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.

See the LYF hard copy for the full interview.