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Kwaidan Editions’ Violent Push-and-Pull

This month, our Spotlight shines on a design duo who bring experience from Céline, Balenciaga and Rick Owens to their new luxury womenswear label.


LONDON, United Kingdom — Kwaidan Editions is named after a 1965 Japanese horror film, an association that might sound strange for a luxury womenswear label. But for co-founder Léa Dickely, it makes perfect sense. The movie, whose title translates as “ghost stories” is, she says, “very beautiful [and] a bit scary… Quiet but powerful.”

Dickely and co-founder Hung La, who launched the label last year, boast two decades of design experience between them, including stints at Céline and Balenciaga (La) and Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens (Dickely). The pair, who are partners in both business and life, met while studying at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp.

“[After our studies] we went to Paris where [La] was at Balenciaga and I started freelancing,” says French-born Dickely. For four years the pair stayed in the city, working at the heart of its fashion industry.

Kwaidan Editions Autumn/Winter 2017 | Source: Courtesy

“Working at Balenciaga with Nicolas Ghesquière was amazing, he was all about image and creativity,” says Vietnamese-American La, who was raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, and did his undergraduate degree at Parsons. “My job was to come up with the most creative stuff possible and I learned to break the mould and push boundaries.”

The couple moved to London when La landed a position at Céline working alongside Phoebe Philo, while Dickely was hired by Alexander McQueen. “At that time, fashion changed. It became about wardrobe and empowering women, as well as the beauty of a well-made piece with a spirit,” says La.


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