Born into a family steeped in the exotic skins tanning tradition, I am the only designer to grow up with a tannery at the back of my home. Proudly carrying on my family’s heritage, I launched my eponymous luxury accessories line – Ethan K, five years ago, with the intention to bring luxury back to a time when exclusivity and the personal touch prevailed.
In 2008, I moved to the lavish area of Mayfair, London to study at LCF first and then at Central St Martins and it was here that I fell in love with the architecture and opulence of the area’s art deco embellishments. Many of these details have been referenced in my collections.
Today, it is the subtle nuances at Ethan K that have captured the hearts of many discreet luxury connoisseurs and art collectors across the world. Details such as the colours of skins are inspired by my native Singapore, the whimsical clasps encrusted with semi – precious stones and styles inspired by unique chance encounters make my creations unique and coveted globally.
My collections are a breath-taking display of elegance, style, and substance. What I create are not just bags of infinite beauty and quality, but are pieces of art, appreciated and collected by connoisseurs.
My creations are all incredibly lightweight due to a secret technique utilised in the family tannery, followed by hand staking in the atelier, which ensures that the skin is soft and supple. My family’s ‘Bombé Shine’ technique is used to create the beautiful shiny finish whereby an agate stone is used to buff the skin under heat and pressure.
The whole process is one of scientific exaction, achieved through using state of the art equipment and combining it with four generations of experience and techniques developed at my family tannery.
My journey began in the 1900s with my great grandfather who learned the art of tanning from a British artisan, whom he met through an encounter at a train station. Developing the skill of a master craftsman and setting up his own tannery, his knowledge and the family artisanal secrets were then imparted through generations, eventually down to myself.