A little lockdown chat with Hong Kong born 'Zamfam' fashionista Sean Cai.
How long have you worked for Zambesi and what do you love about working for/about the brand?
"10 years! I've been manager of the Zambesi Britomart store for 4 years.
I love the creativity and energy of being part of the Zamfam and my lovely customers. I love Zambesi because of it's quality and craft but also its point of difference, there is always an element of surprise or the unexpected, and its timeless"
What were you doing before you started at Zambesi?
"I studied fashion at Whitecliffe. We had some trips to Zambesi workroom as a student and I met Elisabeth, after a conversation with her thats when I thought, "oh my gosh I need to work for this lady!" the vibe was so creative and authentic."
We know you love fashion illustration, can you tell us about this hobby and what inspired you to draw?
"It's a passion thats always been in me, I started drawing when I was ten living in Hong Kong with my parents. I was inspired by watching my mum get dressed up, she would get dressed in the morning and I would draw her. She loved fashion magazines and books so I always had something to inspire my drawings. Back then in Hong Kong she would take me shopping with her. There were so many amazing stores and this really opened my eyes to the Fashion World. We moved to NZ when I was 16 and I haven't been back since 2015, I would love to be able to get back to see my family."
Where else do you love to travel?
"My fav place so far has been Japan, though I've traveled to many places, I love the art and culture in Japan, my fav gallery is the 'Mori' art museum in Tokyo.
Do you have a favourite hotel & exhibition or artist you've come across in your travels?
"'Borderless' curated by Team Lab in Tokyo. I love Chiharu Shiota's work.
I love the hotel Park Hyatt in Japan, from the movie 'Lost in Translation'.
Do you have a destination in Aotearoa you love to visit?
"I love Queenstown! The scenery, the food, it's like a mini metropolis within in the mountains of luxury and nature."
Can you tell us your favourite international brand from Zambesi Store and why you love it?
"Maison Margiela, the reason I love Margiela is the same reason I love Zambesi, that total creativity and surprise with the designs. They are so special and timeless, you'll never throw away Zambesi or Margiela.
Lastly, what would be your go to Zambesi garment that you wear most?
"One of my fav Zambesi pieces is the Tarantino jacket it goes with everything from tee-shirts to dressy shirts & turtle-necks, it's a trans-seasonal jacket that you can dress up or down, beautiful as a suit with matching trousers, great with denim or shorts, it's one of those must have Zambesi staples!"
Chiharu Shiota, ‘In Silence’, 2002/2019. Image supplied by Sean Cai
Sean Cai at the 'Borderless' exhibition in Tokyo.
'Lady with Hat' ink and watercolour illustration by Sean Cai