For over 20 years, New York fashion genius, Zang Toi, has made a serious dent in the fashion industry with his “little jewel box” boutique and jaw-dropping designs. Born and raised in Malaysia, Zang moved to New York City when he was 20 years old. After attending the Parsons School of Design, he was quickly noticed for his distinguished style and creativity. In 1989, Zang launched the “House of Toi” collection, one of many, many accomplishments he’s taken under his belt in the last 28 years. Today, Zang is a highly reputable icon in the fashion industry for his remarkable talents and passion for timeless beauty. We’re excited to highlight Zang as this month’s teafluencer to celebrate the launch of the delicious Harney & Sons House of Toi blend that he helped create. Check out our exclusive Q&A below to learn more about Zang and his top-of-the-line clothing and designs.
Harney: Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get to where you are today?
Zang: I came to New York 37 years ago to study fashion designs at Parson School of Designs, and knew that it would be my adopted home the very first day I arrived. I studied hard and worked harder to be where I am today. I am living the American Dream!
Harney: What are some of your passions? What inspired you to pursue a career in the fashion industry?
Zang: My three passions are BEAUTY, food, and travels! My love of beauty inspired me to pursue a career in fashion, as I simply wanted to make women feel and look beautiful
Harney: Can you define your brand? What do you want your audience to think or feel when they are browsing, buying, or wearing your items?
Zang: My brand epitomized is wearable glamour! I want my audience to know that they are buying into timeless beauty that is truly an investment piece.
Harney: Can the Harney audience buy your designs?
Zang: The Harney audience can purchase Zang Toi creations at Zang Toi Boutique on 1046 Lexington Ave and at ZangToiBoutique.com. Besides the glamorous gowns, signature-tailored trouser suits and sweaters, there are also fabulous and affordable items like the Harney House of Toi blend tea, Zang Toi nail polish collection by Sunday’s, Zang Toi greeting card collection by Papyrus, and Zang’s Sketch Ts.
Harney: In general, what are your favorite types of clothing styles and why?
Zang: I personally like finely crafted and timeless styles that stand the test of time!
Harney: What are some of your favorite fashion moments, memories, or accomplishments? What are you most proud of?
Zang: A fashion dream come true was to have my orange and hot pink babydoll dress from my very first collection featured in Vogue by Anna Wintour, and to win the Young Designer Award by Mouton Cadet just a year later. Another honor that I have always cherished was five years ago when I was knighted Datukship by the King Malaysia!
Harney: Tell us a little more about your new stand-alone boutique. (We know it was all anyone talked about during New York Fashion Week last fall!)
Zang: After 28 years in business, I decided to open my own little jewel box boutique on 1046 Lexington Ave, a beautiful space that I can welcome my clients and fans to share the world of Zang Toi!
Harney: What’s next? Tell us what your plans are for the future of your collection and your career in the fashion industry.
Zang: I hope to continue creating unique and beautiful Zang Toi and Partnership Collections that my clients and fans desire.
Harney: When you are not designing gorgeous clothing, what are you doing? What are some of your hobbies?
Zang: I love traveling around the world learning and enjoying different cultures and cuisines.
Harney: Are you a tea lover?
Zang: I love, love, love tea. It is calming, and very zen, very inspiring, especially when I am designing my collection late evening/early morning.
Harney: What’s your favorite tea memory?
Zang: My favorite tea memory was growing up drinking only tea in the morning, day, and night that my mom made. She also is a tea lover!
Harney: Do you have any favorite types of Harney & Sons tea?
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us! To learn more about Zang, his collections, and his passion for design, head to zangtoiboutique.com, or check out his Instagram. All photography has been provided by Zang and his Instagram account.