Patrick Owen is not afraid to chase his dreams. Despite an early start in life in anything but fashion, he fearlessly entered the industry six years ago. Today, he is not only well known among Indonesian fashion darlings, but also overseas as well. After recently completing an international fashion show at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo showcasing his latest F/W collection, he found the time to share some insights with Indonesia Tatler.
Can you tell us about your background and how you got into fashion design?
I graduated from the University of New South Wales with a law/commerce degree, worked at PwC in its legal team, and then become a merger & acquisition analyst with Goldman Sachs before finally esntering the fashion industry. It was a personal exploration in the art industry when I returned to Indonesia for various personal reasons, and I have been involved in it for six years this coming October.
When did you land your first internship and what was the most valuable thing you learned from the experience?
It was very valuable for me and I learned the most while doing copying work in the zapping room and seeing my mentors’ work. When you are an intern, no one really bothers you too much, and you just need to be sensitive to, and absorbent of, all the information around you.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
Not knowing who my boss was and called him out for an apology when he accidentally bumped into me. [laughs]
Tell us the inspiration behind your collection at Tokyo fashion week!
I always find the combination of traditional and modern values to be fascinating, so it inspires me to explore a way of hacking what is commonly expected in the presentation of these two contrasting ideas. I want to break the stereotype and show a different kind “modern traditional”.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
I was worried about how people would value my work—not necessarily in monetary terms, but whether it will be useful or able to edify their daily lives.
I don’t want my designs to be just other pieces on a regular rack.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
Seeing people trying on my pieces and working closely with my team who have been a family for me.
What is your creative process?
It often starts with how things affect me.
There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collections season after season. How do you handle the stress?
Never know how to and don’t think I ever will! I just keep going and ensure that I actually like what I am doing at the moment to be able to spend my time in the office from 9am to the wee hours. Another thing is that making a collection is teamwork and will never be just about the designer. So having a close team is crucial.
What advice would you give to young designers who are just starting out and hoping to make it into the industry?
Fashion is never just about aesthetics and the clothes. It’s a business and needs to be considered carefully.