Timothy Michael Wen is an Aspiring Fashion Designer who is currently pursuing his brand called “ECMET” that stands for “Everybody Calls ME Tim”. Young, Talented and Insightful, Tim shared his perspectives and experiences from the interview below.
1. Congratulations on your second fashion collection called: Aloitus Lookbook – Underwater. What’s the inspiration behind the brand?
Thank you! Aloitus is a Finnish word which means, ‘startup’ that carries a philosophy ‘to start something’ or ‘to begin’ with the first letter of ‘A’.
Underwater is a brand supporting ECMET itself which attributed from my zodiac, pisces, that has an identity to stay low profile with the products not to be revealed until it reaches its finished line.
All these combined together have inspired my work as it creates a persona of: ECMET – the outer layer of myself, Underwater – the inner character of myself , and Aloitus – a work that I begin to pour out my imagination into the collection itself respectively in Manado.
2. Manado is a developing city that carries numerous potentials in most industries. In fashion perspective, what can be your main challenge as an aspiring fashion designer pursuing your work here in this developing city which is still growing with its maturity?
I think the main challenge would be the lack of awareness from the society in general towards the fashion diversity. As a fellow Kawanua myself, I take pride that the community where I came from has a good taste when it comes to fashion. However, I personally find that the fashion sense of the individuals here in Manado are heavily depending on the social circle they are in as their reference; which limits the person to explore more and simply rely on the “mainstream” or “typical looking good”.
I believe that there is something we can do about it. The fact that “there is something for everybody”, I strive to be a fashion designer who carries a purpose in enabling someone who has a chance to be part of my creation to be brave in exploring and try something new because fashion should represent our character.
3. You have a YouTube Channel with a humble growing of subscribers and I can see that it has a bright prospect. What would be your aim and where do you see it going?
I aim to focus on fashion reviews as my main content. You see, it is much easier to create a beauty content than fashion content in terms of technical perspective as well as inspiration references. But that is something I am passionately working on about, to showcase people the content of fashion from my perspectives.
I personally hope with a consistency of uploading and continuous learning, the channel can grow up to million audiences combining together the viewers and subscribers in 5 years, as I also am optimist that this is supporting my brand: ECMET.
4. You went to Indonesia Fashion Week 2016 & Jakarta Fashion Week 2017; tell me your ultimate experience in joining it.
*laughs* most probably the fact that I got to be one of the journalists throughout the event and networking with the fellow aspiring fashion designers, bloggers, and even the notorious fashion designers.
1. “Fashion is Equality” what does that phrase mean to you personally?
History 101 by Tim: crop top was firstly meant for guys as a sport outfit, skirts were worn not only by women; and heels were worn by men to signify a person with authority or wealth. In today’s world, all these fashions are generally perceived as only women’s attribute. For a man to wear something like this, it would be clash towards the rules system.
Thanks to millenials, which is us, we start to embrace fashion in a better way as we now are more aware of a term of ‘gender fluid’ – that can be explained in fashion perspective as someone who wears anything that he/she likes without limiting themselves from the gender norm. These then enable designers like Gucci to begin selling what’s being called gender-neutral clothing that can be worn by both men or women. That’s what “fashion is equality” means to me. I believe that we are progressing into a better societal acceptance and fashion should become one of the positive impacts.
2. Based on ‘stalking’ your Instagram, what is your aesthetic? Where did you get that aesthetic inspiration?
The inspiration came from a woman named Margareth Zhang, she’s a blogger and she has a diverse style in posting on her Instagram. We may find lots of Instagram iconic users who post all white or any specific colour or certain vibe as their fundamental basis in showcasing their aesthetics. Which is totally cool! In fact, when it comes to Instagram game, it increases the likes and followers too. But I think I’ll let my posts to be diversified. I won’t let myself be defined into one particular aesthetic.
3. You’re a very talented young man with a bright future. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I think I’ll go with 3 years from now, I want Underwater to be an established brand as ECMET will be widely recognized in Manado. I also want to achieve CLEO Fashion Award. We will see from there. 🙂
On Being Gay:
I firstly came out to my mom on my senior year of college. She’s my greatest supporter. My dad is still not accepting who I am and what I do up until today, but that’s okay. I am happy that I made the decision to come out. The fact that I have a great supporting system from my family (my mom and younger brother), I am pretty confidence to face the world, embracing both supporters and haters.
2. Being gay in a conservative country like Indonesia is not an easy situation, let alone in Manado. How do you deal with it every single day?
Obviously it’s not easy, but it is important to be who we truly are. I even have people on my social circle who find it hard to accept who I am – in which I don’t need their acceptance at all. When it comes to how I dress up, I style myself to showcase my brand. I personally believe that Manado has a great setting of landscape when it comes to fashion business to standout. This city needs more fresh vibes and I hope I am bringing it on!
3. If there’s an LGBT movement in Manado, are you going to join? And if so, what kind of contribution are you going to make?
It really depends on the goal of the community. There are numbers of LGBT community out there who carry, in my very honest opinion, an absurd motivation. Like, to showcase their PDA and all. I don’t think that it is something crucial to fight for. Why don’t we focus on how many trans person being treated as 2nd class and not being able to find a better job because of being trans? Let’s do that instead of marching all along just to chant “I’m gay and proud!”
Thank you very much for the opportunity! One last word?
1 John 1:8-9. Let’s leave at that!
YouTube Channel: ECMET
Aloitus Lookbook: The Underwater
Publications: INDONESIA FASHION WEEK 2016 REPORT by Fashion Blogger Indonesia