Best known for his long and successful entertainment career, Hong Kong’s Eric Suen is now indulging in another of his passions – fashion – with the launch of his new tailored suit brand, Tuxee.
More than 20 years ago, back when I was in elementary school, I used to have many of Eric Suen’s CDs on my storage rack in my bedroom. A successful Hong Kong artist who has been in the music and film industry for several decades, Eric was the ultimate heartthrob in the 1990s, coming out with albums in a range of languages including Japanese, English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
“I was a big fan of yours many years ago, but now that I am here talking to you, I realize that you look exactly the same as you did back then – just like in your early 20s! I am really curious to find out what your anti-aging regime is like,” I say, giggling and smiling.
Reluctant to acknowledge any comments or answer questions that might reveal his age, he gracefully tells me he relies on exercise and diet to stay in shape.
“To be honest with you, in my entire life, I have not had facial treatments more than 10 times,” he explains. “Several years ago I was a spokesperson for a beauty clinic, but I rarely went there. Exercise is very effective for me. Like today, I knew I was going to have a photoshoot, so I exercised this morning. After sweating, I just feel great.”
In regards to looking good, Eric also has another little secret; he loves to wear suits. For this reason, he opened a boutique at the Mira Mall in Hong Kong selling bespoke suits. His clients even include famous celebrities like Alan Tam and Hacken Lee, but it is the story behind the brand Tuxee that interests me the most and when I ask Eric where the inspiration for such a unique boutique came from, he tells me about a friend he still admires long after his tragic passing.
“A while ago I met Christian Audigier, who was a talented French designer with labels like Ed Hardy and Von Dutch,” he says. “He and I quickly became good friends and I started to sell his wine in Hong Kong, because I thought the designs of the bottles were so cool and stylish. At that time we both thought that at our age, we should wear suits, so we had this dream of building a new brand that carries suits.
“Unfortunately, he passed away due to cancer in 2015, but even though he is no longer with us, I personally still wanted to conceive my own brand, and that is how Tuxee was born.
According to Eric, any man can appear attractive when wearing a suit, because the tailor knows exactly how to cut a suit to hide a belly or any other physical shortcomings. At Tuxee, men can choose to have suits made in various fabrics, some of which are pink, red, and other unusual textures, colors and patterns.
“A lot of my friends are celebrities and they love to wear Tuxee’s masterpieces when they are on stage performing, so that is why you will see things like glitters and velvet, which can enhance an artist’s look at a concert, but we also make classic pieces that are appropriate for work. There is something for everyone,” Eric comments.
Eager to show me an example of how Tuxee’s suits are different from the big brands, he walks me over to one of the displayed suits and points out the fine details.
“For this piece, we use fabrics from Ermenegildo Zegna,” he explains. “As you know, if you walk into any Zegna shop, you would probably buy something boring that does not express your individuality. Here, we take fabrics of exceptional quality from amazing brands and make one-of-a-kind masterpieces. The color of the pockets and collar contrast the main tone of the entire suit and then the cut can also be tailored according to your taste.”
Determined to build a Hong Kong brand with awe inspiring craftsmanship, Eric is also planning to open additional Tuxee boutiques overseas, but other than making suits, his creativity also goes into designing costumes for music videos and concerts. With his laptop computer, he gives me a sneak preview of his latest music video and indicates that he created all of the costumes that appear in it himself.
Intrigued, I comment, “This black fabric that you wear in your video is truly interesting. The cloth is so light that it floats in the air. I think many of your fans might not know that you are so passionate about arts and fashion, because you are mostly known for being a great actor and performer. What are your plans in the near future? Are you going to focus on music or fashion?”
“There are several new Cantonese songs that are going to be released very soon, including this music video that I just showed you, so my focus now is to continue to exercise, follow a healthy diet and be in the best shape possible,” Eric replies. “Whatever I do, it will be based in Hong Kong for now, because it is the best place to be.”