Vorravit Siripark was about to begin an important client presentation in New York’s World Trade Centre area on 11 September 2001, when two deafening crashes brought everything to a screeching halt. Fortunately, his group safely evacuated the area. Trying to get home amid the chaos, the management consultant was made to take an antiseptic shower and board the ferry home in wet clothes. The incident left Siripark utterly shaken. “I realised life is uncertain and I had to do what I wanted today," says the affable 40-year-old.
Cue a stint in luxury goods management in Italy and fashion website Yoox.com, which prepared him well for starting his own brand when he returned to Thailand in 2003. Key to this was his observation then that Thailand “was known for its spas, but there were no Thai spa products, only European and American ones". Today, under Puri Group, Panpuri exports to 23 countries around the world.
I don’t have a fixed style – I like to mix things up. I go through phases. I used to dress very neat – very Savile Row – then I started to find it a little boring. Now I’m less formal – I like streetwear, things from local flea markets. Even when I go to events, I wear sneakers with my suit. I’m mad for shoes and have everything from dress shoes to sneakers. I love Adidas and Nike. Recently I wanted the Adidas NMD sneakers that are really hard to get. I asked my friends in England and Japan to get them for me but had no luck. So I searched online an entire night and Fedexed them over. I ended up paying almost three times their original price – about 15,000 baht.
I work out twice a day. When I hit 40 last year, I figured this was my last chance to get back the six-pack from my 20s. I hired a personal trainer and train morning and night – it keeps me really disciplined.
The one item every man should have in his bathroom is moisturiser. I find a lot of guys use foaming face washes that are too harsh. Most men have super dry skin but they don’t do anything about it – they seem to have trouble with applying any kind of lotion.
Panpuri is known for its Thai, very Eastern approach. We use many uniquely Thai ingredients and techniques, such as jasmine flowers, papaya extract (which exfoliates the skin naturally), tamarind, turmeric and lemongrass, which is good for oily skin.
I collect skincare. When I travel, I always go to niche department stores, multi-brand stores and markets so I can discover something new. In London I like Liberty and Selfridges. In Tokyo – Omotesando’s small alleys, Isetan in Shinjuku has a lot of niche brands too.
It’s hard to find a product that performs well on the ingredient side as well as the sensorial side. Many times I’ll find a natural or organic product but the texture (the feeling when you apply it) is not nice. Or there’ll be silicone, which has a very nice, velvety texture but creates a layer on the skin. For Panpuri, I try to marry the two aspects.
I’m not into major purchases like watches – there’s a funny story behind this. When I was 17 years old I went backpacking through Europe, wearing a Tag Heuer watch that was a present from my mum. I had just changed some money in Amsterdam when I got mugged. I lost everything except the watch. After that I never wore it again. Maybe that’s why I feel I should never have any expensive items on me.
When I travel, I tend to seek out Airbnb-type places. I was just in London and got a great place in Chelsea. It was much cosier than a hotel and I went to the supermarket and bought my own things. It felt like home.
My most thoughtful gift is from my mum. She’s very strict and traditional, and we’re not very close. So I appreciate it whenever she does something special for me. She grows jasmine and ylang-ylang, and every time I go home she still picks some for me to take home. I treasure these more than any luxury item.