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Romyda Keth

Romyda Keth was born in Phnom Penh in 1966. When she was five she left Cambodia with her parents who were in the diplomatic corps. Following several years in Prague the family moved on to Paris in 1973.After studying at the Paris School of Fine Arts for a number of years, Romyda enrolled in the Esmod School of Fashion Design, also in Paris. But before she had even completed her apprenticeship program there, the American chain store Macy’s offered her a position as a designer, enabling her to work on her own sketches.After some years in the heart of the Paris night life following the interests of her youth, Romyda joined forces with a hat designer friend and began showcasing her collections in a small boutique in Paris’s sixth arrondissement. Fashion shows, press coverage in the most prestigious women’s magazines and enjoying the acclaim of her first customers were her regular fare.In 1994, with a husband and two children, she returned to her roots—Cambodia. The country she came home to was in tatters, with little in the way of infrastructure to really develop her work. Undeterred, her husband, biologist Denis Laurent, met Dr. Beat Richner, founder of the Kantha Bopha hospitals, and decided to go for the most exciting challenge of his professional career. The Laurent family moved in and further expanded (now there were two boys and two girls).

The early years after 1994 were shaky, but Romyda’s clients in Paris still clamored for her creations. A makeshift workshop with only three couturiers discovered after a long search, was set up in a little corner of her home where she could put down on paper the myriad sketches and designs that she dreamed up. Exploring the wealth of local handicrafts, embroidery techniques, the diversity of colors and high quality of Khmer silk and organza became a second love for Romyda after enjoying long hours in the design and creation stage of her women’s wear lines.

In 1999, Romyda opened her first boutique: Ambre. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh in an old colonial mansion, the place is an ideal venue for the challenge of offering her Cambodian and expatriate clientele a place to go shopping.

To introduce her collections and give life to her garment creations, she reworked the interior design, coming up with an intimate and attractive world of tailor-made color-themed pieces. That year, two more boutiques opened, one in Raffles Hotel le Royal and the other at the Grand Hotel d’Angkor.

The maturity and diversity of her work have opened new horizons. In 2000, her encounter with another designer enabled her to work with an agent in Paris through the launch of her wedding dress line: an up-scale market featuring one outfit of pure silk.

Her patterns are characterized by an undeniably feminine style, coloring that is a harmonious blend of shades, elegance without sacrifice of detail, garments that fit the curves and highlight the figure, and materials that are both versatile and of high quality.

Driven by the need to create beyond the dictates of fashion, Romyda continues to cater to her client base—active women who know they’re beautiful and want to exude elegance in every situation.

At the dawn of 2006, her clothing line, bearing the “Romyda Keth” label, is being marketed in Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, La Réunion, Mexico and Chile.

Romyda Keth

Thomas Jaffre

Thomas has always been passionate about design and studied design in Paris. He then started his own business which flourished in women’s apparel and met Romyda Keth. They went on to develop a unique bridal line in Paris. Several years ago, Thomas decided to move from Paris to Phnom Penh where he could work more closely with Romyda and now focuses on menswear and accessories.

Thomas Jaffre

Lesli Berggren

“The fundamentals of good design are basically the same, regardless of medium. The real challenge is to capture whatever inspires you and convey that vision into something representative and unique. My goals in design are to create the unexpected, the versatile, and a love for a piece of jewellery that attaches owner to art.”

Lesli Berggren Designs was founded in Singapore in 2003. A Bachelors degree in Art and Graphic Design, combined with years of globe trotting, provide the inspiration behind Berggren’s exquisite designs. Her beautiful collection has as it’s cornerstone an eclectic range of pieces combining semi precious stones with both traditional and non-traditional metals, which have become the designer’s hallmark.

She draws inspiration for her designs from what she sees around her. “Travelling through Asia, I see first hand unusual colour mixes and a wide variety of form and style which give me ideas for designing new pieces.

On a recent trip to Australia’s Margaret River, I found the combination of azure sea with the red earth truly exhilarating!”

“I grew up surrounded by creativity. My grandmother was a musician, my father and brothers are both artistic. My mother was constantly working on creative projects in our family home-whether it was throwing pottery, creating large woven pieces or painting another canvas for her extensive collection.”Berggren ran her own design studio “ImageWorks” in Houston, Texas for 8 years before moving to Singapore in 1998. Her jewellery designs are created in Singapore and manufactured in India. She personally oversees the manufacturing process, ensuring that each unique piece is fashioned to the highest standard and quality level.

Lesli Berggren’s Collections have been published widely and featured in several fashion shows.

www.lesliberggrendesign.com

 

Lesli Berggren

Michele de Albert

Michele De Albert modeled in Paris while studying law, but was naturally drawn to more creative pursuits. She was thrilled to evolve in the artistic Parisian scene as it fulfilled her creative aspirations and quickly started a company designing fashion and gift items.

De Albert was struck by Vietnam during her first trip there in 1992. She decided to throw caution to the wind and moved to Saigon in 1994. The energy of Saigon, the friendliness of the people and the wealth of inspiration whether from colors or materials available enticed Michele to launch her own style of eclectic lacquer tableware and objects.
Her sophisticated taste, bohemian lifestyle and flair for design and color have created collections filled with sensual appeal. In addition to Vietnamese workmanship and enthusiasm she has added her own unique touch of lacquer to traditional materials such as bone, silver, bamboo and ebony.

Each piece of lacquer ware receives 12 coats of varnish, which are meticulously dried and polished during the process. The impeccable finish reveals the purity and refined simplicity at the heart of each of Michele De Albert’s elegant collections.

Michele de Albert

Miguel La Salle

Born in Bangkok, Thailand to Vietnamese and Philippino parents, Miguel La Salle has always been fascinated with fashion, art and design. By profession, Miguel is an accredited Gemologist.

Although appreciating the value and beauty of perfect gems, Miguel recognised that she found more charm and character in the inclusions and striations in flawed stones, and that with some creativity their beauty could be uniquely shown off.

With this realisation, it then seemed a logical step into the world of design – at first with fashion jewelry and then increasingly, incorporating gemstones into her handbag and accessory designs.
Equally inventive are her stunning mannequins and mirrors fashioned in sculpted leather and gemstones.

Today she works with exclusive spas and designer boutiques, and caters to individual clients worldwide, many of whom are celebrities.

Miguel La Salle