Zang Toi: House of Toi
Fashion Designer, Zang Toi is one of the first to experiment and bring to life, the concept of modern fashion. He is a color enthusiast, obsessed with bringing clothing to life with vivid colors while maintaining a sensual and sophisticated design. His creations helped start new trends that have become timeless. Born and raised in a small village in Malaysia, Zang Toi always had high hopes of becoming something more than just a grocer’s son. He left his hometown when he was just 18 years old and moved to New York where he began studying at Parsons School of Design. While studying at Parsons, Zang had the honor of apprenticing alongside designers Mary Jane Marcasiano and Ronaldus Shamask. In 1989, with the money he was able to save up and a limited assortment of clothing, including suits, dresses and sarongs (a garment consisting of a length of printed cloth intended to be wrapped around the waist), Zang was able to open up his first clothing shop.
His use of bold cuts and vibrant colors attracted quite a bit of attention and only a couple of years after his grand opening, he was awarded the 1990 Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year Award. This is a huge honor that recognizes the top young U.S. designer of that year. Zang’s good luck and rise to fame didn’t stop there as he was also mentioned in an article in Newsday by Frank de Car where he was said to be “the next big thing,” because of his bold and exotic fashion sense. According to his website (http://www.houseoftoi.com) it was his name being mentioned in the March 1990 U.S. Vogue issue that really kick started his journey to fame.
The sudden media attention surrounding his work only led to Zang becoming even more known amongst elite fashion designers. Those who have worked with him all agree that what sets him apart from many others is his constant energy and drive to work and perform. Zang is very particular and precise when it comes to his creations as he strives for perfection. His designs have been worn by celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Eva Longoria, Fergie, Farrah Fawcett, Ivana Trump and recently, Kirstie Alley.
The inspirations for his designs come from his passion for traveling and fine living. The goal of his art is to provide women with glamorous outfits with rich colors and eye-catching silhouettes and cuts. Many of the gowns are reminiscent of Asian fashion, including collars, fabrics and patterns that are common in oriental couture. No two pieces are alike and it’s obvious that Zang likes to experiment with asymmetry which has become a huge trend recently. His entrancing designs have even caught the eye of Melinda Gates (Bill Gates’ wife) and Saudi Princess Haifa Bandar Al Saud. As his name and brand were becoming more popular, Zang decided to make his designs available in Malaysia.
In addition to providing women with beautiful attention-grabbing clothing, Zang Toi also contributes to the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which is Lance Armstrong’s organization. Since his collaboration with the program, he has raised over $700,000 to help the efforts of cancer research. Most recently, Zang was recognized by VividMagazine as one of the Top eight most influential Chinese Americans. Zang Toi will continue to be recognized for his ageless and elegant designs of formalwear for both men and women.