“We are a lot less romantic than other clothing brands,” said Chan of both six-year-old Szeki on the Lower East Side and her latest venture.
Her customers are savvy young professionals in fields like advertising and architecture who need practical pieces that can convert from boardrooms to bar crawls, she said. “Every design is a solution to a problem.”
For example, lots of her offerings are reversible, ideal for women who don’t want to choose between high and low necklines. And in lieu of producing exorbitantly-priced cashmere sweaters, Chan makes chunky knits that look just as good from a blend of angora and wool.
At 7115 by Szeki, dresses, separates, pants, tops, shorts and light-weight jackets are available between $75 and $300. Chan caps prices for winter wear at $450. All of the items at Chan’s Brooklyn flagship are her own creations, while the pricier predecessor features her work alongside a curated collection of of other people’s designs.
Chan, the daughter of a seamstress, was born in Hong Kong and sent to the UK to attend boarding school when she was a teenager (“I remember we had Harry Potter dining tables.”) In 2002, she moved to New York to attend Parsons, where she earned a degree in design technology.
“I’ve been designing since I was 12 years old,” said Chan. “I jump from discipline to discipline.” First she concentrated on graphic design, than ceramics, photography, and now fashion. Also a trained jeweler, Chan makes brass and gold-filled pieces by hand in her store. The bags in the shop were made by her mom.
223 Grand St. at Driggs Ave., 718-387-8888, Mon. to Sat. 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.