“The definition of sexy is confidence. It’s the brain too. That’s the sexiest part of a woman… If you feel confident and smart, that’s sexy. You don’t have to wear sexy clothes or show off sexy parts of your body. If you feel confidence in what you wear, you can feel confidence in that. For women in 2016, that’s sexy.”
– Vatanika “Prae” Patamasingha Na Ayudhya
She found herself in London.
Born in Bangkok to business executive parents Napadanai Patamasingha Na Ayudhya (the “Na Ayudhya” indicates a noble lineage) and Pintipa Devakula, Prae went through the usual bilingual education institutions and graduated from Mater Dei School, heading to London for further study. “I took foundation courses, and then I took other courses – courses over courses. I changed courses for a total seven to eight years.” She immersed herself in a range of design fields, graduating with degrees from Central Saint Martins College of Art and London College of Fashion, where she studied womenswear, product design, as well as bags and accessories.
“My family gave me the opportunity to explore all the fields, never interfering. I wanted to find myself, and they supported me throughout,” she says.
She’s obsessed with her job.
“I believe in friendship and family,” she says matter-of-factly. “Marriage or having kids – I’m sorry, I’m being frank – but it’s not my goal in life. I’m still obsessed with my job. I love what I’m doing. It’s a true happiness that I feel when I see someone wearing my clothes.”
Men look, but don’t approach.
Some 30 minutes into our interview, she drops this surprising dating fact: “Nobody approaches me! Ever!” she exclaims, herself in disbelief.
“People think I’m mad. I’m not mad – it’s just my face!” she laughs. “I’m like, ‘Approach me, please!’ I try to be merry, but it doesn’t work… They might look, but they won’t approach me.”
It’s a motif that is repeated, isn’t it? Take any fun-loving, fearless and ambitious woman who has risen to higher ranks, place her in the centre of a room, and people – in this particular case, this is read men – seem at a loss.
She later jokes, “I wouldn’t mind a boyfriend right now,” though she does not seem especially bothered by it – she’s far too busy ascending the fashion industry ladder.
Fame has not affected her.
Prae’s most frequently the one amongst the three in the spotlight but she says that her modest amount of fame hasn’t affected her life or relationships.
“I do whatever I want to do… you just don’t French kiss in public!” she chuckles. “But these days, people do what they want.”
She likes them curvy.
“This is what I hear from my customers: when they wear my designs, they feel like they have hips, curves and are more in shape. I feel… voluptuous. I like them curvy, I want women to look like women, and that’s how I make clothes and how I design them,” she says.
She’s pretty bossy.
Though the business is technically managed by her counterpart, Joy, she oversees much of the creative side, meaning that she too experienced the heartache and challenges of managing people. “I didn’t study management, so when I started running the company, I had no teachers. I drew all my life. Suddenly, we were expanding and adding new employees every month. It was 10, 20 and then 30 people – and I learned from various small bits of experience how to give and take, to be generous, and to be understanding. It’s made me a better person.”
We tease: Are you bossy, then?
“Like beyond!” she laughs.
She’s obsessed with astrology.
It’s a very typical Leo thing, she says, revealing that one of her passions is astrology. In fact, she’s invested much time into the science of astrology, and reads copious amounts of literature, preferring the Thai astrology version. “I’m obsessed with star signs. Whomever I date, I always ask them, ‘What’s your star sign?’” she says. “And I’m always right!”
She’s even noticed a trend. “I’m good with Gemini and Virgo… Virgo is the best, and second is Gemini. The star sign I cannot date is Scorpio and Pisces. I’m obsessed with this, and as much as I know, I think it’s true.”
Her best piece of advice?
“If you want to do something, just do it,” she says, her eyes flashing. “Don’t wait. Do it now!”
Photographer: Apichart Chaichulla
Stylist: Ohm Thana
Stylist Assistant: Arrisa Arsanork
Makeup Artist: Natalie Lorence
Hair Stylist: Tanapon Sae-tang
Art Direction: Kanda Charanawat
Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.
Venue: Ralph Lauren Home Showroom at DM Home, Siam Paragon