We interviewed Khanidtha Daroonnate, founder of Canitt, for our January 2016 edition. Here are a few of our favourite excerpts.
The Roaring Twenties inspired her latest collection...
“These women were so inspirational because they pushed the boundaries in countless ways,” Khanidtha says. “They embraced modernity by starting to use makeup, their skirts and haircuts became shorter, and they dropped the constrictive Victorian corsets. Overall, they adopted a more modern, fast-paced lifestyle, working all day and partying all night. The clothing was glamorous and the women were elegant and sexy.”
The "Canitt Woman"
Khanidtha describes her target customer as a confident, modern working woman who is elegant, yet spontaneous and playful. “Every woman loves to dress up and I aim to provide them with garments made with the best materials, production techniques and high attention to detail, allowing women to feel simultaneously sexy and empowered,” she says.
Sources of Inspiration
Aside from browsing Pinterest in the late hours of the night after she’s put down her six-year-old son Tin Tin, Khanidtha’s main source of inspiration comes from her travels. For example, before designing her first collection, she intentionally decided to visit Venice during the scorching summer months. “Thais normally picture Venice as a romantic place full of gondolas and incredible architecture, usually visiting it during winter. I was able to see a very different side to the city in terms of mood and even the colour of the water. The experience ended up being the inspiration for my debut collection, ‘Venice Delight’,” she says.
What the Future Holds
Looking into the future, Khanidtha plans to launch many more branches in Thailand over the next few years, while keeping a watchful eye on overseas markets. Entering the Western fashion scene represents its own set of challenges, and perhaps that’s why so few Thai fashion brands have become household names internationally. “I think it’s quite difficult for a Thai fashion brand, especially a small, independent one, to gain traction in the West because there are certain restrictions. For one, we have to first and foremost focus on our domestic market, which means designing for petite Asian women (she wears a size XS). Even the weather and lack of seasons are factors holding us back because we can’t design multi-layered clothing since it wouldn’t be practical here.”
Khanidtha has already been approached by retailers from Singapore to carry the brand in select stores, but she proves to be a savvy businesswoman by putting that plan on hold for another year, instead utilising the time to expand her foothold in the Kingdom. In the meanwhile, her designs are available at the Canitt showroom in Park Lane, Ekkamai.
Profile: Kaan Suchanin
Fashion images: Canitt