Hong Kong-born designer Queenie Fan founded contemporary accessories label Cafuné in 2015 and her sleek, sculptural handbags have since found fans in women worldwide, including Lady Gaga. The Rhode Island School of Design graduate honed her skills at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Coach and Rag & Bone, specialising in accessory design before launching her own label, which can now be found at luxury department stories including Lane Crawford, Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette.
When did you realise you wanted to work in fashion?
When I was 15, I was obsessed with Japanese vintage fashion. I would spend all my pocket money buying Japanese fashion magazines, making notes, cutting out outfits I liked and sticking them into my scrapbook. That was when I knew fashion was something I loved.
What was the first hurdle you had to overcome?
Our first roadblock was how to find the right partnerships. We spent many months travelling, sourcing and developing relationships until we found the right materials and manufacturers. We are lucky to be collaborating with partners who have experience working for high-end fashion brands, and who understand refined craftsmanship and quality.
Who was the first designer you worked for?
Phillip Lim. It was my first job right out of college and I was an accessories intern. I worked day and night, especially during fashion week, running errands, doing specs, helping out with photoshoots and soon. It was hectic but I enjoyed every moment of it. I wasn’t trained as a fashion designer at school [Fan studied industrial design], so it was a bit of a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment for me.