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We created Graedance with the idea of creating a symbol of unity, of shared experience - that could help people connect and grow together away from isolation. It's through togetherness, that we can embrace confidence and assurance in our identity. At its heart, Graedance is about strengthening community through expressive design, and to inspire you to be the best version of yourself - one that embraces all your intersectional identities to create majesty as the gradient you take up in this world.


The goal of our pocket sized 'grey area' interview series is to spotlight inspirational individuals that so happen to be supporters and clients of the brand: today's guest is one of the most powerful forces in luxury communications in the APAC region, whose personal style is the epitome of effortless and his work, forever admirable.

Please meet Kris Manoonsirikul, also known as Kris Gap, the current Head of Market & Communications for Bottega Veneta South East Asia and Oceania. Although previously at Prada for 11 years, he started his journey studying social work, which as you'll find out, has profoundly influenced how he approaches his life. Kris's journey into the fashion industry began with a simple passion for dressing up, despite having no formal background in fashion. His early experiences in social work have significantly influenced his approach to understanding human behavior, which he considers fundamental to his current role in communications and marketing.

 

1. Can you tell us more about your journey from social work to becoming the head of communications and marketing for Bottega Veneta in SEAO?
"My journey started with a fevor for fashion, even though I had no formal background in the industry. Initially, I just enjoyed dressing up and wanted to explore what I could do in this field. My background in social work played a crucial role in shaping my understanding of people and human behavior, which is essential in my current role. I believe that to excel in communications and marketing, you need to have common sense and the ability to empathize with others, which my social work experience provided."

 

2. You mentioned spending time in a rural village in northern Thailand. How did that experience shape your perspective and approach to your work in fashion?
"Living in a rural village in northern Thailand, specifically in a tribal area in Chiang Mai, was a transformative experience. It taught me how to live with minimal resources and appreciate the simplicity of life. This experience has made me adaptable and resilient, qualities that are invaluable in the fast-paced fashion industry. It also helped me understand the importance of being grounded and not letting material success define my self-worth. If everything was taken away from me the next day, i know i’ll be OK - because we don’t need much to be happy."

 

3. How do you navigate the challenges of working in the fashion industry, which often comes with preconceived notions and stereotypes about 'fashion people'?
"I don't really identify with the term 'fashion people' because I believe it's more about how you express yourself rather than fitting into a specific mold. I like to dress up, but I don't let that define me. The fashion industry can come with negative stereotypes, but I focus on staying true to myself and not letting external perceptions affect me. I also try to avoid negativity and surround myself with people who bring positive energy into my life."

 

4. What are some things that are crucial to you and your work?
"Change and adaptability are vital because the fashion industry is constantly evolving. If you don't adapt, you risk becoming obsolete. I believe in staying true to myself while being open to new and exciting trends. This balance allows me to remain authentic while also embracing innovation. Flexibility and the willingness to experiment are key to staying relevant and successful in this industry."

 

5. You mentioned that the 'grey area' is a comfortable space for you to be in. Can you elaborate on how this concept of the 'in-between' influences your creativity and work? 
"The grey area is where I can be most creative. It's almost like a loophole where you don't have to strictly belong to one side or the other. This space allows me to blend different elements and integrate various perspectives, making it easier to adapt to different situations. In my job, this adaptability is crucial because it helps me find small pockets of opportunities and maneuver things to make them happen. I always aim for a win-win situation where both parties are happy."

 

6. How does your experience of living in the 'in-between' culturally, as someone who doesn't fit into typical binary categories, shape your approach to fashion and marketing?
"Living in the 'in-between' culturally has given me a unique perspective. I don't identify strictly as anything, and this has taught me to appreciate the nuances and complexities of identity. In fashion and marketing, this perspective helps me understand that not everything is black and white. It allows me to create messages and campaigns that resonate with a diverse audience. I believe that embracing this grey area makes me more flexible and open to new ideas, which is essential in a constantly evolving industry like fashion."

 

 

7. You talked about the importance of not letting external perceptions define you, especially in the fashion industry. How do you maintain your individuality while navigating this space?
"I don't let the term 'fashion people' define me because I believe it's more about how you express yourself rather than fitting into a specific mold. I like to dress up, but I don't let that dictate who I am. I focus on staying true to myself and not letting external perceptions affect me. I avoid negativity and surround myself with people who bring positive energy into my life. This approach helps me maintain my individuality while still being part of the fashion industry."

8. You mentioned that change and adaptability are crucial in fashion. How do you balance staying true to yourself while embracing new trends and innovations?
"Change and adaptability are vital because the fashion industry is constantly evolving. If you don't adapt, you risk becoming obsolete. I believe in staying true to myself while being open to new and exciting trends. This balance allows me to remain authentic while also embracing innovation. Flexibility and the willingness to experiment are key to staying relevant and successful in this industry. I always pick up new items that fit within my style and make sense in my context, ensuring that I don't lose my sense of self in the process."

 

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