Andrew Ngo, CEO of Stoned & Co sharing his dreams and passions about his brand and products to attentive HELP students.
By Lim Vin Tsen
Jon Bon Jovi once said “Believe in love. Believe in magic… believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?” And no one has exemplifies this saying better than Andrew Ngo, the CEO of local streetwear brand, Stoned & Co.
Andrew, a former HELP student who enrolled in the Advanced GCE London Examination (Edexcel) in January 2008, was at HELP University recently to speak to a group of eager students keen to learn how to turn their passion into commercial reality like Andrew did. Stoned & Co is a local independent urban streetwear label founded by three aspirational graphic designers who wanted to create a brand that portrayed bold messages with minimal design. Their dream was to create a space for them to communicate and translate their thoughts to the world.
“The inspiration behind Stoned & Co,” said Andrew, “is … peace and love. It is a moment of being languorous, when one is laid back and at peace with themselves so that they are able to see from a different perspective in life. Those who experience this moment, will refrain from being judgemental and critical as it will hurt and destroy the true meaning of that subject.” This vision of peace and love is what Andrew feels that society needs right now.
“I decided to create a brand based on my love of buying shirts, pants and caps. I realized I wanted to create a brand for myself at the level (standard) I wanted, to sell to the mass market. So, that is what I am doing right now.”
One of Stoned & Co’s designs. Image taken from www.stonedandco.com
In terms of design, Stoned & Co aims to create a loud yet minimalist style. The brand absorbs inspiration from different art, culture, and habits of the multicultural and multilingual aspects of Malaysia into its distinctive designs. Andrew said that he aims to take the brand to an international level, as this is his next goal in developing and growing the brand further. His advice to students who are passionate about starting their own business or brand is to “continue believing in what you do and to never give up on their dreams!”