The designer has always been humble, despite it fiercely loyal following of the wealthiest clients and celebrities (Kirstie Alley was backstage cheering him on). He also has grown his successful business to include licenses for shoes, makeup and fine jewelry, and now a cafe on 57th street.
His collection for Spring 2013 had rich, jeweled embroidery, the most luxurious silks, expertly tailored jackets. The colors were an icy lilac and snowy ivory, butter yellow with rich black. Silhouettes ranged from full ballgowns, to tapered fishtail gowns, voluminous sleeves, pinstriped tailored shorts and capri pants. There were sexy minis to demure 3/4 length sleeve knee length dresses.
Zang Toi always treats everyone around like royalty, (and some of them actually are). He calls his staff "angels", and I always see them wearing "Team Toi" shirts backstage. When I am at his studio, his staff is protective of him. His models are seasoned women of the runway, who show off his clothing more beautifully more than any ingenue. He runs rehearsals of lighting for the benefit of the photographers before the show, right before he sends out meal boxes to keep everyone's energy up. For the guests of his fashion shows, they are treated to a beautiful show and gift bags containing a collection of his Zoya nail polishes taken directly from the collection colors.
The most predictable moment of the evening? The standing ovation at his final bow.
Photos by David TW Leung