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MACHINE-A's Bryant Lee interviews Instagram influencer and personality Katie Ruensumran (@katieismonster).


Photography: Bryant Lee

Graphics: Naureen Bindra

First off… how are you!?

Life’s good! After Fashion week it kind of slowed down but it started to get busy last week and I am going back to Thailand at the end of the month to visit studios of all the brands that I worked with to talk to them. as I do design and PR consultancy for a few brands. In Thailand we don’t have stores like MACHINE-A or many multi-brand stores at all. If you are a brand in Thailand, you either have to have an e-commerce platform or own a physical retail store. In Thailand we have a few multi-brand stores that stock only "avant garde" brands. S o we have to work very hard and nowadays we’re looking for new designers to represent Thailand.

Yes, there are so many malls in Thailand but they are all luxury malls.. all Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Hermes etc…it's important to give a platform to young and emerging designers who have so much potential.


What are your thoughts on the word influencer?
Yeah, you could say I’m an influencer.

You influence people with the way you dress and the way you promote young emerging Asian talent and not just luxury brands.

I try.. People always look at Dior and Chanel, brands that anyone can get. I want emerging Thai and Asian designers. They have the potential but they don’t know how to develop the pieces. One brand I worked with, I introduced them to a big show room in Paris and I told them to change the fabric they use as the market in Paris won’t wear that fabric. I told them to change 50%, but even though they only changed 20% I let them learn by experience as the showroom then told them that this is a very different market so you need to change more. I have to be very balanced because I know the market here and the market in Thailand.

Designers have to understand what market they are selling to, sometimes it’s so different from what you anticipate... The designers might design for a specific market which might not work well for the European market, or work well for the Asian market. It can be a tricky situation… Which is why your role is so important.

It has to be very balanced…

How did you come up with your Instagram name 'Katie is Monster'?

This is really a funny story… I used to go out a lot when I was younger. I used to be very wild when I was young, I met my friend and he was like "Has Katie arrived?” I was like “Ya, I am here!” he was like no she’s a monster and at first I was like "what!? No I am not!" but then I was like "Why not, Yes I am!" - I want to show the darker side, not just the pretty side and that’s why I chose this name.

That’s true, 'Katie is Monster' embodies everything about you... You literally give no shits.
Yeah. I don’t want to show the beautiful side I want to be real.

You are definitely real to your followers and real to yourself! And I think that’s iconic!
Aw… thank you!

What are you excited about life so far?

What kind of people?
I wake at at 5:30 am or 6 am every morning. After going running I usually come here or go to a cafe to see people. People inspire me. I love to observe people and their lives, I like to see people walking, the way they dress, I want to see normal people. Most of them are always on their phone or on their Instagram. Sometimes in the afternoon I sit on the bus and just observe people!

YAS BUS QUEEN LIFE!… we are usually so caught up with our lives but it’s interesting to stop for a moment and just observe our surroundings and the people around us... It’s inspiring!


What designers are you excited about right now that we currently have at MACHINE-A?
Raf Simons, Peter Do - I love Peter Do - I saw that he used to work for Celine and then started following his Instagram. One season I arrived at New York and I direct messaged him on Instagram and he replied saying that he didn’t have any pieces available at the moment. MACHINE-A had it first and then after you sent me pictures of the pieces, I was like yes! I have to get them. Even Richard Quinn for that matter, MACHINE-A was one of the first stores in London to stock him and I love his clothes!

What are your 5 favourite items from our SS19 selection?
1. Anything from Peter Do.
2. Printed Shirt from Richard Quinn.
3. Tote Bag from Stefan Cooke.
4. Tie Dye Ruffle shirt from ASAI.
5. Sunglasses from Margiela.

What is your daily routine?
I wake up very early in the morning. Before I start running, I check Instagram. I work with 3 brands in Thailand on their Instagram. After the Instagram work I do video calls with brands. Breakfast in Ace hotel - a cup of black coffee.. no milk no sugar, a sausage roll and salad. I try to finish everything by 3-6pm… then I go shopping to.. MACHINE-A!

And we love having you over at the store!


SELF CARE… what do you do to treat yourself?
I love art, I love going the museum even if there are no events on. I like to go sit there and look at the art. Sometimes I do treat myself since I don’t get a holiday. I also prefer to go to department stores just to see clothes.. Just to see pieces. Sometimes I go to MACHINE-A to see clothes just to look at pieces, it makes my heart happy. I am addicted to fashion and clothes! When I see people wearing something it makes my heart race.

What is your outfit formula, how do you come up with your fabulous looks?
When I dress for everyday I like to wear something like a Lemaire shirt with Comme Des Garçons pants which is easy but also not easy...but if I am going to an event...actually I always dress like this - a mix and match, of all my current favourite pieces.

What do you choose first when you’re dressing every morning?
I choose the shoes first… This morning I chose these Aticco ones and it goes well with this Noir Kei Ninomiya jacket.

What is one new designer you are super excited about in the upcoming season?
Art School, I like them personally. I like Tom and Eden - the design duo behind Art School, I’m really fascinated with the concept of non-binary and gender fluidity that their brand stands for. The boom box and trash era is something that I’m very interested in. For me gender fluidity is not a trend, it's reality. Some people still don’t accept this reality. If you’re in certain parts of this city or even the World and you dress in a certain way then you get stared at. They are giving a platform to the genderless and non-binary, celebrating their community.

Ah yes, this is why we love and have ART SCHOOL at MACHINE-A, I'm glad we are on the same page.


What is an article of clothing, we would never catch you dead wearing… or is there none?
Skinny jeans.

What draws you to shop at MACHINE-A?
Firstly, Stavros. Since MACHINE-A first started he asked me to come to the store, I know him from the clubbing and party scene, When I first came to MACHINE-A I was like wow! You’re bringing in new designers and giving a platform. That concept was very new and fascinating to me. I have been shopping at the store for 6 years now and the idea of stocking luxury and emerging designers in one store is very fascinating to me.

Interview ends.

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