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A Winter Paradiso

June 15, 2023

Malaysian-born, Perth-raised Ken Leung has worked with some of the world’s biggest international designers. He has been the Global Creative Director for Uniqlo, working across the brand’s high-profile collaborations with Jil Sander, Jonathan Anderson and Roger Federer. And he’s defined the visual identity of some of the world’s top luxury labels including LVMH, DKNY, Monocle and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

After 18 years living and working in London and then New York, Ken Leung is back in Perth and creating his own fashion waves, with brand PARÁDISÔ – UNITED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

Worn by NBA and NFL players, top fashion photographers, runway models and creatives, PARÁDISÔ is for anyone who appreciates quality, creativity, culture, and cares about how they present themselves to the world. Ken Leung shares more of his story with AGWA Design Store readers.

Header imagery - Photos by Robert Hamada.

Tell us about your PARÁDISÔ label – what inspired you and why?
After relaunching Donna Karen’s label DKNY, I took a year away from fashion to travel the world in search of paradise. After spending time in Australia, Bali, Thailand, Italy and Tokyo I returned to New York with the realization that paradise isn’t a place but a state of mind. This was the inspiration for PARÁDISÔ.

What is your brand ethos?
PARÁDISÔ is luxury streetwear for a global lifestyle. We create accessible, effortlessly cool essentials that bridge the gap between streetwear and contemporary fashion.

Where is your product made? What is it made from?
Our clothing is made in the US and Asia by specialist, small-scale manufacturers. We use quality materials including the highest grade of Supima cotton and organic cotton fleece to ensure the best feel and wear in our products.

Why is the AGWA Design Store a perfect fit for your products?
AGWA is a vital hub for our creative community, and I appreciate that they support local creators and artisans. I really love the selection of photo and art books at the Design Store. It's a unique and diverse curation that I can't find anywhere else in Perth.

PARÁDISÔ Black Gold Foiled Basketball | 80.00

PARÁDISÔ United States of Consciousness Organic Sweater | 180.00

What are your career highlights?
I was the first to shoot a fashion campaign in Bhutan. Instead of flying a large team of hair, makeup, stylists, assistants, producers but I brought only myself, the photographer and designer — donating the money we saved on flying a full team back to local communities. It was a life-changing experience, getting to meet the kindest people and experience their compassionate culture.

For the last DKNY runway show, I literally stopped traffic and took over the streets New York. I had Bella Hadid lead an army of models through the streets of the Meat Packing District and up across the Highline while there was gridlocked chaos and a symphony of honking taxis below. I was also the Founding Art Director of Monocle magazine which has become a globally renowned and much copied lifestyle brand.

How do you find being a creative in Perth?
The isolation and distance can be challenging but it also offers the luxury of time and space to be creative. We're also lucky to have so many unique and extraordinary landscapes across our state.

AGWA will welcome you as one of our panellists to our July 13 Forum “An Empty Canvas – a future without creatives.” Why do you think this is an important discussion?
There are many obstacles to creativity now and in our future, but I truly believe creativity finds a way for those who dare to dream. I hope our discussion inspires and ignites our audience to pursue their passions, dream big and become our next generation of creative success stories.

An Empty Canvas – a future without creatives | FREE, bookings required

Ken Leung is one of our high-profile panellists at the AGWA Pulse Forum to discuss the future of creativity. As part of AGWA’s commitment to young and emerging artists, the Gallery is leading a national conversation about the importance of creative thinkers to a well-functioning society. The July 13 forum is titled, An Empty Canvas – a future without creatives. A West Australian 2023 Pulse initiative.

Book your free ticket here