Humble. Real. Down to earth.
These adjectives floated to my mind as I observed Carven Ong first few minutes on stage as he was introduced to the audience by the emcee.
Soft spoken, Carven answered a few questions before sitting down to sign copies of his latest book “Carven Ong’s Guide to the Fashion Industry” for his fans.
For some of them, he sketched a quick design, much to their thrilled delight.
They crowded around him, asking questions and taking the opportunity to snap a photo with their idol.
I skimmed through his book quickly, grasping an overall feel of the volume before I proceed to grill him over a cuppa and muffin. I didn’t want to risk sounding like an idiot asking him the same stuff that could have been mentioned in his text.
I was particularly taken with Chapter 3 – “Getting Started – Do you have what it takes?”.
Now a little a bit of myself here. I have always harboured the dream of having my own fashion line. Back when I was younger, life was tough.
To study fashion and focus on it was something that was never going to happen.
I had to put myself through school through tuition classes (yes, me being the tutor to younger kids) and I didn’t even have time for extra curricular activities.
Long story short, I did what I could to survive and pay the bills. Today, as I’m well into my 3rd decade in life, I had wondered if it was too late.
Today, Carven Ong gave me hope.
It’s never too late.
Time and finances matters of course, but I COULD take a foundation course in fashion design. The starting point is sketching/drawing and then the technicalities of sewing and drafting/cutting.
Or, like Carven said, with good fashion sense, I could start with merchandising and sourcing of fashion items, not necessarily having to design them myself. But if I really do want to learn to design, his humble academy seems to be a likely choice. I would love to be under his tutelage!
More about Carven’s Academy can be found here –> http://www.carven.com.my/academy.html
Meanwhile I found myself unable to put his book down. I have skimmed through the book, picked up some really valuable insights and found his story really inspiring.
I must say that I liked the book very much as it is simple to understand and it says it as it is – the real hard truth as it chronicled his actual experiences in his 20+ years in this fashion industry.
His advice are very sage and practical, truly a good kickstart-er for anyone considering and unsure of a career in the fashion industry.
My 1 hour session with him had also unearthed some of his opinions and thoughts about the fashion industry in Malaysia; which I’ll share soon. 🙂
Meanwhile I’ll be updating this post with my thoughts of his book over the next few days.
If you have any questions for me, do drop me a note!
BELOW: Carven Ong, myself and Jojo Struys at the book launch earlier today at Bookerville @Putrajaya International Book Festival.
Well my turn will be soon as I’ll be publishing a book too. Stay tuned on that one! 🙂