ABOUT MONLADA

BIOGRAPHY

I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 15 years old.

growing up in bangkok, I spent most of my childhood in a uniform. this was the customary attire for students in thailand. studying six days a week, I always looked forward to sundays when i could let loose. when I entered high school, sundays meant that I could be more independent and hang out with my peers. it was then that I could really wear what i wanted and do what i really wanted to do. it was then that I was able to express my character, mood, attitude and anything else about myself through my clothes. it was then that i learned to appreciate fashion’s power to communicate who I was as an individual; it allowed for me to breathe. so at 15, i began my dreams to become a fashion designer.

during my high school years i began observing design at all scales; from fashions to objects to architectures. my father’s job gave me the opportunity to travel the world with him and see designs from different cultures and understand the environments they were nurtured from. i saw the remnants of postmodernism in america; i witnessed the transition of a communist society to a commerce society when germany became whole; and i experienced the emergence of the harajuku girls in tokyo. traveling with my father was like having a classroom in the field. it expanded my design vocabulary immensely. unfortunately, when i entered college, my father did not allow for me to pursue my passion in an actual classroom.

i came to the united states and completed my bachelors in advertising, public relations and communications (1998) and a masters in international business (2001) from johnson & wales university in providence. afterwards, i returned to bangkok and launched premio (premio co ltd), a high-end contemporary furniture store that carried brands such as fendi, foscarini and kundalini. while there, i directed operations and conducted marketing and pr all over thailand for the store. over time, i became associated with contemporary lifestyles giving frequent interviews in magazines and television shows. in my premio campaigns, i reached out to the field that i loved as a child bridging industrial design with the world of fashion. i did this through collaborations with fashion designers, showcasing their clothes on models that were using my furniture pieces, for magazines, runway shows, special events and television series. in the three years since its opening, premio became one of the most distinguished contemporary furniture stores in bangkok with an extensive furniture collection and features in numerous publications and television specials. i even received several accolades for my work. one of the awards was for thailand’s most eligible woman of the year, from thailand tatler magazine (a business publication) in 2003, recognizing the successes i made for premio as a single woman at such a young age and in such a short time span.

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while working with fashion designers for premio’s campaigns, i could no longer suppress my desire to become one too. my childhood passion began to severely handicap my work. after three years of running premio, i left the company to my partners and moved to london to take fashion courses at st martins. i was 28 at the time but starting a new career made me feel 18 again. i took everything i could there: figure drawing for fashion designers, fashion drawing for beginners, experimental fashion drawing, designing a fashion collection, pattern cutting for beginners, deconstructing fashion, handmade fabrics for fashion, life drawing, fashion designs for beginners and fashion folio 1, 2 and 3. in all, i have spent a year at st martins completing these courses.

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the next step in my career is to attend st martins’ fashion print program. i think studying at a school renown for being at the leading edge of design, as well as living in an inspiring environment such as london, is the perfect fit to pursue my goals. i know that st martins will give me the foundation to achieve my childhood dreams and i look forward to studying there this fall.

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A FILM BY MONLADA