Harper's Bazaar Arabia: Welcome to Dubai! Why did you decide to launch into the Middle Eastern market?
Patcharapimol Youngprapakorn: I already knew that the women here are very fashionable, and actually in Thailand we have so many tourists from the Middle East and they come to our shop. They all say it would be very convenient if we had a store in Dubai so that they can buy the pieces immediately and not have to wait.
HBA: What is it about the bags that you think have attracted the Middle Eastern customer?
PY: I grew up on a crocodile farm which was established by father almost 66 years ago, and it's the largest and oldest farm in Thailand. Five years ago, I decided to start my own label, and I decided to use my mother's name for it, so it all comes from the heart. We try to make our bags as perfect and beautiful as possible, which is what I think attracts the customer. They're these beautiful bags that can be used in everyday life, and at any age.
HBA: What strikes you most about the Middle Eastern woman?
PY: I think they are very clever about how they mix and match pieces from all the high end brands. From the outfits to the shoes and make-up, they are very fashionable people.
HBA: And you work with your daughters (Javamond, Bhonbhisa and Sivanuj) - how do you split the workload?
PY: I manage the business overall but I assign each of my daughters specific responsibilities. For example, Javamond takes care of womenswear, Bhonbhisa takes care of menswear and Sivanuj take cares of all digital media."
HBA: You mentioned that you first opened your label five years ago, what gap did you see in the market that S'uvimol could fill?
PY: All of our products are made from exotic leathers. We have crocodile, python, ostrich and sometimes rabbit, which is not a variety that many high end brands have so I think that has made our brand very strong.
HBA: Where do you source your skins from?
PY: All over the world. The crocodile skin is from Thailand, from my family farm, the python we mostly import from Japan, and we get ostrich from Africa.
HBA: How big is your team that you work with? And are all of the bags made in Thailand?
PY: We have more than 100 people, and yes the bags are all made in Thailand. They're handcrafted by a top craftsman.
HBA: We've spotted the bags on several style influencers, like Sandra Haglestam from 5 Inch And Up, Eleonora Carisi and Pixie Lott to name just a few. Is there anyone that hasn’t yet worn one of your bags that you would love to see wearing one?
PY: Kate Middleton.
HBA: How does it make you feel when you see these stylish women wearing your bags? Do you still get excited, or is it kind of par for the course now?
PY: It’s very exciting, because we know that they are very fashionable people and what they wear and what they carry, that means something. So if they select us, that means we’re good enough for them.
HBA: Do you have an e-commerce platform at the moment? Other than Bloomingdales - Dubai, is there anywhere else in the region people can purchase your bags?
PY: Yes, we have e-commerce on our website. We're also on Moda Operandi and we have a boutique in Bahrain, which is already one year old. We actually just came from there after celebrating the anniversary.
HBA: That's great! How have the Bahraini customers responded to the bags?
PY: Oh they love them! We also get a lot of Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti customers coming through that store.
HBA: Your collection currently includes bags, and then some accessories, in the form of fluffy pom poms. Are there any plans to expand the brand's offerings further?
PY: Of course. We want to make S'uvimol just like a boutique that has everything from clothes to shoes, hats, perfumes, cosmetics. We also have menswear and have recently just launched S'uvimol baby so that mums and daughters can have matching handbags.
S'uvimol handbags are currently available in Bloomingdales - Dubai, S'uvimol in Bahrain and online at Suvimol.com.
As told to Maddison Glendinning. Photography: Efraim Evidor. Styling: Nina Ross.