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Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 7:06:36 AM
by bervin cheong
The media and guests went crazy over Wang Leehom during the Coach store reopening party at The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Wang Leehom waxes lyrical about his appointment as the face of Coach for its men’s accessories.
IT is easy to understand the enthusiasm Wang Leehom has with regard to him being able to work with Coach. After all, the singer-songwriter and luxury design house share a similar background.
“We’re both from New York, Coach and I. So we kind of have camaraderie and common ground there,” Leehom genially stated, in response to questions posed by Star2.
According to Leehom, his long-time friend is the president and CEO of Coach Japan, Daniel DiCicco. It was through DiCicco that he was first considered for the appointment as men’s accessories ambassador to the brand.
“It was actually two years ago when that happened. It was at a time that Coach decided to have a spokesperson. So Coach Asia had a big meeting where they talked about it, and Dan told them why not get in touch with me.”
About saying yes to Coach, Leehom explained: “It was really a quick and easy decision. Presenting to me, they made a very strong impression. They have great products, plus they were looking to expand into greater Asia.”
The 37-year-old entertainer was in Kuala Lumpur recently for the reopening of the Coach store at The Gardens Mall, KL – a new 224sqm dual gender retail space that reflects the brand’s sleek design concept.
The outlet’s façade features the brand’s signature C-pattern panels encased in glass, and the décor combines high-gloss, white lacquer fixtures and polished stainless steel accents.
There is also a dedicated men’s section here that incorporates the aesthetic of the men’s space at the Omotesando flagship store in Tokyo, with white marble flooring and black marble edging.
Catering to all, the assortment of women’s and men’s products includes bags, small leather goods, footwear and outerwear.
For the uninitiated, Coach started off in 1941 as a family-run workshop. From humble beginnings in a mere loft on Manhattan’s 34th Street, it has grown, and the brand is now known the world over.
When it comes to Leehom, he was born in 1976 in Rochester. And now he has made a name for himself internationally not just as a singer-songwriter, but as a record producer, actor and director.
The experience of working with Coach was a pleasant one for Leehom.
“I think that when the content is good, the promotion is easy. That goes for a film, music or whatever product it is that you’re trying to introduce to the consumer. With Coach, I never had a problem.”
“Like I’ve said, I’m a customer too. I use their products – whether it’s a computer bag or amenities kit, or even things like gloves. I love leather products. To share that enthusiasm with the fans and the consumers isn’t very difficult. ”
In terms of his fashion sense, Leehom said that it really depends on the situation.
“There are two Leehoms: a Leehom who’s in the limelight when performing, and another one that’s different, off the stage. I travel a lot, so I would say my inherent style is really about being comfortable and presentable at the same time.”
As it is, the designs from Coach have always been effortlessly New York. The brand channels an undeniably appealing, fresh take on what today’s men and women really want.
If you’re wondering what Leehom currently loves from Coach, well, he has named the leather sling-pack from the brand as a must-have.
“You don’t really see a lot of bags like that out there. This one to me is small, but still large enough to hold my recording equipment. I put my microphone and my analog digital converter in there, as well as all the wires and cables,” he said.
He explained: “I’m working on a new album right now and I’m recording songs in my hotel room a lot of times. So whenever I’m inspired, I just go into my suitcase and pull out my sling-pack.”
Leehom is also currently touring for his Open Fire series of concerts that take place in a different city every weekend. His appearance at the Coach party in KL was thus a quick one, as he was scheduled to perform in Guongzhou the very next day.
He has, nevertheless, enthused his love for Malaysia. He said that the country has always been a huge source of excitement and inspiration to him.
“I think it’s ethnically and culturally diverse, yet international. I’ve done so many things here in Malaysia – whether it is working with the symphony orchestra, conducting classical music, or singing at a New Year’s countdown pop concert. My Malaysian fans are incredibly supportive.”
Having said all that, Leehom remains modest of his accomplishments and successes.
“I’m just fortunate to have been in this business at a time when it flourished. I think it’s very difficult now for a musician,” he said.
He explained: “Back when I started in 1995 – as I released my first album – I would say that was a time that people actually bought music. I’m really lucky to have had that long career and the opportunity to amass a repertoire, which I now tour with.”
“It is very difficult nowadays for a new artist to try and recoup on an album. That alone, and to have a series of albums – or enough albums, like five or 10 albums – that you may need to hold a concert tour,” he stated.
“Then again, I’m lucky again that my work is my play. There is a famous saying that goes, ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life’. For me, I do exactly that. So I can’t complain,” concluded Leehom.
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Lifestyle, Wang Leehom, Coach, men's fashion, accessories, The Gardens Mall, KL, Kuala Lumpur
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