2014-04-29

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with FERA's Designer

Patty Tung, FERA's Director of Design, graciously sat down with us to answer a few questions from the Hong Kong office, where she oversees Design and Manufacturing for FERA. 

Read on for Patty's insights into Hong Kong, descriptions of an ideal vacation and clarification of a common misconception about designers. 

FERA: How would you characterize Fera’s style?

Patty: Clean. "Sport-influenced elegance."

FERA: Well chosen words. What’s one key item for 14-15 that you’re really stoked about and why?

Patty: The Bomber jacket - it's a great fabric, versatile silhouette and just has attitude.  It's going to be my weekend go-to outerwear for Fall.



FERA: Such a great silhouette! So, you've seen FERA evolve since you were little - your mother was the founder. How has FERA evolved over the years?

Patty: We are 36 years old this year!  I think in the early years FERA was purely about ski apparel but over the years our line has evolved into functional leisure wear, especially pants and outerwear.

FERA: What’s one thing that is absolutely non-negotiable in every FERA design?

Patty: Ease. That is, ease of wearing. The way it makes you feel - effortlessly comfortable yet beautiful. Also, ease of care...many of our designs are packable and hence very lightweight, durable and wrinkle resistant. 

FERA: Tell us a little bit about your design process and where you draw inspiration.

Patty: There are many influences - fabric developments, clothing silhouettes, consumer moods and product trends, etc. Hong Kong and LA - the two hubs of FERA - are epicenters of fashion and style and being in the middle of that means constant exposure to the latest trends and directions. 

We also are very inspired by travel and global culture. For example, resorts in the European Alps and North America, the streets of NYC, LA, Milan, London, Tokyo, Seoul…

FERA: Wow! Now I want to go on an adventure! Is there a quote or piece of wisdom that’s resonating with you right now that you’d like to share?

Patty: Give more than you take.  I think today's ethos is about channeling one's talents and energy in a way that contributes to collective betterment.

FERA: Totally agree. Tell us about your typical day as a designer.

Patty: It isn't all imagining…it wavers between right-brain creating and sensing and left-brain activities like getting specs and changes documented and organizing production scheduling.  

My job is very tactile though - I am always touching, feeling and trying on things.  I don't put lotion on or do my nails because I find that inhibits me; my hands are working all the time.  

FERA: You live in Hong Kong which seems like an awesome city -  tell us something about HK you’d usually only learn if you traveled or lived there.


Patty: Hong Kong is hyper-efficient with wonderful transport infrastructure.  There's an express train that takes you from the heart of the financial district to the airport in 20 minutes.  The buildings in my area are connected by elevated walkways, the world's longest outdoor escalator network, speedy subways and scenic ferries.  You can use a stored-value Octopus card to pay for all transport and in many parking lots and convenience stores.  

FERA: It sounds super easy to get around. We'll make sure to grab an Octopus card if we visit - thanks for the tip! Speaking of visits, describe your ideal ski/resort trip.

Patty: I love to ski with my extended family; we love European resorts because the lunches and off-piste are amazing.  

Adjacent condos or a shared chalet make for a fun after-ski communal wind-down over excellent food and wine.  Some of my favorite ski areas are around Mt. Blanc - Chamonix in France and Courmayeur in Italy.  With a guide, every day has something new to offer.


FERA: Sounds lovely. How would you describe the FERA lifestyle and what are some ways you embody it?

Patty: The FERA lifestyle is about an active life, outdoor pastimes and leisure travel.  I am someone who loves being outside and connected with nature.  In the fall it might be hiking and come winter, skiing of course.  But spring means biking and hiking and summer calls for scuba, wakesurfing, kayaking and open water swimming.  Even if I'm traveling, I want to feel the pulse of wherever I am - you'll find me biking through big city streets or taking in the parks, outdoor cafes and plazas. 

FERA: Where do you see FERA in the next 5 years?

Patty: I see us reaching a more global customer with our uniquely functional active fashion.  

FERA: If you could tell the world one thing about FERA, what would it be?

Patty: Try it!

FERA: Haha, touche. Thank you, Patty!