Dato' Sri Bernard Chandran

Fashion designer

Malaysia’s King of Fashion and Tatler's Hall of Fame honouree is a trendsetter in his own right

Cartier

Can a fashion designer be a style icon? When he is Bernard Chandran, the answer is a resounding yes. For over three decades, Chandran has not only achieved this feat with his eclectic, quirky style choices but has also maintained his reign as Malaysia’s undefeated King of Fashion whose clientele includes royals in Brunei and Malaysia as well as A-list celebrities such as Rihanna, Estelle and Lady Gaga.

Known for playing by his own rules, Chandran’s fashion philosophy stems from the principle that style is more than just one’s wardrobe. “I don’t dress to fit in, I push boundaries and test the waters,” he says, describing his personal style as “scrappy glam”.

But to truly understand Chandran’s impact and relevance on fashion is to appreciate his advice on achieving style that stands the test of time: “It’s not about being influenced by others but creating your own new look. I always tell people, I’m not a designer as much as I am a creator.”

Jewellery: Panthère de Cartier

“I like experimenting, to push boundaries (in fashion). For instance, can I wear a pair of tight jeans with big shoes? It is through experimentation that you discover something new.”

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Before Bernard Chandran went to fashion school, he studied accounting for more than a year. His father wasn’t sold on his career choice even after he graduated from the local fashion school, and gave him three months to convince him. But after a successful debut solo show, his father helped finance his studies at the Paris American Academy and L’Union Des Chambres Syndicales Parisiennes.

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