Former model and fashion editor, Angelle Chang is the Dutch designer behind JOW Fashion. As a response to the insecurities she felt for her son, Jowin, who was born with a clef lip, Angelle designed a children’s fashion collection that forced strangers to focus in on his clothing as opposed to his face.
In 2013 JOW Junior launched for children everywhere to feel confident wearing beautiful ensembles. Later that year, Angelle was invited to participate in the 2013 Dutch Fashion Festival where she was selected to design three outfits for Queen Maxima’s daughters.
From there, JOW Junior took off and Angelle was nominated for the 2014 Young Star Children’s Wear Award in Kohn, Germany and the “Best Emerging Kids Brand” for the 2014 UK Junior Awards. By 2015, there was rising demand by parents to match outfits with their children, so Angelle created her adult label, JOW Fashion.
Later that year, she was invited to participate in both NY and LA fashion weeks and landed in Hong Kong by November 2015 to open her first popup store at PMQ. Today, her designs are available online or in stores throughout the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.
MiLLENNiAL caught up with Angelle Chang in Hong Kong to learn more about the inspiration behind her meaningful fashion brand and where she plans to take it in 2017.
What inspired you to create your own fashion line and how would you describe the style?
Jowin, my son was born with a left cleft lip, this oftentimes attracted people’s gaze towards his mark. As a mother, I felt that I should draw the attention to his fashion and style, making people really see Jowin, like how I like to see him: a confident, happy boy.
My main focus is Childrenswear and how to make it comfortable, wearable and presentable. Also I like to make it more flexible with adjustable elastic waistbands.m My inspiration comes from my travels, especially from HK and China. I love Chinese traditional costumes.
My designs are made of Dutch traditional Natural Fabrics, made in Holland and have a touch of my Chinese roots. I love my cultures and traditions and this fusion you will see in my designs. So I guess it has an Ethnic feel!
How has your clothing countered your insecurities around how people look at your son?
What I love about Dutch fabrics is the high quality and exclusivity. Plus, it has its own story. Its patterns and colors will draw your attention and make you happy.
Jowin gets a lot of compliments now. He looks stylish and smart. My story and Dutch fabrics in combination with my Chinese touch is a very unique thing. You will remember me. My designs really make an impression.
My message is ‘Perfect because of Imperfections’ or ‘Perfect Imperfections’. I would like to make the world a bit better for my son and other kids. We should support our kids and their needs. And tell them to support each other, even if the other looks different.
Explain some of the challenges and rewards of building a fashion brand.
Every step of building a fashion brand is actually challenging. The high risks and investment nowadays are totally for the individual designer.
How to produce affordable small quantities? Today a lot of retailers are just renting out space in their retail store and work on commission base. It’s the most difficult industry and business model I have experienced.
At the same time, I have not been enjoying and loving my job so much since I do fashion, it’s so diverse and can be such a powerful tool for branding, cross-border in cross-industries.
What has been the response from your community?
I feel blessed to have the support of my family, friends and people I meet on this mission. The last 2 years I have shared my story and many who I have met have shared their story with me. I have realized since I have become the mother of Jowin, how blessed I am with everything I have. I hope to make a little difference for my son and inspire others to care even more for each other.
What would you like to see happen for your brand in 2017 and how can MiLLENNiAL readers support that vision?
I hope to see my designs JOW & JOW Junior by Angelle Chang and my message “ Perfect Imperfections” all over in world in the near future bringing lots of joy and happiness to families! At the same time I hope to be able to tell more about my message and experiences to inspire others as a mother and designer.
Check out my brand, give me feedbacks which can help me grow and please contact me for collaborations!
To learn more about Angelle Chang or JOW Fashion, visit angellechang.com