Alfred Sung, Fashion Royalty
Born in China, Alfred Sung moved to the West to take the
fashion world by storm. His designs can be seen in all kinds of apparel, and
more than that – he has created works for the home, for accessories, and for
fragrances. He is also one of the people behind the clothing seller, Club
Monaco. When he began to open shops after moving to Canada, he was dubbed
Canada’s King of Fashion by a national news magazine. More than 30 years later,
he’s still going strong.
From East to West
Alfred Sung is a native of China, born in1948, in the city
of Shanghai, but he grew up in the more Western-influenced city of Hong Kong.
His parents wanted him to become a traditional professional, but Alfred Sung
had other ideas. Eventually, his father relented and allowed him to study
couture in Paris at a noted school.
When he moved to Canada in 1972, Sung first designed for
another firm, as many designers do. He made sportswear in Toronto for a while,
even while he used his own skills to bring in extra money. After a few years,
he had the resources to open his own shop, which he called Moon.
He acquired partners, Saul and Joseph Mimram in 1979, and
soon the Alfred Sung label was born, selling clothing off the rack to career
women. It wasn’t long after that before Alfred Sung clothing was available all
over Canada, and by 1981, his work was appearing in United States department
stores like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. This was the
same year he opened his own Alfred Sung store in Toronto. A Canadian national
news magazine would soon name him King of Fashion.
Parfums Alfred Sung
Never content to simply rest on his success, Sung created a
fragrance brand, Parfums Alfred Sung. His first fragrance was simply called
Sung, released in 1986. This perfume, as with all of his fragrances, has a
certain simplicity and naturalness, while still conveying a sense of elegance.
That first fragrance, Sung, is still a favorite, floral and
refreshing, and charmingly feminine. It opens with brighter notes of citrus
like orange, bergamot, and lemon, which are softened by galbanum, hyacinth, and
ylang-ylang. Its heart, however, is heart-lifting and flowery, with jasmine,
lilies, and iris. The smooth base contains vanilla, amber, and vetiver. This is
the perfect perfume for daily wear.
Pure is a fragrance from a new iteration of Sung perfumes,
created in 1988. Also made for daily wear, it has the springlike air
reminiscent of Sung, but at the same time, it is more open, evoking the energy
that comes from the cycle of life. It has warmer tones from orchid, musk, and
cinnamon, but still holds the sweetness of lily and peony.
The perfume dubbed ‘Forever’ is also for daily wear, but
originally it was created to invoke the feelings of a bride’s wedding day.
Alfred Sung has a line of bridal wear, and he deemed this as one of his best
fragrances to go with those outfits. Launched in 1995, this fragrance
incorporates green, fresh, and floral scents like plum, lily of the valley,
rose, mimosa, narcissus, and amber.
A daily fragrance for men from Alfred Sung is Sung Homme, or
Sung for Men. It opens with herbal and citrus smells like pepper, basil, sage,
lemon, and caraway, but there are also more woodsy touches, with oakmoss,
cedar, pine, and leather, giving it a natural and rugged undertone.
A more romantic scent for men is Hei, released in 2002. It
opens with mint, bergamot, violet leaf and bamboo, to give it an exotic start.
It then fades into more green and floral scents from jasmine, neroli, cardamom,
and fennel. This fragrance has a certain rare aquatic nature to it, as deep and
mysterious as the endlessly rolling sea.
Expressions of Beauty
Alfred Sung has stated simply, that he likes beauty. Whether
that beauty is the beauty of the scent of an exquisite perfume, or that of a
bride on her wedding day, Sung has spent his life trying to bring more beauty
into the world. His work can seem fairly simple, but what others would leave as
boring simplicity, he turns into classics.
His continued success comes from his ability to see what
will impress modern professional women, whether they are at work, at home, or
preparing for their wedding day. From the dress, to the jewelry, to the perfume
she wears, Alfred Sung knows how to create the perfect combination, whatever