CAVALIER is a kids brand with a difference. Created with a vision to clothe little people and inspired by a sense of freedom, CAVALIER's creators Angela Chong and Perry Lam design for the brave...
With designs that are as intricate as they are functional, you find yourself wondering if you have stumbled across a beautiful piece of wearable origami. Although neither Angela nor Perry have backgrounds in fashion they have embraced this new venture whole heartedly, with Perry describing this adventure as "trading the life of comfort for one that’s worth fighting for."
Inspiration comes in many forms for this clever duo, with their debut collection drawing on the thrill of kids playing dress-ups in their parents closets. And while the current collection comes in children's sizes only it will only be a matter of time before us big folk can join in the CAVALIER fun. "We design with the philosophy that each piece would be something that we would rock ourselves (should it come in our size) so quite naturally, that is where we would like to take CAVALIER."
We talked to Angela about what inspired her an Perry to create CAVALIER...
What is the idea behind CAVALIER and how did it start?
I have always loved fashion and starting a clothing label has always been on my bucket list. In 2013, Perry and I were at a point in our lives where we felt accomplished in our corporate careers and having worked for ourselves before (running our own media production house), it was quite natural for us seek out a new challenge and chase a dream. The idea came about to debut with kidswear because we wanted to grow our label following the natural course of life – from birth to old age.
Where are you based?
We’re based in sunny Singapore where it’s illegal to chew gum.
What do you love most about designing kids wear?
I think kidswear is the epitome of how all clothing should be – comfortable and fearless. Designing kidswear is the best because when I dream up mad ideas, I don’t have to worry that wearers would be too self-conscious to carry something off.
What inspires you?
Inspiration bombards me everywhere, in everything, and everyone. In a sense, it’s hard to switch off being inspired and it’s also impossible to pinpoint a single inspiration for each piece because really, an article of clothing is a magic pot of a gazillion inspirations. If I had to generalize it, CAVALIER is sparked by the thrill of kids playing dress-up in their parents’ closets and the vision to clothe little sartorial people.
The general inspiration for our debut collection was drawn from the people closest to me, my family. The Dora Dress for example, is homage to my mother and Peter Pants, my father. The more casual D range of streetwear was pulled from my sneakerhead brother. I’m extremely lucky to have grown up in a family of tastemakers who molded my eye for fashion and motivated my fearlessness in style. If you dig deeper, you will find a crazy mix of inspirations from rock and roll culture, Mark Twain and even Bruce Lee.
What sets Cavalier apart from other children's brands?
The brave, the brazen, and the intellectually arrogant – that’s a CAVALIER kid, young or old. The CAVALIER kid doesn’t ask if an article of clothing is for boys or girls, the CAVALIER kid wows us regardless of what the labels say.
Where is your favourite place to shop for kids in Singapore?
The irony is that the lack of design-centric places to shop for kids in Singapore was the catalyst to the birth of CAVALIER. CAVALIER is mostly stocked at independent fashion and lifestyle stores in Asia and is racked next to the coolest womenswear and menswear labels because we couldn’t find kids stores that aligned with our brand and style.
Nana & Bird Kids (our retailer that is housed within Nana & Bird, a multi-label womenswear boutique) has to be our pick because they curate the dopest kidswear labels and the quaintest collection of kids toys from all over the world.
What do you love most about being a kid?
The freedom from knowledge is the best thing about being a kid. The carefree curiosity that lets you believe that you can conquer the world.
If Cavalier were to make the ultimate icecream cake what flavour would it be and what would it look like?
This is officially our favourite interview question ever. First of all, it’s chocolate over vanilla, ALWAYS.
The CAVALIER ice cream cake will be a savage concoction of dark chocolate and blue bubblegum ice cream laced with honeycomb chunks, Turkish delight jellies and chocolate malt balls – all in a giant fallen ice cream cone shape. Of course we have to make the cone from clear, brown sugar crisscross snaps and sprinkle hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands on top. More is more when it comes to ice cream cakes no?