Bernard Chandran

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Bernard Chandran
பர்னார்ட் சந்திரன்
Born (1968-02-27) 27 February 1968 (age 51)
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
EducationParis American Academy
Bernard Chandran
Spouse(s)Datin Mary Lourdes Chandran

Dato' Bernard Chandran (Tamil: பர்னார்ட் சந்திரன்) (born 27 February 1968) is a Malaysian fashion designer. Due to this, Chandran used to be known as Malaysia's "Prince of Fashion", but is now being hailed as Malaysia's "King of Fashion".[1][2]

Chandran is also a Malaysian television personality. He is known as the chief designer of the reality television show Project Runway Malaysia, since its debut on 8TV on 3 August 2007.[3]

Chandran was a guest judge on Britain's Next Top Model, Cycle 6, Episode 12. The top three models were given the chance to model for Chandran's fashion show during the London Fashion Week. [4]

Early years[edit]

Bernard Chandran was born to Mr. P Ramachandran and Mrs Chow Yook Lin.[5] Bernard Chandran is of both Indian and Chinese parentage (commonly referred to as Chindian in Malaysia). He grew up in an average Malaysian family. His father wanted him to become an accountant and he almost followed this advice, before briefly considering being a tobacconist, "It's a good career!". He initially studied fashion in a local fashion college known as International Fashion Training Centre (IFTC) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

During his time at the college, he was known for his shyness backstage around the undressed models during his initial fashion shows at the local college. Given three months after graduation to prove himself, he arranged his debut solo show, taking the first steps on the road to becoming Malaysia's top designer. Bernard's father was won over and helped fund his son's further studies, with Bernard soon winning a place at the prestigious Paris Fashion School in Paris, France.

In 1991, he joined the 'Open European Contest for Look of the Year 2000'. Chandran won and broke the record of being the first non-European to win the coveted title. "The contest was gruelling," grinned Bernard. "I am so happy to be the first non-white winner as it proves that Asians are as good as anyone else". For his pains, Chandran received a camera, 19 000 francs, and publicity and contacts which opened doors.[6]

Chandran is only too aware how important this was in starting his career. He opined that "Everyone must go to a fashion school to understand the basics of fashion. Not only to learn design, but the history of fashion too."

Fashion business[edit]

In the industry[edit]

After honing his skills overseas in Paris, he returned to Malaysia to set up his maiden shop in KL Plaza in 1993. The first 'Bernard Chandran' couture house was a small rented shop with a handful of staff in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. From there, he built up his client base amongst the who's who of Kuala Lumpur, ranging from the rich to royalty. He has now expanded his shop in KL Plaza to take up 4 shop lots and is nearly 300 square meters in area. He was voted Designer of the Year by the Malaysian International Fashion Awards in 2003.[7]

Chandran has also started introducing Europe to his couture with a boutique in Knightsbridge, London.

His creations are drawn from Chinese, Malay, Indian and other eastern cultures. He regularly does shows around the world, although he does tailor his overseas ranges to be more daring than his range for Malaysia. Bernard believes in the importance of creativity, confidence and vision.

"My inspiration comes from my they move, how they talk, their attitudes, their lifestyles. When I first meet a new customer, I make her understand that I am here to make you look good,"[8] Chandran's favourite designers are Valentino "...for his femininity and finishing...", and Galliano who "...has a great spirit." He admires Hussein Chalayan for his works and how he dealt with his bankruptcy.

Celebrities in Bernard Chandran[edit]

Estelle notably wore an azure blue dress by the designer with exaggerated pointing hips to perform at the 2008 MTV European Music Awards. She also chose to wear two of his distinctive pieces (one on stage in a duet with Kanye West and one for the red carpet) to the 51st Grammy awards, where she went on to win her first Grammy.[9]

Lady Gaga has also been spotted in designs from Chandran's Collections. She even wore a Chandran piece for her interview with Jay Leno[10]

English electropop musician Little Boots wore a Chandran dress for her interview with[11]

Rihanna wore a hat from Chandran's Autumn Winter 09 Collection for her famous topless, bondage-style shoot with Vogue Italia.[12]

Tori Amos chose to wear a red gown from Chandran for the cover of her 2009 holiday album, "Midwinter Graces".[13] Chandran had also designed all the 15 gowns for her concert tour that year.[14] i


He is married to one of his former models, Datin Mary Lourdes Chandran (a Malaysian of ethnic Indian origin). She is a former International model and was one of the most successful Malaysian models in the 1980s. Together they have five children.

Dato' Chandran is intensely proud of his Indian ancestry and heritage. His home has many portraits of him and his family regaled in extravagant historical Indian garbs.

Chandran is firm about not spoiling his kids. That means no branded clothes or flippant purchases, so they would learn the value of money. He starts his mornings by offering puja (prayers), together with the family. It's a daily discipline that he wants his children to embrace, so they will grow up with a strong set of values and a sense of duty. Chandran wants his children to be grounded in Hindu faith.[15]


  • He became the first Malaysian to win the 'Open European Contest for Look of the Year 2000' in 1991.
  • He was voted Designer of the Year by the Malaysian International Fashion Awards in 2003.[7]
  • He received his honorific, Dato', in 2006 when he was awarded the Dato' Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) by the Sultan Ahmad Shah Sultan Abu Bakar, the Sultan of Pahang, Malaysia.[15]
  • Chandran was awarded Malaysian International Fashion Alliance's [MIFA] Special Achievement Award 2009.[16]
  • He carried honorific title Dato' Sri, in 2016 when he was conferred the Darjah Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP) by the Sultan Ahmad Shah Sultan Abu Bakar, the Sultan of Pahang, Malaysia.[17]


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  5. ^,5344091&dq=bernard+chandran&hl=en
  6. ^,4861404&dq=bernard+chandran&hl=en
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ – The Lounge: The "Prince of Fashion" – Bernard Chandran Archived 27 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-12-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^

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