Monday 5 December 2022

Karl Wan, tropical stylist

He braved the "no's" and embraced the "yes" to live his dream of entrepreneurship! Karl Wan, Polynesian stylist, is the creator of the brand Arona Paris . The talented fashion designer cultivates his passion for textiles since he was old enough to know draw. Meeting with an insular and prolific artist from the South Pacific.

Karl Wan is what we call a fashion boy. An autodidact spotted in 2014 by the artistic director of the Tahiti Fashion Week, Alberto Vivian. It was he who gave him his first podium. From this day his career as a stylist and couturier is launched in Tahiti.

And then at the dawn of his 30 years, the young and modest child raised by a Tahitian farmer grandfather and a French school principal grandmother on the peninsula wants to live his dream: see his creations applauded by all Paris.

karl-wan-designer-shoot
Pic : TeikiDev

Aware that “In life, the opportunities exist, they are provoke and that we do not win all the time” Karl sets out in search of renewal and inspiration. In his luggage a very thin contact book. It will take three years to build its network.

3 years marked by two major facts. The first and not the least, he was the first Polynesian to parade in Paris. An opportunity presented in the form of the National Young Creators Competition organized by ISC Studio Paris. The second, the creation of his brand: ARONA PARIS.

“I would like my brand to be taken seriously by one of the most demanding audiences, the French public.» confidies the Tahitian, but here it is, his great ambitions come up against financial constraints. Karl has no choice but to multiply the hats.

He does what many have done before him: get a second job. And it does well, it promotes the development of his brand “I obviously find that things are not progressing enough quickly, however there has been quite a bit of progress.” affirm the stylist.

karl-wan-designer-shoot
Pic : Elia B Photography

To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the wave of daily metro-work-sleep, he travels and escapes to places totally opposite to the world of fashion and sequins. A change of scenery conducive to his fertile imagination. Thus was born his next challenge: to be on sale in Parisian boutiques in 2021. “We must innovate, follow up and be part of current trends, however be careful not to get lost, keep our values and our qualities as Polynesians. “

He therefore launched an online appeal to carry out his project. The legendary solidarity of the Polynesians has not failed him. “20% of the goal achieved in 6 days! says Karl.
In this Polynesia that wants to open up to the world through everything that makes up its DNA, Karl says he is ready to re-reveal it through innovative projects. He thus envisages “To carry loud and clear the knowledge of the Polynesian “hand”; to associate it with the fabulous French know-how and to create together something even more beautiful. “

Before closing our interview we wanted to know what the adult Karl would say to little Karl and here is his answer:

“That the path he is about to take will be hugely fraught with pitfalls, he is right to remain stubborn and above all he is right not to believe all the people who have told him and will say “No” to him. “

karl-wan-designer-arona
Pic : Marc Williams

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