Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's a Carnival

Carnival is a household name with a long tradition on Taiwan's scene for men's clothing.
Unfortunately, that also means that the name stood for stodgy, conservative, unimaginative suits and shops which would draw yawns from most passersby, with the exception of stodgy, conservative, unimaginative businessmen maybe.
Until a couple of years ago, when Carnival was taken over by Yulon, Taiwan's biggest carmaker. Hold on! A car manufacturer making suits? I know what you're thinking, but the chief of Yulon is Kenneth Yen, regularly featured in magazines as one of Taiwan's most fashionable men, and a hardcore Giorgio Armani fan.
Yen took over distribution rights for Armani in Taiwan and is now giving Carnival a facelift as well. For the first time, the brand is recruiting local designers to give its suits more cachet. The "Carnival by Y L Kang" series of suits was designed by Kang Yen-ling, while an even better-known designer, Fang Kuo-chiang who goes by the name of Kieng and used to work for Emmanuel Ungaro, was asked to come up with accessories like belts and other leather goods that reflect Carnival's new logo, which incorporates a button. His designs go by the name of "Carnival by Kieng." While upgrading its products, Carnival is also trying to internationalize its image by opening a stand at a department store in Beijing later this month.


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