Suntchi founder Paul Fang discusses CFDA partnership, education, business growth
The CFDA at the beginning of 2017 entered into a partnership with Suntchi, the Chinese brand management company for fashion, lifestyle and entertainment brands, to give CFDA designers access to the Chinese fashion market.
Founded in 2008 by Paul Fang, Suntchi manages its clients’ consumer experiences through its Super IP+ platform that cuts through the clutter that comes with numerous entertainment options and technology upgrades. The company has worked with over 60 fashion brands and conglomerates from the US, Europe and Asia, including Skechers, Tmall.com and Bosideng, as well as and over 100 international and domestic celebrities and artists, including Pierce Brosnan, David Gandy, Mario Sorrenti, and Tommy Ton.
Fang first entered the fashion industry in 1999 and has witnessed China’s retailing market firsthand as a strategy advisor and senior brand expert. The founder increased his focus on the fashion industry, launching in 2015 Suntchi’s “Fashion +” initiative that saw the launch of Nick Wooster for FJ series, and launching the Opening Ceremony brand in China in 2016.
Suntchi’s five-year partnership with the CFDA grants CFDA designers access to the China’s business network, marketing platform, and the market itself. Steven Kolb, the President and CEO of the CFDA, said the partnership with Suntchi will “strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy.”
Fashion Network spent five minutes with Fang during NYFW to discuss the five-year partnership between Suntchi and the CFDA.
FashionNetwork.com: How did the partnership with the CFDA come about? How was the process?
Paul Fang: The process took about 3 years. I went to New York to attend NYFW first, and I got to understand the CFDA through observation, research and recommendation from colleagues and friends. It took about 3 years to close our contract, and this year in January, we signed the contract with the CFDA.
FNW: What about the CFDA attracted you as a partner?
PF: What attracted Suntchi to the CFDA was the conversation I had with Steven Kolb. We found that we have something similar. The CFDA focuses on a designer’s awareness, protection, and positioning around the world, and that is the same thing I am experiencing in China. Right now, artists coming in and out of China need protection and organization.
We’re standing in the same platform, and when you have the same goal it is much easier to create something.
FNW: You’re beginning the five-year partnership with a focus on education. Can we discuss this further?
PF: I believe that the investment in the future is not about how much money you have or how much assets you have. I believe the focus on the future is the talent. We have to figure out a way to project and also protect the talent and give them a space to grow. This is why we’re invested in education.
How can we celebrate the artists and make sure they can step out of the box? How can we support and educate these designers when they need help and when they face an obstacle? How can we solve their problems and advise them into their next venture?
FNW: What are some obstacles that Suntchi helps designers work through?
PF: That’s a very big question, but the answer is actually very simple and direct. We have to be flexible.
We must understand that the culture in China and the US are very different and that we are dealing with two different cultures of people and two different obstacles that happen in all kinds of situations. We have worked with Nick Wooster and with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony for example, and they have different obstacles.
Collaborations will create different results, and at the end of the day, it is important for us to stand in the point of view of the other side and not be based in bias from the other point of view.
We have to come a solution when we have a problem and not magnify the problem. It is about trying to figure out the balance between both cultures and understanding each other the problems.
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