For Macau fashion designer Steffi Chan, life wasn’t always about becoming a fashion designer. What started out with as an ambition to set a path for herself ultimately led her to establish the brand Dare to Dream.
At the time of the establishment of Dare to Dream, Macau’s fashion scene wasn’t as vibrant compared to Hong Kong, something that posed major challenges for Steffi marketing the brand locally. didn’t really start off having to promote or market myself in the Macau crowd” she says. In the past two to three years, the government has supported creative industries but that doesn’t change the fact that Macau’s market is still rather small. For a brand to grow in Macau, it has to go outside of Macau first and then come back, once it’s grown. “Hong Kong is the closest with better options so I started off doing that in Hong Kong, launching my first collection at Hong Kong Fashion Week for fall/winter in 2012 and I was very lucky to present that to a multi-brand store called D-Mop”. The store, which also carries products from the likes of Adidas, Jeremy Scott, and Y-3, ultimately bought and carried pieces from the first Dare to Dream collection and gave Steffi the motivation to move further.
Aside from Hong Kong, Dare to Dream’s clientele now comes from China and the United States. But the brand’s flagship store remains in the busy touristy area of Barra. “I wanted to bring Dare to Dream back home and have that set up in Macau,” Steffi notes.
The store’s location was chosen particularly because of its traffic and the idea of being able to show what Macau local talents have to offer. “We wanted to represent Macau as a fashion label so that tourists can come, visit our shop, and have a feel for what a Macau brand would actually look like”.
Dare to Dream’s aesthetic is a representation of Steffi’s personal experiences combined with her local roots. The first-ever Dare to Dream collection’s main graphic took inspiration from the Ruins of St. Paul hand-drawn and made into a repetitive print. Also taking into consideration the brand living up to its name and inspiring everybody to dare to dream, the brand presents pieces that are acceptable to the crowd; using fabrics such as cotton, jeans, and incorporating bits of novelty fabrics such as indigo knit with a soft-hand feel, turning those into comfortable casual wear.