Alfred Sung, Fashion Royalty
Born in China, Alfred Sung moved to the West to take the fashion world by storm. His designs can be seen in all kinds of apparel, and more than that – he has created works for the home, for accessories, and for fragrances. He is also one of the people behind the clothing seller, Club Monaco. When he began to open shops after moving to Canada, he was dubbed Canada’s King of Fashion by a national news magazine. More than 30 years later, he’s still going strong.
From East to West
Alfred Sung is a native of China, born in1948, in the city of Shanghai, but he grew up in the more Western- influenced city of Hong Kong. His parents wanted him to become a traditional professional, but Alfred Sung had other ideas. Eventually, his father relented and allowed him to study couture in Paris at a noted school.
When he moved to Canada in 1972, Sung first designed for another firm, as many designers do. He made sportswear in Toronto for a while, even while he used his own skills to bring in extra money. After a few years, he had the resources to open his own shop, which he called Moon.
He acquired partners, Saul and Joseph Mimram in 1979, and soon the Alfred Sung label was born, selling clothing off the rack to career women. It wasn’t long after that before Alfred Sung clothing was available all over Canada, and by 1981, his work was appearing in United States department stores like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. This was the same year he opened his own Alfred Sung store in Toronto. A Canadian national news magazine would soon name him King of Fashion.
Parfums Alfred Sung
Never content to simply rest on his success, Sung created a fragrance brand, Parfums Alfred Sung. His first fragrance was simply called Sung, released in 1986. This perfume, as with all of his fragrances, has a certain simplicity and naturalness, while still conveying a sense of elegance.
That first fragrance, Sung, is still a favorite, floral and refreshing, and charmingly feminine. It opens with brighter notes of citrus like orange, bergamot, and lemon, which are softened by galbanum, hyacinth, and ylang- ylang. Its heart, however, is heart-lifting and flowery, with jasmine, lilies, and iris. The smooth base contains vanilla, amber, and vetiver. This is the perfect perfume for daily wear.
Pure is a fragrance from a new iteration of Sung perfumes, created in 1988. Also made for daily wear, it has the springlike air reminiscent of Sung, but at the same time, it is more open, evoking the energy that comes from the cycle of life. It has warmer tones from orchid, musk, and cinnamon, but still holds the sweetness of lily and peony.
The perfume dubbed ‘Forever’ is also for daily wear, but originally it was created to invoke the feelings of a bride’s wedding day. Alfred Sung has a line of bridal wear, and he deemed this as one of his best fragrances to go with those outfits. Launched in 1995, this fragrance incorporates green, fresh, and floral scents like plum, lily of the valley, rose, mimosa, narcissus, and amber.
A daily fragrance for men from Alfred Sung is Sung Homme, or Sung for Men. It opens with herbal and citrus smells like pepper, basil, sage, lemon, and caraway, but there are also more woodsy touches, with oakmoss, cedar, pine, and leather, giving it a natural and rugged undertone.
A more romantic scent for men is Hei, released in 2002. It opens with mint, bergamot, violet leaf and bamboo, to give it an exotic start. It then fades into more green and floral scents from jasmine, neroli, cardamom, and fennel. This fragrance has a certain rare aquatic nature to it, as deep and mysterious as the endlessly rolling sea.
Expressions of Beauty
Alfred Sung has stated simply, that he likes beauty. Whether that beauty is the beauty of the scent of an exquisite perfume, or that of a bride on her wedding day, Sung has spent his life trying to bring more beauty into the world. His work can seem fairly simple, but what others would leave as boring simplicity, he turns into classics.
His continued success comes from his ability to see what will impress modern professional women, whether they are at work, at home, or preparing for their wedding day. From the dress, to the jewelry, to the perfume she wears, Alfred Sung knows how to create the perfect combination, whatever the occasion.