StreetwearTalk’s BrandWatch series is our showcase of some of the best that the indie fashion world has to offer. This installment has our spotlight on SSAP NYC and its unique fusion of Thai fabrics and Western fits.
As the cultural melting pot of the US, New York City is one of the most important cities in fashion. With people from all walks of life converging on the Big Apple, big ideas are sure to come around. Public School, Eleen Halvorsen, and Vera Wang are just a few names born from the diverse culture of NYC. Another name worth adding to this list is Thai designer Mel Sangsomsap.
Far from Home
Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, a young Mel Sangsomsap would leave her home country to pursue a career in fashion design. Designing clothes for fashion giant UNIQLO would give her critical knowledge of the inner workings of the fashion industry.
Mel would later launch SSAP NYC in 2012 with a debut collection of casual unisex streetwear. While her brand had a lukewarm reception in its first two years, unsustainable production costs and a desire to bring her talents back to her homeland would take Mel and her brand to Bangkok in 2014.
Bringing SSAP back to Thailand has left an impact on its direction in more ways than one. A noteworthy example is their FW 2016 collection titled “The Sakol Project”. Made in partnership with local fabric makers from Sakolnakorn, pieces from the Sakol Project showcase handwoven cottons and denims dyed with a generations-old process using natural indigo grown in the region.
After the commercial success of the Sakol Project, Mel Sangsomsap has ventured into new horizons for her new designs. Her latest “Nothing Is Everything” collection taps into the Buddhist philosophy that pervades her native Thailand. Workaday silhouettes like button-up shirts are treated with sophisticated streetwear cuts, drawing from the designer’s roots unlike anything else.
At this point, the SSAP story has come full circle. Just as New York street fashion was brought back to Thailand, traditional Thai garment making would make its way back to New York and beyond.
Let us know what you think of SSAP’s unique Thai-American fusion in the comments. And stay tuned to StreetwearTalk for more indie fashion showcases like this one.