about your audience or "customer" during the design process?
They are all I think about. I think about how the pieces are going to work for the customer, which gap we'll need to fill in their wardrobe, what their reasoning behind every purchase might be. These are the questions I constantly ask myself throughout the design process.
If you weren't a designer -- what other occupation could you see yourself in?
I would love to open a soup kitchen! Or go back to being a singer - that would've been sweet too.
Where is your favorite place to pass the time, or take a break?
There's a park on Hester Street in Chinatown that I love to visit. It's almost become a weekly ritual now for me to grab a bagel and head there to watch the Sunday amateur volleyball match.