Fierce Female: Oprah's Fashion Designer Kelly NG
Kelly NG is a Toronto-based couture designer that has been ranked 1st Designer of the World in Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design by DAC. She has been featured in Vogue, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and much more. The Kelly NG couture brand has dressed celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Wong, Giuliana Rancic, and Captain Marvel’s Meg Donnelly.
To start our Fierce Female series just in time for Women’s History Month, we chatted with Kelly to learn about her journey becoming a new Hollywood’s favorite fashion house.
What was the most challenging experience you’ve had in your fashion design career?
When I launched my namesake couture brand in Toronto, it was a turning point in life.
I moved from Tokyo to Toronto, after graduating from Tokyo top ranked fashion design master course program, and immediately started creating my first collection.
Multi-tasking and opening the Toronto Showroom and Atelier within the first year was very challenging. I interviewed, hired, and formed the now known as the Kelly NG team. And then with their help, we sourced materials, made couture dresses, designed and developed the website, and created social media platforms. Everything had to be done almost simultaneously.
All the while, I realized I had to adapt to life in Toronto quickly to compete on a world stage where the competition is fierce and well established brands have deep pockets.
Is the fashion design business difficult?
Yes. I was well aware that creating a brand is not just about fashion design, but it is an extremely difficult and competitive business.
I’m used to working hard. I was prepared to challenge myself and competing nationally and internationally. By the age of 16, I had won over 150 design award competitions. The most important thing is to keep on moving, improving, learning, and producing.
When did you realize you made it and were being taken seriously as a designer?
It happened in less than a year after the Kelly NG couture brand was created, when Oprah Winfrey chose my custom Kelly NG couture gown to wear on the cover of her December 2019 O, The Oprah Magazine.
Things started to happen since then. What followed next were incredible including a documentary by HBO and PBS. Kelly NG couture gowns started appearing on magazines and on Hollywood red carpets such as the SAG and Oscars award shows, and various other movie premieres.
I always appreciate the enthusiastic feedback I receive from celebrities and clients who wear my gowns. I am truly grateful and blessed!
What do you want to accomplish next in your design career?
It's a lifelong process to learn, improve, and to be creative! This is just the beginning!
Kelly NG is known for producing designs that are feminine, contemporary and perfectly unique. The haute couture brand is committed to innovation and the values of savoir-faire. With design and craftsmanship at it’s heart, each creation is skillfully designed and constructed by the most capable sewers with extreme attention to details, combining art and technologies to produce the most extraordinary pieces.
@YvonLux is a marketing CEO and founder of VANT4GE, LLC who is also a social fashion and beauty influencer, Yvon Lux. She is also a published blogger and editor for her Apple News channel.
The young female founder has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Modern Luxury Magazine, and various other media outlets. Connect with her on Instagram and subscribe to her channel!