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The Sustainable Cheongsam lady: Cammie CHAN🎉🎉

We met Cammie at her boutique at the Peak Galleria on a sunny late January afternoon. It was the perfect weather to meet someone as the lovely as Cammie Chan who welcoming me warmly in a blue and pink Cheongsam.

I knew that Cammie was a well-known HK Cheongsam designer to whom cheongsam aprons had been commissioned, as gifts to be given during the preceding HK Chief Executive’s travels abroad. Of course, Cammie’s cheongsams also appear in many HK charity events and exhibitions held by prestigious institutions like the Hong Kong History Museum.

Impressive!! wanted to know her story and how, while catering for all tastes. she was able to make Cheongsams affordable (yes you read right)!

In Pic: Cammie's DIAMOND CHECKER creation

Cammie Chan loved Cheongsam since childhood.

She grew up in SoHo in a middle-class family with 3 siblings. Her favorite subject in primary school was Art and she loves to create. She smiles as she remembers, “In Art class, we had to work on a spaceship design. While some of the kids were struggling with the work, I came up with a 7- floor spaceship”. Cammie’s Dad believed in the preservation of culture and loved traditional clothing. This influenced Cammie greatly.

Cammie was a chubby kid and continues to be so. Growing up, she did love to see her mother wear traditional clothes, but did not like wearing Cheongsams herself. She was conscious of her body and felt that Cheongsams would make her look fat.

After graduating, Cammie started working in a factory of Chinese pharmaceuticals.

She decided to do an MBA, while working full time and with her second kid two years old. By 2006, she also started volunteering for charities like the JCI-Junior Chamber International. She soon found it difficult to juggle her personal and professional life, so she decided to resign.

She now could concentrate on her personal life. But the “What’s next?” question came up at some point. Cammie had never thought of doing anything related to Cheongsams. She was not a designer, nor a tailor, nor had done any course to do with textiles. She just appreciated Cheongsams.

Over time, Cammie had pieces of Cheongsams made by tailors but she did not like the outcomes at all. She remembers those days clearly, “The fits were not comfortable. I did not enjoy the fabrics. It was not my style. I decided to make one for myself. My friends loved the Cheongsams that I designed and a couple of them asked me to design for them. “

That was the start of Cammie’s first business.

In Pic: Cammie Chan and me

In 2016, CAMMIE CHAN CHEONGSAM (CCC) was born. CCC collected, revamped, and resold used pre-loved Cheongsams. This was not her first stint with a sustainability project. Years ago, Cammie had started a community project called Book Floating where people left used books on shelves and took other books to read. An innovative project at that time, it can now be seen in many places in Hong Kong.

Today, CCC has 2 lines of collections. The first one offers affordable Cheongsams and a the second – the haute couture line for which Cammie invited national and international and artists to pair with her. This line was launched during COVID-19 and was well perceived by the public.

After the studio in Sai Ying Pun, in 2019, Cammie initiated a Cheongsam retail platform with her partner in Central Market. Last year, a brand-new shop, “For A Change”, was inaugurated at the prestigious Peak Galleria. What we love in this shop is that it is possible to rent beautiful Cheongsams at prices that don’t break the bank! Also, for the body conscious ones, Cammie and her team explain how to wear the Cheongsam.

CCC is committed to promoting Cheongsam as a regular outfit and believe that women of all ages, body types, and economic backgrounds can master chic cheongsams.

Cammie concludes by saying, “I am determined to keep traditional elements, i.e. high collar, side slit, and Chinese knots buttons, in my designs, while adding modern elements such as denim and fashionable patterns. To encourage more women from diverse backgrounds to try Cheongsams, the price of CCC is very affordable by reducing production costs.”

A Cheongsam (or Qipao) culture and trial workshop will be held at the CCC’s Peak shop, For A Change, on Thursday the 9th of March.

For those who are interested in getting to know more about Cammie’s Cheongsams, you can visit her website or get in touch with her on social media.


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