"The balance between staying minimal and true to my beliefs while not being excessive even with my cuts

is a fine line to walk. "



Where are you from?



Describe your personal style as an artist. Also, do you like to dress up or you prefer expressing yourself through your pieces?

Personally I love classics and unexpected details in my own wardrobe. Little surprises in a garment excites me. I don’t dress up too much but I prefer expressing my thoughts through my collections. Each collection represents six months of emotions, of experiences, things seen and read. Six months of my life. 


Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration/concept and execution are usually two different things at the studio. For example, the SS15 collection was first inspired by my vacation in India. The idea of re-incarnation, karma and traditional robes were the starting point. The idea of infinity may be interesting to some (and to me initially); it encompasses everything, but what’s the point if it eventually leads to nothing or a stagnant state? Every collection’s concept starts with a question on construction or garment realization. I try to seek the answers through the end product - garments. The collections are very personal to me, and I’m glad to have sustained a career thus far with my “questions” and “answers”.



What is your creative process: do you sketch at first, listen particular music, collaborate with other artists, etc?

I love the technical aspect of garment construction. Usually after the concept is finalized, we either sketch or drape. Sometimes a particular fabric might inspire a silhouette or a draping technique. At other times, we return to our concept. 

Your artistic statement.

While I do prefer a minimalistic approach towards design, my garments are cut with sumptuous use of fabrics. The balance between staying minimal and true to my beliefs while not being excessive even with my cuts is a fine line to walk. I wouldn’t dismiss decorative surfaces approach to designing. I love textures as well. But to me, form comes first. A question that we always ask ourselves in the studio is, “what if all the details are stripped away from this shirt, what is interesting about the cut?”


Where do you shop for your fabrics and other materials?

Being geographically situated in Singapore, it is easily for me to source fabrics from all over Asia as we are a tiny country that does not have much of a fashion industry so to speak. This gives me the chance to experience and explore places like India, China, Japan, Korea etc​.


Do you have favorite artists, designers, writers, politician etc?

My muse Luth Seah. He’s a androgynous figure and has appeared in my campaigns since SS2010. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Your plans if you do not mind to share.

I’m finally opening my flagship in Singapore in a historical/conservation area named Capitol. It’s an exciting space to be in, and I hope to reach out to more people with my line of clothes and its aesthetics. 


You favorite quote.

"A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” Ghandi.


What moves you?

A crisp white shirt that is perfectly sewn. 


Your favorite color.



Name your favorite cafe in your city? Where do you shop for food, fashion, in your city.

I love a quaint little cafe called Chye Seng Huat Hardware Store in Singapore. It used to be a hardware store and now a new life takes over as a cafe. I think it is pretty interesting and a good representation of how we try to breathe new life into old establishments here in Singapore.


Your favorite place on Earth.

My studio.


Your dream place.

A flagship where I can have creative control and a complete line for my customers to enjoy and of course, this dream is coming a life as I am typing. 


What can make Earth a better place in terms of environment, energy, peace?



If you had an opportunity what would you change about the world? How can your vision, your creations can impact our surrounding? 

I would change the stereotypes of how beauty is perceived. I think my creations do not necessary represent the most commercial ideal of what beauty is, but I do hope most people find them beautiful. 


Your wishes to Fab Ego :-)

Supporting emerging designers is a great initiative! And in this time and age where technology is concerned, Fab Ego provides a good platform for designs from other regions to be connected with the rest of the world! Thank you! 


Support Max

Instagram @maxtanstudio



Interview for Fab Ego Magazine
Interview for Fab Ego Magazine
Interview for Fab Ego Magazine
Interview for Fab Ego Magazine
Interview for Fab Ego Magazine
Interview for Fab Ego Magazine

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