Meet the region's leading fashion designers Born to a Chinese mother and a British father, Anthea Chan lived in Malaysia until she was six, when she moved to Britain. She graduated in marketing from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Chan then worked in the corporate sector before moving into fashion. The self-taught designer launched her label, Perfect in Black, and her own company, Anthea Trading, in 1999 in Singapore. Today, she designs four clothing lines (entirely in black) for men, women and children. Her collections range from casual wear and lingerie, to cocktail dresses and haute couture. Have you always wanted to be a designer? I've always loved fashion. I ventured into the industry only after relatives and friends suggested I launch my own label. How did you set up the company? I launched it in four months, setting up my first shop in Singapore. I love to wear black and steered my private label towards that theme. What's the structure of the company? I have eight full-time people in Singapore and four in Hong Kong who travel to the mainland to work with the 300-400 staff in our factory. I'm the managing director and have a small design team. How many lines are there? I have four lines. Perfect in Black includes ladies wear, which ranges from sporty chic to casual pieces and elegant cocktail dresses. Men in Black offers clubbing gear, suits and tuxedos. Kids in Black features little gowns and tuxes. The Naughty Corner is a lingerie line for the femme fatale. I've also started to include beachwear and haute couture for the main line. What's the design philosophy? Versatile, timeless, comfortable, sensual and seductive yet functional. There are so many different hues and shades within black. I like to work with varied textures and fabrics. Who are your customers? I have clients from four-year-old boys to 95-year-old ladies. What inspires you? I have a drive to succeed. What does your current collection look like? For my spring/summer collection I included leather segments, military-inspired pieces, denim and lots of lace with sequin detailing. The collection features cocktail creations and romantic evening wear. What makes your business successful? I expect all employees to have a positive attitude and will to learn, and I expect them to work hard. What else do you design? I design the fabric accessories such as scarves, gloves and bags. Where are your designs available? In Singapore and also in Hong Kong at G2, 1/F Comfort Building, 88 Nathan Road, TST. Customers can also order online through www.perfectinblack.com . Where do you want to expand? Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Britain and the US. What's been your biggest influence? My family and friends have supported and encouraged me. Everything I've experienced in life has been a stepping stone to another adventure What are your plans? To improve all facets. Franchising would be ideal. What's your motto? Strive for excellence in all you do. And, as my dad always said, 'What you do, you carry through.'