Nan Tohch is the creative director of Seeker Retriever. It was once a pop-up vintage store in Bangkok, but is now her own label. Her debut fashion collection, Seeker Studios, is her first step towards providing an alternative to fast fashion.
“I worked for Numéro Thailand and a few fashion TV shows, so I’ve seen a lot of fast fashion,” says Tohch. "I thought there’s a better way to make the most out of what you wear."
“People desire things too quickly. They want something right away – spend $29 and wear it once because the quality is terrible,” says Tohch.
Tohch was born and raised in Thailand, then moved to the states to study film. She returned home several years ago, and now spends her time between Bangkok and Sydney. While travelling in the Lampang Province in Thailand, she met local artisans and became aware of the beautiful fabrics that were available. The result is the Seeker Studios collection.
The garments are designed in Newcastle and made only from hand-woven cotton created by artisans in Northern Thailand. The pieces can be ordered in small batches of no more than 15. They are cut, sewn and hand dyed with colours made from native Thai plants that only grow at certain times of year. This natural influence is echoed in the design.
Not looking to limit the clothing to a specific brand or age group, the collection embraces a minimal aesthetic with a touch of Thai. Versatile shirts, trousers, tunics and dresses are designed for men and women. The lookbook is not archived as Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter. Instead, it’s season-less, challenging the throwaway nature of the fashion industry, and supporting quality, gender-neutral pieces that can be mixed and matched and worn all year.
“I saw it as a responsibility, a way to make it [fashion] right, and also set an example for the Thai fashion industry,” says Tohch.
Before now, the collection has only been available online and at boutique markets such as Hunt and Gather in Newcastle. Tohch is talking with a number of boutiques, and hopes to eventually expand the Seeker x Retriever brand into a range of lifestyle products, such as organic cosmetics and artisan-designed homewares.