I've been obsessed with Sretsis since my freshman year of high school. There are few brands that can make you feel like Heidi, a nymph in a Pre-Raphaelite painting, and/or a 70s disco queen, but Sretsis really is that versatile. Started in 2004 by three sisters, Sretsis is truly a labor of love. The name is literally the word "sisters" spelled backwards. The Thailand-based brand has only gained in popularity over the years, with more and more people turning to vintage-inspired attire that has been made with care. Pimdao Sukhahuta, Sretsis' cofounder and creative director, was kind enough to sit down with me and answer some questions about her journey with Sretsis.
What work are you most proud of?
Sretsis as it is what my sisters and I have built up and been running for 19th years.
What has been the most transformative experience of your life?
Moving to New York when I was 19 for a Fashion school was a starting point. Then becoming a mother last year is definitely another transformative experience which made me more calm and see things from a wider perspective.
How do you hope people feel when they wear Sretsis?
I hope our customers feel the joy of getting dressed up, expressing themselves with confidence, and that they would feel the day is a bit more special and they get to dream a little more.
What was the first thing you ever designed?
My little sister's, Matina, prom dress. It was my sophomore year at Parsons, and I was just learning how to make patterns and actually sewed all the hundreds layers of ruffles myself.
Can you describe your creative process?
It often starts with a feeling, a curiosity, an obsession and the question what if? Then we go on and research about that concept, putting together a mood board, adding a twist with our view and what feels relevant. Then the design team and I would start sketching, editing, creating our original story-telling prints, and proceed with crafting the samples.
How does your background inform your work?
Growing up in different countries from Thailand, NZ, UK, to New York gave me an open view of people and the world in general. I've always feel a bit like an observer, not exactly fitting in and not exactly an outsider. I understand and appreciate the best of both worlds, from my Asian root to Western cultures. I love having contrasts and juxtaposing ideas such as femininity/ masculinity, innocence/ sophistication, laid-back/ proper, dreams/ reality, which you will find these elements in Sretsis designs.
What was the happiest moment of your life?
I used to think of true happiness as a ultimate destination that one day I'll reach. But as I become older, I realize what more important is the journey along the way and the ability to find that little joy in every day, in doing what you love, in spending time with your loved ones, and connecting with yourself. Now, I try to appreciate every day like a gift and make the best of the "present" moment.
Who are your biggest inspirations and what lessons have they taught you?
New York has given me huge inspirations and eclectic mix of styles even after years, and my mom has taught me to appreciate being different and that there is always a way, if you really want to do something.