A big day for SagitinePOSTED 05 Jan 2015
Welcome to the very first edition of Behind Closed Doors, my blog focusing on anything and everything to do with fashion, from designers and collections, to style icons, to help with caring for your treasured possessions. From time to time we will feature our muses, tips and tricks to de-clutter your wardrobe, and also exciting news from the world of premium storage products, from trade shows to our wonderful manufacturers and suppliers.
I will be taking you into the wardrobes of some wonderful, creative people from across the globe and from every walk of life, all with one thing in common - they adore fashion and collecting unique items. We will discover what they treasure most and have a sneak peak into their collections. From wardrobe storage disasters (and what they’ve since learned!), to favourite designers, to fashion wish lists, to tips for caring for cherished items, our muses provide a fascinating insight into their love of fashion and how they care for their collections.
I started collecting Lanvin dresses when I first moved to HK in 2002. Alber Elbaz had recently reinvigorated the eponymous label, yet they were somewhat unknown in Hong Kong versus other luxury brands. Their prices were still reasonable and I loved them. Over the next few years I met Fiona Kotur and we discovered our mutual adoration of Alber and Lanvin. It seemed that whenever we met, our favourite designers would be the topic of conversation. We had lunch one day in 2012 so I could ask her advice as I had just decided to pursue the idea of building a premium storage brand. She has been extremely encouraging and supportive of Sagitine since that day so it is only fitting that Fiona is the very first muse to be featured on the blog. Recently we met with Fiona at her gorgeous home in Hong Kong and I’m honoured she agreed to be interviewed for the launch of the collection.
Having designed accessories for Ralph Lauren and helped launch Tory Burch, Fiona created KOTUR in Hong Kong in 2005 with a collection of clutches inspired by and crafted from vintage couture fabrics sourced from an old Kowloon mill. Her bags were instantly picked up by some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman and Scoop in New York, Browns in London and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong. Today her clutches and minaudières grace the hands of celebrities, models, and fashion editors and make appearances on red carpets everywhere.
Fiona lives in Hong Kong with her husband and four boys and I am always so in awe of the way she manages to keep it all going. She once said to me, “I have a fabulous team at work and a fabulous team at home.” The thing that strikes me about Fiona is that, despite her famous and successful business and her fabulous friends, she is so down to earth and completely unaffected. A great example of a wonderful designer and businesswoman and an equally wonderful mother, Fiona is the perfect muse with which to launch both the blog and Sagitine’s collection.
Q & A with Fiona Kotur
1. Hometown/current residence. I am through and through a New Yorker but living in amazing Hong Kong right now.
2. Hong Kong is notoriously humid, have you ever had a favourite item damaged due to poor storage? Luckily no! Hong Kong has it all figured out since it is perennially humid, but I’ve had friends who have come home to mouldy leathers and fragile furs.
3. How many pairs of shoes do you think you own (we all know a gal doesn’t always know exactly!) Marilyn Monroe famously said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. I would say I have a pair of shoes for every mood and occasion, but can a girl ever have too many pairs?
4. Before your Sagitine shoe stands and boxes, where did you keep your Kotur heels? Before my Sagitine boxes and stands, I kept my heels in our KOTUR boxes. They are beautifully printed with one of my mother’s illustrations, which are updated each season so that they are fresh and collectable.
5. No doubt you have an enviable minaudière collection (and know how to spell the word without googling it J), how do you store them? They have their own closet!
6. What is your most precious item of clothing? How do you store it? I have one of my mother’s original 1920’s flapper dresses. I store it folded flat between tissue paper in a box. I’ve never had the confidence to even lift it out of the box, let alone wear it – but it is my most treasured piece.
7. We all spring clean our wardrobes from time to time…is there a special piece you wish you hadn’t thrown away? Things come and they go. It is not without great thought that I purchase or discard a piece - I have no regrets.
8. Describe your dream wardrobe/storage scenario? Is there a storage product you would love Sagitine to design for you? My parents’ attic is filled with vintage Louis Vuitton campaign furniture. I love things that transform and cannot think of anything better than to have a closet in a trunk.
9. What is the ultimate fantasy item you wish you could store in your Sagitine boxes? The entire costumes closet from the film Belle du Jour.
10. What is your favourite Sagitine box?
The Sagitine shoe boxes and stand. I love how you can have the stand outside of the closet and it can still look incredibly chic and integrated into any room. It is its own piece of furniture.