As an up-and-coming brand, UglyPretty firmly believes in the age-old saying, "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." But they don't just talk the talk; their clothes certainly walk the tightrope between the beautiful and uncanny. There's beauty in everything - and Daren is keen to prove this in his refashioned works.
What is the inspiration behind this brand?
I have always loved high-end fashion and designer pieces even though I could never afford them. Naturally, I started thrift shopping but this accumulated a lot of unused clothing. Instead of throwing them out and contributing to garment pollution, I decided to rework them into something new. This became a hobby for my own enjoyment. As I began to wear my own pieces out and about, I would get many people coming up to me with praises and asking about its creation or purchase. I realized that there was a market for this hobby of mine and I decided to sell them under my own brand: UglyPretty.
Is there such a thing as “ugly” or “pretty”?
The word “pretty” is and has always been too definite. Who’s to say what is ugly and what is pretty? Beauty is so subjective, and to me, is definitely in the eyes of the beholder. I think there is beauty in everything.
What is one lesson you’ve gleaned from managing your brand thus far?
Since starting my fashion label, I learned how to engage with my customers and find the right audience. Most importantly, I learned how to be proud of my own work.
What are 3 words that best describe your brand’s aesthetic?
Raw, honest and deconstructed. The garments will always have a sense of it being “unfinished” to showcase my belief in unconventional beauty.
The word “pretty” is and has always been too definite. Who’s to say what is ugly and what is pretty? I think there is beauty in everything.
As a one-man show, what are some hurdles that you had to overcome as a brand?
I learned to be more independent and improve my time management.