Buzz Tang of The Anthology is Modernising the Male Suit
Hong Kong/ Fashionista/ Style

Buzz Tang, Co-Founder of The Anthology, on Recreating the New Suit for Men

Buzz Tang Co Founder of The Anthology Recreating the New Suit for Men

Buzz Tang, co-founder and creative mind behind Hong Kong's sartorial brand, The Anthology, is reinventing tailoring for the contemporary consumer. Along with his adept business partner Andy Chong, Tang seeks to challenge the old-fashioned perception of tailoring and make it more appealing to the current generation.

The Hong Kong-born and bred tailor is not your typical designer. His impact on men's fashion has earned the brand a considerable following for its unique yet accessible aesthetics.

The Anthology's mission is not merely about repackaging classic menswear with a modern twist. Under the guidance of the creative duo, the brand continues to inspire customers to embrace their individual artistic expression through precision, modernity, and audacious designs.

Buzz joins The Beat Asia for a discussion on his fashion journey with the traditional suit and creating a modern look for the clothing item with The Anthology. 

Buzz Tang of The Anthology is Modernising the Male Suit

Where does the story of Buzz Tang and fashion begin?

I was born and bred in Hong Kong but travelled to the U.K. for boarding school, and I assumed that’s where I enriched/cultivated my interest and training in art and tailoring.

Growing up, I loved tailoring and wearing the fashion of Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers. Lane Crawford in Hong Kong is where I spent a lot of time! As I would buy clothes from brands like Acne Studios, Philip Lim, and Ann Demeulemeester, I realised I had a peculiar physique: a long torso with short legs. I [struggled] to fit into a lot of ready-to-wear garments.

At the age of 14, I once again discovered the joys of tailoring, inspired by the softer-structured tailors who travel into Hong Kong and the U.K. Most traditional tailors in Hong Kong were creating garments with more British influence: stronger structure, more padding, and slimmer cuts to the chest. I could not find a tailor I liked in Hong Kong; the city never had its own regional house style in tailoring.

In London, I went to study at the London College of Fashion, but spent [most] of my time running up and down Savile Row. I found myself in an apprenticeship with a merchant in the area, and working with Andy Chong, my current partner at The Anthology.

How did The Anthology find its feet and open operations in Hong Kong?

Andy was an ex-financier in London but had prior experience with technology specialising 3D scanning for clothing. I was inspired by his work, however, when I came back to Hong Kong, I saw a lot of replication from the West with no local flavour.

We wanted to challenge the status quo of Hong Kong’s tailoring industry and spent years crafting a very fixed house style with signature details in both construction and noticeable details. In 2018, The Anthology was born.

In line with opening the business in Hong Kong, we acquired an atelier in China to work with a small team of craftsmen creating garments solely for The Anthology.

What is it like to work as a young tailor in Hong Kong’s “old” industry?

Hong Kong has very good tailors and the city is famous for tailoring. There are still tons of talents in Hong Kong. One thing we constantly struggle with is a lack of youngsters joining this trade, meaning that for people who are craftsmen, they are hurt with the future of their business.

If we want to work with the same people and ensure that you can offer the same craft level in 10 years' time, we must look outside and think outside the box. [That is why we offer training] to our craftsmen in China, and it is because [Andy] has always had a great aspiration of training young people to enter the industry, to continue the spirit of fine craft for the next generation.

Buzz Tang of The Anthology is Modernising the Male Suit

What is the central style and design theme of The Anthology’s suit collection?

When it comes to fashion, we want to make tailored clothing more relevant, relatable, and more wearable on a casual and daily basis.

With The Anthology, we are trying to expand the style mileage of how old school tailors can be crafted well and worn in a modern setting. Our motto is to make things uncool cool again.

What is the correct way to wear a suit?

That is a little bit of an oxymoron today, to be honest [laughs]! Especially after the pandemic, things have changed. If you ask me about the correct ways to wear a suit, we can start with a pet peeve. I would never prefer wearing a collar that is overly loose, as you cannot wear a tie that stays in the right position. Good fit is likely to be the essence, although it may seem like a bare minimum.

The Anthology is famous for breaking up a casual suit and finding fabrications that can be versatile enough to break up as a jacket and a trouser, which is uncommon in classic fashion spaces, playing into the creative narrative of our clothing, while giving a nod to tradition.

With the increasing number of people working from home, entering flexible working environments, and hot weather affecting what people wear, how is The Anthology faring to counter these trends?

We see the repercussions of the decisions most big companies have made in Hong Kong, but because of the way we dress and the identity we stand for, we are not impacted greatly by the new situation.

It might be an exaggeration to say the past four years have worked in our favour, because in the way that [the pandemic] killed a lot of traditional houses globally, sticking to their guns with creating one type of clothing. Our vision did lead us to present our strength with our aesthetic of casual wear to sustain the growth and survival of the brand. We began our ready-to-wear clothing line in 2020, a blessing in serendipity.

Buzz Tang of The Anthology is Modernising the Male Suit

What is the future of The Anthology?

Looking into the future, we are not looking at operating a business that actually serves 50-year-olds, but rather serving today's 30-year-olds. We are intent on safeguarding a certain identity that is not about class and capital, but more about a lifestyle and culture that we have always enjoyed.

We are looking to become another cultural phenomenon. We want the suit to live long as a functional garment, part of the body. We want to continue education for our clients and others to buy less but buy wise and a suit that can last long.

If you are in the market for high-quality daily-wear pieces or timeless fine-crafted suits, head to The Anthology to explore their latest clothing lines.

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