By Aisha Hassan on November 4th, 2020
Anything but ordinary
Rosa Supra fuses traditional fabrics with contemporary silhouettes to create something out of the ordinary. Think crop tops adorned with intricate silk patterns or scarves woven with an ancient motif. “I think a lot of people who wear these items are more confident,” says founder Thitirat Pullsuk, known as Rose to family and friends. “It’s because they’re not afraid to wear something different or unique.”
Rose, who has always loved heritage Thai fabrics, found that others associated these materials with special events like weddings or visiting the temple. “I wanted to design something that I or my friends would wear with suits or jeans or high heels,” Rose says. “I wanted to break the stereotype.”
Fields of gold
Rose is based in Bangkok but initially travelled throughout Northeastern Thailand, the Isan region, to visit villages that specialized in weaving and artisanship. This field research was essential for creating the Rosa Supra brand. The breathtaking landscape even influenced the colors of the Mali Crop Tops. “I found inspiration from the rice fields in Isan,” Rose says. “It was so lush, so serene, like the golden hour.”
During these trips, artisans kindly invited Rose into their homes for meals and to explain their craft. Here, Rose learned that women who were too old to work on the farms would weave, and that textile production also depended on the seasons and how much agricultural work there was to be done. This unpredictable schedule is one of the reasons Rosa Supra features both synthetic fabrics along with purely handwoven fabrics.
If Rose isn’t sourcing directly from weaving villages, she ensures that Rosa Supra products are still tailor-made in small batches by people she trusts. For instance, she works with a small group of tailors in Bangkok including a relative and one who specializes in authentic Thai silk. This allows the Rosa Supra brand to support artisans while also experimenting with different materials and alternative apparel.
Rose is always conscious of wearability when it comes to Rosa Supra products. After all, Rose still practices law in addition to running the brand — “Supra” is a Latin word meaning “above” or “beyond” commonly used in legal documents” — and her products can be styled for the boardroom, beach, or bar. And in addition to each item’s versatility, they also carry a story, such as the Salao Handwoven Scarf that depicts traditional rites.
Ultimately, Rose designs her pieces for a discerning global audience who looks for both aesthetics and authenticity. “I want people to feel modern and to also feel like they value these cultures,” she says. “It’s about appreciating different cultures in different parts of the world.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aisha Hassan is a writer, journalist, and co-founder of Dia. Previously, Aisha worked for Quartz in New York and Harper’s Bazaar in Malaysia. Her fiction has been published in international literary magazines. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.