Hong Kong-based designer René Chu is bringing the fun back to frames with her line of acetate sunglasses, aptly dubbed REVÉ by RENÉ (a play on the French word for dream). A model and graduate of Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Chu has amassed an impressive group of stockists, including Colette in Paris and 10 Corso Como in Seoul. With an unconventional, playful appeal, her unisex designs incorporate both fashion and fantasy with signature removable parts that include magnetic cat ears and screw-on talons. Revé by René is quickly becoming synonymous with fashion’s elite. We talk with the designer to find out more about her style choices and the inspiration behind Revé by René.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I was born in Des Moines, Iowa and studied in Los Angeles at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I moved back to Hong Kong after college. I modelled for a while and launched Revé By René a year ago.
I am a designer because…
Despite being an ardent lover of sunglasses for as long as I can remember, I’ve never found a pair that adapted to my mood. Also, I have a fetish for things with ears (hoodies, caps, etc) so decided to design my own.
What is your brand about?
Revé By René takes high-end eyewear to a new level, where wearers can perfect their cool. Using modern handcrafted manufacturing, Revé sunglasses feature detachable pieces to fit moods and environments. They can turn an ingenue into a vamp and a commuter into a road warrior. Timeless eyewear shapes, like the aviator, can be transformed into individualised frames.
What are you excited about in the next 6 months…
It’s going to be a busy 6 months ahead. I’m launching new attachments and colours for the MAKE ME MEOW and WISH YOU WERE HERE designs for AW14, and working on the SS collection now called HEARTBREAKER. I’m also doing several events and launches across Asia.
A typical day for me is…
Waking up to emails, black coffee, and getting ready in 10 minutes to head off to meetings.
What I love about what I am doing is…
Seeing others wearing something I’ve created is the greatest feeling.
I spend most of my time…
On my phone emailing.
Describe your style…
Nonchalant, uncontrived, badass, and feminine with an edge. I actually love the roll out of bed look a lot, with a pair of REVÉ s of course.
Describe your beauty routine…
I’m in love with all the Korean products, Nature Republic, Laneige, Tony Moly has great masks. My beauty routine is pretty simple; wash my face, apply lots of serum (currently using Nature Republic snail serum and Laneige Water Bank Essence EX) followed by sunscreen and cc cream by Banila.
Tracks/music you are listening to now…
- Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing
- Haim – Go Slow
- Cherub – Doses and Mimosas
Favourite designers in Hong Kong and internationally…
- REVÉ by RENÉ
- Alexander Wang
- Riccardo Tisci
- Rick Owen
If you knew you were going to be stuck in a deserted beach what would you bring…
- A man
- Revé by René (WISH YOU WERE HERE in black) sunglasses
3 special moments in your life…
Revé getting into Colette 4 months after launching. It was 2:30 a.m and I was in my PJs when I received an email about Colette’s order.
Shooting a Paris travel guide with my friend Janet. It was an 11 day shoot in Paris so I wore A LOT of different outfits, but my favourite is the blue dress by ISSA in the photo.
My trip to South Africa for my friend Charlotte’s wedding as bridesmaid.
Do you own pearls?
I own pearls given to me by my grandmother on a random day.
How would you style pearls into your wardrobe/outfit?
I would keep it simple with a pair of pearl earring studs and little black dress.