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Alongside the wares of high-end, cutting-edge labels like Mary Katrantzou, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Prabal Gurung, Ivan curated exhibitions of Burmese art and a collection of textiles, homewares and furniture sourced from local artisans. The latter were showcased under the label Myanmar Made, which Ivan plans to turn into a permanent, independent brand. He is now also working on his own furniture label, Paribawga, which will create contemporary furniture made with local timber. Experimental music evenings, literary readings and art workshops gave TS1 a decidedly avant-garde air. “People had never seen anything like this in Yangon before,” says Ivan. “It really reminded them of an experience you might have in NYC or London or Berlin, where a grimy exterior belies a stark white space full of interesting things.” Was it successful? “We found that people have an appetite to learn but they are not necessarily at a place where they are ready to buy yet. We were just trying to test the water.”

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Brenda Wang, founder of business consultancy Brandxcel, of which Ivan is a client, says Ivan’s vision for TS1 was backed up with a sound business plan. “Some people who approach me have a vision but there is no way you can execute it. But Ivan was very clear on the parameters that would make this work. This wasn’t just a passion play for him—he saw it as an investment.”.