Yenting Chen settled in Canada in June 2010, mere weeks after graduating from Shih-Chien University in his native Taipei, Taiwan. A student of the school’s fashion program, his graduate collection was named Best Menswear Collection in a runway competition judged by famed Japanese designer Hiroko Koshino. Chen couldn’t have known it at the time, but the accolade was a harbinger of the acclaim his efforts would soon receive from peers and tastemakers in his adopted home of Canada as well as internationally.
Although he draws inspiration from many aspects of contemporary culture and design, Chen’s love for menswear was sparked when he became familiar with the traditions of London’s Savile Row—its insistence upon time-consuming hand-stitch construction; sourcing the finest materials possible; and providing an atmosphere of manners and deference that is increasingly at odds with the coarseness of modern society. His own garments combine the classic shapes and durable tailoring with bold, modern patterns and colours that pay tribute to natural landscapes, the animal kingdom, classical Chinese art, and more.
During a brief stay in Toronto, his new work—presented under the name Duly Equipped—was immediately seized upon by style bloggers locally and around the world, while NOW Toronto, Canada’s largest urban weekly, devoted three pages (including the cover) of its October 2012 fashion supplement to the collection, describing Chen as “our favourite fall discovery.” This and his next collection prompted one of the most prominent figures in Canadian luxury fashion retail to offer Chen mentorship.”
Returning to Vancouver in May 2014, Chen has continued to develop his craft, and he is now creating custom menswear for private clients; as always, he makes his garments almost entirely by hand, taking more than 100 hours to complete a single suit. One of his first local customers, award-winning sommelier Sebastien Le Goff, was photographed in his Chen-designed suit for the March 2014 issue of Vancouver magazine.