Internationally acclaimed fashion designer Eric Raisina transports you instantly into his own universe, one now deeply rooted in both France and Cambodia, where he opened his original haute couture outlet close to Siem Reap’s royal residence in 2005.
“Colors are very important to me, they make me happy and make me dream of faraway places. I grew up with the vivid flamboyant colors and stunning natural beauty of my country, Madagascar, still my biggest inspiration.”
Madagascar-born designer was inspired to set up shop in Siem Reap after a visit to Angkor Wat which introduced him to local silk weavers using techniques “as old as the temples”. Today, his team of 40 is entirely local and his designs draw heavily from temple architecture and Cambodia’s tropical trees and plants.
Eric’s story with fashion really took off when winning the “New Young Designer of the Year” award at the Fashion Festival and Textile Competition in Madagascar in 1993, enabling him to travel to the Mecca of Haute Couture : Paris.
In the City of Lights, he studied Textile and Fashion at e´cole des Arts applique´s Duperre´ and later received a Master’s degree in Textile and Fashion from the Institut Franc¸ais de la Mode, while starting to be noticed on catwalks.
These achievements, combined with a true passion, led him to design fabrics for Yves Saint Laurent and to collaborate with Christian Lacroix.
His natural taste for exploration compelled him to discover new cultures and techniques in Africa and Asia and, strengthened by a wide range of enriching experiences and inspirations, he started his own workshop where he trained weavers, sewers and embroiderers and researched for new textures, colors, unique wave patterns and natural fabrics.
“I love working with natural fibers because of their beautiful textures and organic flexibility. Silk Fur made of silk organza and Raffia Lace made of natural raffia are just two of my innovations. All my designs are completely handmade. It’s a real privilege for me to be able to design my own fabrics and transform existing ones. I always start with the fabrics, its colors and textures, and play around with them until I find the perfect shape created around a story.”