An introduction into the world of KWANPEN

The Singapore based Luxury Fashion House was founded in 1938 by Master Craftsman, Mr Kwan Pen Seng. KWANPEN is now an international luxury brand specialising in Genuine Crocodile Leather products, handmade and handcrafted in Singapore by the impeccable craftsmen trained by the Kwan family.

Once renting a space amongst several other craftsmen, Kwan sold his goods and services to other businesses under the pseudonym, Kwan Pen - The namesake of what the business is today.

Now known as Kwanpen, the founder started his life in Hoiping (Kaiping), a small county city west of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, China. During the civil unrest of the time, Kwanpen was encouraged by his family to leave for a better life in the warmer and fertile region of Nanyang (Southeast Asia).

At 15 years old, he set sail on his journey for a better life, making friends on the boat to Southeast Asia and ultimately stopping in Singapore. There, he struggled to find work, making money however he could - gold-smithing for merchants and teaching as a driving instructor. Eventually Kwanpen picked up the skill of leather crafting.

Singapore at the time was under the rule of the British and on the cusp of World War II. With European servicemen scattered throughout Southeast Asia, Kwanpen saw an opportunity to hone his skills. By repairing items like pistol holsters, belts, and reupholstering furniture, he apprenticed and cultivated his skill in the niche business of leather crafting.

Kwanpen and his wife Sitoe Yit Siew in the first KWANPEN boutique - then known as Ginza.  

In 1948, Kwanpen married his loving wife and devoted partner, Sitoe Yit Siew. Sitoe would go on to help her husband in what she could, cooking for the craftsmen that he would go on to hire as well as helping in the night with gumming and sewing tasks. Many of the original craftsmen still work for the business today with many attributing it to the kindness shown by the family. They would go on to raise five sons, the current owners, and partners of KWANPEN. 

KWANPEN’s flagship store at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The signature KWANPEN logo was created by the Kwan Brothers, years after the passing of their father. The logo derives from the founder's surname 关 (KWAN) symbolising the humble beginnings of Kwanpen and in honour to signify the bond between KWANPEN and the Kwan family.

The two halves of the logo symbolises the bond of family and the support they provide each other while serving as a reminder for the KWAN family that there is no KWANPEN without family and vice versa.

KWANPEN’s original Raffles and Ginza Obi Droplet Handbag.

This proud combination of honour and origin has since been translated into a wide range of exquisite pieces throughout several of KWANPEN’s Collections, exuding from each product a story of hope, bond, and bravery. 

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