An elevator convo with Sofia Zanchini of The Tangerine Road. See here for more from our Next Up series.
What do you do?
I co-founded The Tangerine Road in November 2017 with Paola Bianchi. It’s a womenswear slow-fashion brand that incorporates Oriental culture and textiles with Italian flair and style.
How does your business work?
We create limited-edition capsule collections inspired by our travels. Our clothes draw inspiration from Oriental heritage and are built around a strong Italian core of pure design and essential cuts. We also champion an ethical approach to fashion that promotes quality instead of quantity and actively encourages conscious, sustainable consumption. We strive to source the majority of our fabrics from suppliers who specialize in supplying discontinued textiles and end-of-roll material so that we avoid, as much as possible, creating demand for new fabrics.
How did your business get started?
I was living in London and moved to Hong Kong in 2015. As soon as I arrived, I started exploring the city with Paola, who had also recently moved from Hong Kong from Milan [Italy]. While exploring together, we discovered the old district of Sham Shui Po with shops of silks, fine linens and cottons, along with small shops from the 1930s selling buttons and beads of all kind. We fell in love with this authentic area of the city, and this became our base for researching everything we wanted to do with “The Tangerine Road.”
Who are your clients?
Our clients are both expats and Asian ladies. Our collections evoke an exotic nature and far away countries, and this element has a strong appeal for our European customers. Likewise, our Asian clients who recognize the beauty and poise in Italian design have welcomed the style that permeates our creations with enthusiasm.
What’s a day in your working life like?
Since we’re a small brand, we work on multiple sides of our business. Usually, we have meetings and conference calls in the morning and twice a month, we visit our tailors in Hong Kong and China. Much of our work and time is also dedicated to looking for fabrics while travelling in Asia – specifically at the Hong Kong or Singapore fabric markets.
Where do you see your business in the future?
Since Paola moved to Singapore last August, we are working on establishing our brand there, too. This means creating a dialogue with a new customer base but also sourcing materials and accessories for our collections. We are very excited about this opportunity and the chance to experience a new lifestyle and explore the inspiration that comes from Singapore’s tropical surroundings. We are planning to further develop our presence on an e-commerce platform, too, and re-design our website to offer online purchasing.