Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Mar 24, 2023 11:48 AM

What inspired you to name your brand?

Salete is the name of the Thai white fragrant flower that is generally grown in northeastern areas of Thailand where hand-weaved Thai silk is made.

“Thai silk” is a precious hand-woven textile from the northeastern part (Esan) of Thailand. The weavers from the area maintain the methods and processes of weaving that have been passed down through generations. Esan’s Thai silk is well known domestically and internationally for its aesthetic and quality craft.

Our mission is to strengthen the weaving communities in the northeastern part of Thailand so “Salete” represents Thai silk from Thailand for its gorgeous Thai hand-woven culture and fine Thai crafts.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

I started leather bag making as a hobby and I was always passionate about preserving Thai traditional hand-woven fabric, so I combined those two with my architectural vision to start my brand.


“As a Thai designer, I’d like to present Thai wisdom crafts from a different perspective that could be blended with a modern lifestyle.”


What made you want to design genuine leather bags? 

We use Thai hand-woven fabric which is truly handcrafted from cocoon to fabric weaving and is time-consuming with delicate processes by local weaving communities. We respect and value their craft profession and pick good quality leather and A-grade hardware in order to make a quality and durable bag to remain craft fabrics as long as possible with a creative design.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

I love the Morph Collection the most. We always plan and design the collection with waste-less thinking, carefully creating the cutting pattern with less waste and never throwing a piece of hand-woven silk away. For this collection, we turn the surplus and waste leather (which is in good condition) in our pattern bag-making factory to be new adorable material with our own 3D modular technique which everyone loves and extend the leather’s life cycle before ending up at the landfill. Now we’re preserving all surplus leathers in the factory which is an 80% leather waste deduction. We’re so proud to turn waste leather into a value within craftsmanship.


How would you describe the style you aim for your brand?

SALETE inspires the modern ethical fashion society, it initiates the ‘perfection of best diverse values’ between ‘masterful design, extraordinary visual, artisanal material, and cutting edge’ styles.


What are some core values SALETE stands for?

SALETE’s brand values are delivering uniqueness, outstanding identity, self-esteem, and self-respect to our consumers through our unique styles.


Where do you find inspiration?

Thailand is a culturally rich country. There are so many heritage handcrafts, and I grew up amongst these creations. I always spent time learning and practicing how to make these handcrafts, initially to inherit the goodness of Thai culture.

As a Thai designer, I’d like to present Thai wisdom crafts from a different perspective that could be blended with a modern lifestyle. I am inspired by the arts of architectural lighting and have acquired a vision to reveal the true aesthetic of Thai silk by using a cleverly simple design.


“We have fun designing new styles with extraordinary visual and artisanal materials which reveal the Thai identity that what we stand for.”


Is it difficult to have a brand based in Thailand? What are the advantages and challenges?

While we’ve got around with gorgeous craft materials, it’s quite hard to make brand awareness in Thailand since it’s not a global fashion destination. Since customers need to be ensured of the quality of products, we started gaining a reputation amongst a small group of customers who are loyal customers and spread the word about SALETE.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

Follow your passion! Learning what you’re interested in as much as possible even if they’re not relevant to each activity, trying new things, and experimenting with different styles is so significant. When you’ve realized what’s right for you, just intense focus, hone and develop your expertise skill.


How does sustainability play a role in your brand?

As pollution problems are getting more serious and affecting our world, we have responded by ensuring that our business recycles all leftover materials from our bag-making processes by making sure it is 100% recycled into new styles at SALETE.


What sustainable measures has SALETE taken to better the environment?

We’re applying the carbon footprint mark for circular economy products (CE-CFP) which relies on Japanese and ISO standards.


How has the fashion industry changed since you first started out?

After the pandemic period, garbage and pollution problems became a major awareness in Thailand. We realized and responded to this by managing the new collections which are more concerned with the waste-less procedure. We produce quality products for our customers that are durable for long-term use with a unique style.


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

We’re uncompromising on creativity and design. We start the collection with an almost impossible and complicated unique mock-up, hardly pursuing and developing previous styles out there. We have fun designing new styles with extraordinary visual and artisanal materials which reveal the Thai identity that what we stand for.


If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be? 

Travel more and explore new places, don’t waste time on jobs you don’t love. Believe in your gut feeling.


What should consumers expect to see next from SALETE?

As already mentioned, Thailand is a culturally rich country, and we always live exploring it. We love to experiment with new techniques and blend them with Thai traditional handcraft. SALETE’s next collection will be related to our beloved culture with creativity in an unexpecting and more eco-friendly way.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

Certainly, creativity and uniqueness with our cultural identity which is telling a story of heritage crafts from Thailand.