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Princess Sirivannavari speaks candidly about her future in fashion

Picture by Bureau 233 / i-Images

Princess Sirivannavari of Thailand has given an interview to Style magazine on the occasion of her fashion brand’s landing back in Paris. 

Last week, the Princess sat down with fashion journalist Vincenzo La Torre to discuss everything surrounding her brand, Sirivannavari. 

Talking about her past and how her interest in fashion started, she said that, while her studies helped, she has to give the biggest credit to her work as an assistant in big brands like Dior, Armani, Ferragamo, Balmain and Bulgari. 

She said: “Working for these brands helped me to gain confidence and gave me a very sharp eye and [the opportunity to] work at that level in the real industry,” adding, “I wasn’t just a princess; I actually worked. Work means actually working. I was very hands-on, and I wasn’t the first assistant, but the fourth or fifth, so I learned fast, and I had to be tough.”

She didn’t forget a nod to her two inspirations, Vogue editor Grace Coddington and her grandmother, Queen Sirikit, saying of the latter: “She is very iconic and my big idol and the most inspiring woman for me, both for her style and her personality. Her style is very different from mine, but until now, she’s still beautiful.” 

As for the present, she confessed feeling like this was a crucial turning point for her brand. Despite this not being the first time Sirivannavari was shown in Paris, she said: “I wanted to come back to Paris, but I wanted to make a statement and be more confident and mature. I took my time and practised the craft like an athlete who trains before the Olympics.”

Her latest collection, the 2023 autumn/winter, has incorporated touches of traditional Thai culture while featuring elements typical of more Western fashion. The Thai culture emerges especially from some of the patterns and the fabrics – the Princess is one of the biggest supporters of the Thai silk industry. 

As for the future, the Princess seems determined to make Paris an every-year occurrence: “I want to come back to Paris. It has to be more than one season.”

She also shared her ambitions for the brand to reach more people: “I have a plan, and I want to be a very successful designer. I’m a fighter, and I want my designs to be at department stores and shops. It has to be about the brand and the clothes, not who I am. I also want to show that a princess can work. This is who I am. I want to work.”

Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya was born on 8 January 1987 as the only daughter of current King Vajiralongkorn and his second wife, Sujarinee Vivacharawongse. 

Following her parents’ divorce and her mother’s departure for the UK with all four of their children, the Princess was abducted by her father and brought back to Thailand. For this reason, she is the only one of the four children from that marriage to be in the succession line and bear royal titles. 

She graduated with a BA in visual and fine arts at Chulalongkorn University and a Master’s Degree in design from École de la Chambre Syndicale de la couture Parisienne. Her fashion brand, Sirivannavari, was launched in 2005 and debuted on the international scene in 2007 at the invitation of designer Pierre Balmain. 

The Princess is also a keen sportswoman, having competed both as an equestrian and a badminton player in various Southeast Asian Games.