TI KWA

     

Hi Ti, please tell us something about your background and your route.

I’m a military college grad turned fashion entrepreneur, with a 15-year career in designing and producing upmarket leather goods and footwear.

What motivated you to create your eyewear collection? Why did you choose the name RIGARDS?

Having worn glasses for 30 years, I thought I’d take a stab at making my own—something that combined my passions for traditional virtues and innovation; a “brand new heirloom” that I’d want to hold onto and that will age gracefully with me. RIGARDS is a wordplay on the French word “regard” (look, glance) and a double entendre of sorts for “with regards”. The hand sign signifies the creative union of horn (the material with which I started) and eyewear.

Where do your visions take inspiration from and how much do your culture and the environment you live in feed your ideas?

I am drawn to aesthetics that are not considered conventionally beautiful. My designs are also influenced by the incredible textures and patterns formed by Mother Nature and by my Eastern heritage.

Art and fashion: how important are they for you and how much do they influence you? What is your favorite art form and which form do you most identify with?

Fashion is my favorite art form to consume, while product designing and handcrafting are probably my favorite art forms to create. I owe this propensity to my mother, a talented dressmaker who counted the daughter of a former Prime Minister among her clientele. Creativity can be traced through my family tree – my grandmother was a master embroiderer who sewed delicate ornamentations.

Let’s speak about your hobbies and passions beyond work.

I enjoy exploring new places (culture, food) and old buildings (because they’re full of old stories and intrigue). These days I’m spending a lot of time raising my 3-year old twin girls. We adventure around and take Wing Chun martial arts classes together.

How has your general perception of the world and the world surrounding you changed over the years?

These days, good marketing often triumphs over a good product. Perception has become reality and how something is presented is often more powerful than what is being presented.

Is there a place that is particularly specialfor you?

My wife and I first visited the little mountain village of Hakone as part of our wedding trip in Japan. It was also the year we launched RIGARDS. Hakone symbolized a new beginning and even now, no matter what time of the year, witnessing the beauty of the seasons while immersing in the healing waters of the town’s natural hot springs is always a rejuvenating experience.

Is there a message you’d like to convey to the people who get passionate of your glasses and buy them?

Our motto is very clear: handmade for your face. We believe that only the best materials and craftsmanship should come close to your eyes and face. If you love eyewear that are well-made and comfortable, not to mention expressive and nonconformist, your will be gladdened by RIGARDS.

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