Bio: "To be or not to be, is not what it should be, but what you think it can be." These are the words that stay firmly rooted in the heart and mind of Nicholas Tan. Better known to the media scene as Nick T., the media veteran has over 15 years of industry experience. Nick T. is the 2017 Executive Director of the Media Publishers' Association of Singapore, the Marketing Director at marketing and events consultancy, COM3, and is the Founder and Managing Director at COVERED Asia.
Team behind Diamond Walker Launches Sneaker Customiser with 5 Sextillion Design Combinations.
In 2012, we learned of a passionate pack of gentlemen in Singapore who were on a mission to stretch the imagination of shoe lovers everywhere. Offering an unmatched selection of bespoke shoe options and design possibilities, Diamond Walker set the initial benchmark in bespoke shoemaking. Fast forward to today, the same enthusiastic team now unveils yet another milestone offering; the world’s largest range of fully customisable luxury sneakers online – YSNEAKERS.
#UNCOVERED – Over coffee with Conrad Chua of YSNEAKERS
COVERED: Congrats on your amazing success on Kickstarter. I hear you guys had YSNEAKERS fully funded within 15 hours of going “live”!
So, YSNEAKERS and your obsession for shoes? What has been the inspiration behind custom kicks?
CONRAD: Our obsession for shoes arose from the frustration from years of not finding good-looking quality shoes that fit really well.
As an individual and a shoe-lover, I was frustrated by the lack of range and customisation options offered in the market or being charged a high premium if they do offer them – mostly because of brand heritage or lack of production capability. Because many of the good shoes are from European brands, they tend to cater for Caucasian feet which tend to be narrow and long, and they don’t fit very well on Asian feet which tend to be broader and shorter. They thus may look beautiful but lack comfort and cost a lot. Some popular shoe brands which are made to be very comfortable have designs which are not as aesthetic as I would like them to be, and are usually made of poor quality materials as they were more for mass production.
I felt that there was a gap in the market for handmade shoes that could offer the best of both worlds. So thus Diamond Walker bespoke shoes was born – to bring the best of affordable luxury, full customisation, comfort and a wide range of designs beyond what other bespoke brands offer.
We pride ourselves on being more in tune with today’s fashionable male and their changing tastes than most bespoke shoe brands which have not changed much in their outlook, with hundreds of years of tradition, but ironically tied down by their heritage baggage, restricting them to classic shoe designs and a shoe-making ideology that has not changed for hundreds of years.
YSNEAKERS was created to address a market segment outside of our bespoke services in Singapore, with the made-to-measure aspect replaced by standard shoe sizes but with the exciting full-customisation aspect given to our casual range of footwear – sneakers!
COVERED: So 5 Sextillion designs (that’s a “5” followed by 21 zeroes)? That’s a lot! Personally, which leather skins are your favourite, and how hard are they to procure?
CONRAD: Yeah, we too were so astounded by the sheer number of the combinations offered, that we had to have independent verification by different people good with numbers because there were so many zeroes involved!
My personal favourites are the exotic skins, namely the python (read on to check out Conrad’s favourite pair). These can be harder to procure because you need to find two different snakes with more or less similar scale sizes to match up both sides of the sneakers.
We also have some brilliantly-coloured calfskin that would make some parts of the YSNEAKERS to stand out!
COVERED:So about unveiling of the world’s largest range of fully customisable luxury sneaker online, this is an obvious winner for sneaker-heads everywhere, but will orders placed online be trackable each step of the production and delivery process?
CONRAD: All YSNEAKERS customers will certainly be kept informed of the status of their YSNEAKERS up to delivery!
COVERED:Ok, so which so far has been your favourite pair? Do show us.
COVERED:What makes this one so special?
CONRAD: Nothing says luxe like exotic skins! This pair of python YSNEAKERS is da bomb!
Conrad Chua is the Chief Marketing Officer for DIAMOND WALKER and YSNEAKERS.
Follow YSNEAKERS on Facebook here for more info and latest updates.
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Here’s our recap of 5 Iconic Fashion Moments of 2016.
Take a moment and look back at the year behind us. Yes, there were shockers, and there were many upsets. But as with each passing year, there were many a moment that inspired us to think forward on what new and exciting advancements the coming years would unveil. And so on this day, the first TGIF of 2017, we bring you a recap of 5 iconic fashion moments of 2016:
#5 Vogue Paris: Karl Lagerfeld & Lily Rose Depp Dec/Jan ’17 Cover
VOGUE Paris ends off 2016 with one of its most momentous covers ever, with Lily-Rose Depp & Karl Lagerfeld gracing its front page.
The 17-year old actress, Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of celebrated actor Johnny Depp, and is also currently the face of Chanel No. 5. She shares this cover with the iconic German fashion designer, artist and photographer, Kaiser Karl Lagerfeld.
Stepping behind the camera to capture the duo is yet another icon. The photographer held responsible for this momentous cover is non other than former Saint Laurent creative director, Hedi Slimane.
#4 The “Big” Unveil – Raf Simons’ Debut Date For Calvin Klein Announced
Since his departure from Christian Dior in October 2015, the fashion industry has been eagerly anticipating the re-emergence of one Raf Simons. Reputed for his magical creative touch in furniture and fashion design, Raf Simons was subsequently announced as the Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein in August last year.
“Not since Mr. Klein himself was at the company has it been led by one creative visionary, and I am confident that this decision will drive the Calvin Klein brand and have a significant impact on its future. Raf’s exceptional contributions have shaped and modernised fashion as we see it today and, under his direction, Calvin Klein will further solidify its position as a leading global lifestyle brand.” – CEO of Calvin Klein, Steve Shiffman
In November last year, Calvin Klein revealed that Raf Simons’ much anticipated debut collection with Calvin Klein will take place on 10 February 2017 at the New York Fashion Week. His first collection will feature women’s and men’s ready-to-wear. Joining the trends set by the likes of Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Burberry, Calvin Klein plans to switch to a unisex show format from the next season on.
#3 From Fashion Runways to Shoppable Collections – Burberry reinvents retail shopping
In September last year, British luxury fashion house, Burberry, transformed its fashion runway into a shoppable collection at the New York Fashion Week. From catwalks to checkouts, customers had the privilege to purchase the coveted designer pieces straight away as it appeared on the runway, remotely from their own computer or mobile device.
“If you go back 100 years, catwalks used to be small, private events that brand put on to show buyers, and eventually the press and clients, what they were doing. It can be argued that the catwalk has now become a platform to speak to customers, rather than the industry,” – Graeme Moran, head of content at the fashion-retail-industry publication, Drapers
#2 Gigi Hadid wins “International Model of the Year” award at the 2016 British Fashion Awards
Gigi Hadid has had a laudable year in 2016 – from strutting down the Victoria’s Secret runway, hosting the American Music Awards, becoming a “chart topper” with the most gained followers on Instagram, to bagging home the “International Model of the Year” award at the 2016 British Fashion Awards. Presenting this award to one deserving Gigi Hadid on the evening, was fashion icon, Donatella Versace.
“She’s (Gigi Hadid) fearless. She’s funny. She’s a new icon of the 21st century.”
Gigi afterward, graciously thanked her supporters at the British Fashion Awards 2016 by saying: “To everyone, who has been so genuine, and looked beyond what the rest of the world looked for, that has meant so much to me. You guys know who I am, and that to me means so much, so thank you for inspiring me, and for teaching me to look beyond — and for being the most amazing industry I could ever ask to be a part of; you guys are a dream come true. So thank you so much.”
Topping our list of 5 Iconic Fashion Moments of 2016, is how the world of fashion learnt of Yousef Akbar’s designs. In December last year, we featured a talented Yousef Akbar who was responsible for Chrissy Teigen’s eye-catching dresses worn at the 2016American MusicAwards. Yousef’s Resort 2017 collection dresses were so eye-catching in fact, that Chrissy found herself making headlines all around the world following a controversial wardrobe malfunction of sorts.
Nevertheless, it was a blessing in disguise for the young Sydney-based fashion designer, Yousef Akbar. Following the “unveiling” of his designs in 2016, Yousef has since received much media exposure for his Resort 2017 collection, which according to Yousef, aims to celebrate the courage and strength of women through times of adversity.
“I dedicate this collection to all women – the widows, the orphans, the teenagers fighting to get an education, the sexually and physically abused, the brave women fighting and standing up for their rights, revolting against their cultures, challenging the norm in their fight for equality and freedom, by shedding a light on their pain, suffering and struggles they face in their lives.” -Yousef Akbar
For more about Yousef Akbar and his collections, check out our exclusive interview with him here.
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Tribute to a King – The first of the LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION Unveiled.
Step back in history; a hundred and forty-two years ago. A remarkable blend of the finest tipples was crafted for the first time. Yet throughout the course of time and change, the maison responsible for celebrating the lives of the most distinguished, continues to remain true to staunch traditions up-kept by its cellar master, Baptiste Loiseauup to this very day. Today, the maison commemorates the origin of that dream, with the unveiling of the LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION : The Origin – 1874 in Singapore.
LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION : The Origin – 1874
Within the crystal walls of each decanter, contains a distinctively crafted, delicate blend of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie; the youngest of which comes in with a maturity of 40 years. The select grapes of choice, are sourced from the coveted Grand Champagne region.
Paying homage to its origins, the decanter used here will feature 13 dentelle spikes on each side, instead of the usual 10 that LOUIS XIII is accustomed to. Also unique to the LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION’s : The Origin – 1874, is a unique decanter stopper, shaped like an inverted decanter, with the brand’s iconic fleur-de-lis stamped on its top.
“When it comes to LOUIS XIII, some refer to it as the King of Cognacs. I however, know it as the Cognac of Kings.” – LOUIS XIII Asia Director, Vincent Géré
The Singapore Launch of the The Origin – 1874
The much anticipated LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION : The Origin – 1874 was unveiled for the first time in Singapore earlier this month at Goodwood Park Singapore.
Here are some of the esteemed guests in attendance on the evening.
Recommended Sale Price SGD $7,560 at time of publishing
” The Origin – 1874 ”, is the first edition in the LOUIS XIII TIME COLLECTION. For purchase queries, contact the Singapore LOUISXIII Private Client Director, Chris Kwek at Chris.Kwek@louisxiii-cognac.com .
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Light-Up the Room this Festive Season with Martell NCF
#NCF – There’s a cool new “hashtag” worthy making taglines around the party scene. A few weeks back, the 300-year old cognac maison, Martell unveiled its new NCF variant in Singapore. Breaking with tradition,this Non-Chill-Filtered cognac version is filtered at room temperatures instead of at sub-zero temperatures. The result? Smooth, refreshing aromas that inspired us to try out with these easy to prep party concoctions.
#5 TOASTED LEMON
Here’s a classic. A simple yet delicious cognac cocktail. Expect toasty, caramel noted from the grilled lemon, over the smoothness of the cognac.
What you’ll need:
40ml Martell NCF
20ml Triple Sec
20ml Grilled Lemon
#4 The Party Flat
This one is really simple. Easy and quick to put together individually, or for groups. Leave it on the counter-top, and your guests will be floating over to it for seconds and thirds.
What you’ll need
2cl Martell NCF
10cl Sparkling (Soda) Water
Add ice into the glass. Then with the back of a spoon placed over the soft drink, slowly begin pouring the cognac over the the spoon.
*TIP – Bring out that punch bowl for larger groups, and serve it into individual glasses for guests as they arrive. This is great as the party centerpiece too.
#3 The Perfect Serve
Whilst this number isn’t a drink that requires any bottle-juggling, bar-tendering flare, it does add a nice zesty twist to the body of the cognac.
35ml Martell NCF
10ml Chilled Mineral Water
*TIP – We twisted our orange peel over the cognac, releasing some of that zesty orange oil goodness into the glass.
#2 Plum Spritz
Here’s one from the Martell cocktail guide. Whilst we weren’t quite sure how it would turn out at first, it didn’t take us very long to appreciate this one. Ladies, we asked around, and we think you’ll love this one.
Kate Hudson’s surprise appearance with Michael Kors in Singapore.
It was a star-studded affair at the Michael Kors Mandarin Gallery grand opening event earlier in the week. Officiating the grand opening was non-other than Michael Kors himself, accompanied by the ever bubbly Kate Hudson.
Whilst it had been long planned for Michael Kors to officiate the grand opening of his newest flagship store, the news of the “surprise” accompaniment with Kate Hudson did not stay a secret for long. By early Tuesday morning, word of the pair attending the opening together had already made its way to several invited guests.
Supporting a Real Cause
Be it being seen together at events or in supporting Michael’s social initiatives, this is not the first time that Kate has been by Michael’s side. In October 2015, Kate had announced that she would be teaming up with Michael in their bid to spread awareness and raise funds to end world hunger. As part of the ongoing campaign titled “Watch Hunger Stop“, Michael had pledged to donate US$25 for every “Watch Hunger Stop” timepiece sold to the United Nation’s World Food Program .
“A Golden Dress for a Golden Girl.” – Michael Kors
In 2013, Kate Hudson was Michael’s Date to the Met Gala. She wore (of course) a sleek golden dress by Michael Kors.
A Second Floor Dedicated to Menswear
On the second floor of the new Michael Kors Mandarin Gallery boutique is a dedicated space just for the men. The refined menswear floor features a designer pool table centrepiece, adding a luxe touch to the space.
Celebrities previously at the Michael Kors Mandarin Gallery Boutique
This is not the first time a celebrity had made an appearance at this boutique. Earlier in the year at the boutique’s pre-launch event in September, Formula 1 Driver, Jenson Button held a meet and greet with fans and media.
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Out on cinemas in December ’16 is Tom Ford’s latest silver screen offering, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal andMichael Shannon – a story about an art gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.
[ Giveaways ] Contest Details:
Be one of 5 lucky winners to each win a pair of exclusive passes to the preview screening of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS in Singapore.
To win, simply like our Facebook Page, tag a friend, and comment on our Facebook post with one of the following review quotes as see in the trailer.
Cheryl Chou opens up about her inspiration, dreams and pageants.
Poise, confidence, and eloquence were some of the main qualities attributing to the coveted opportunity for Cheryl Chou to represent Singapore at the 2016 Miss Universe Pageant. Come January 30th 2017, the 20 year old will compete alongside 100 other finalists at the Miss Universe grand finals event in Manila, Philippines.
Amidst her Miss Universe preparations and press interviews, Cheryl is also pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts (Fashion Media & Industries) at the LASALLE COLLEGE of the Arts. Despite her hectic schedule, Cheryl still graciously managed to squeeze in a moment to speak with the Covered Asia team on her inspiration, dreams, and future plans.
Congratulations on winning the crown of Miss Singapore Universe 2016. What inspired you to join the pageant?
Thank you very much! I joined Miss Universe Singapore 2016 because I wanted to be more adventurous with my life. One philosophy that I live by is to never sit back and let opportunities pass you by. I believe that if you never do the things that scare you, you will never be able to grow as a person. If I did not break of out my comfort zone, I would not be here holding the title as Miss Universe Singapore 2016.
On The Childhood Dream
Was participating in the Miss Universe pageant always something you wanted to do since young? What was your childhood dream and/or hobby?
I was quite the tomboy growing up, so participating in the Miss Universe pageant was not a childhood dream of mine. In fact, for the longest time, I wanted to be a policewoman, because I wanted to fight crime and help others. Even though I did not end up being one in the end, I believe that being Miss Universe Singapore 2016, I will still be able to make a positive impact.
What is your ambition in life? Would you like to share with us about your future plans after graduating from LASALLE?
My ambition is to work in digital marketing after graduating from LASALLE. I believe that social media is a powerful tool for us to be able to communicate our ideas to the masses. Through that, I wish to be able to curate campaigns that will make an impact – the Miss Universe Singapore title is a great platform and way for me to start curating my own campaign to that end!
On Health & Wellness
Prior to entering the beauty pageant, what was your diet and exercise regime?
I have always lived a very active and healthy lifestyle, so there were not any major changes to my diet and exercise regime after joining the pageant. I love doing HIITs (High Intensity Interval Training) and working out at the gym. With regards to my diet, I am currently transitioning into leading a plant-based lifestyle and I find that it has definitely improved my health since making the change to go meat-free.
For Social Good
Should you win Miss Universe 2016, how would you make a difference using the title? Are there any causes or organization that you are currently advocating for?
One of the main issues that I would like to bring light to is the promotion of body positivity, particularly on social media. Social media is a powerful platform that is very pervasive. Teens and young women are constantly shown photos of airbrushed and perfect women online that then builds the false belief that there is a need to have a perfect body and a perfect face to be popular and accepted. I disagree with this and want to bring across the message that it is okay to be yourself and to build body positivity by eating healthy and normally and being active doing the things you love. We are all different and these differences make us special and unique in our own way – you should never therefore change yourself just to look like someone else.
On Who’s Gown It Will Be At Her Finals
Which fashion designer’s gown will you be wearing for Miss Universe 2016 in the Philippines?
I will be wearing a gown that is designed by Karla Jasmina who is designing and making 2 couture gowns especially for me in collaboration with the Miss Universe Singapore Organisation. She’s a thread and needle genius and I’ve already had the honor to wear one of her designs during my evening gown segment when I won the title in Singapore so I am confident that she knows what gown will suit me best to shine on the international stage. I am so excited to see what she has in store for me, and I am sure it will be beautiful.
On Any Talent Segment Acts We Can Expect
What will you be performing for your talent segment in Miss Universe 2016?
Haha, there is no talent segment in the Miss Universe pageant! I guess only my shower head gets to hear me sing – *winks*!
About Negative Pageant Sentiments in Singapore
How do you feel about the negative stigma regarding beauty pageants in Singapore?
I understand that many people perceive pageants as a distraction from the “real world”. Personally, I think they are judging this on the basis of a stereotypical perception of a beauty queen parading in heels and a swimsuit in a bid to achieve world peace. The reality instead is that pageants are very much like any other competition – you learn how to push yourself to achieve goals, to believe in yourself and in the current world we live in, to manage your own personal online brand and statement as to what you stand for. Being in Miss Universe Singapore made me grow so much as a person, physically and mentally and I learned so much in just a few short months. I’ve also had many fun opportunities to do things I would never dream of (like a bikini photoshoot on a jet ski in Bintan! How exciting is that?) and speaking on live radio and TV. I hope that people would see pageants and their contestants in a different light when they understand the rigours of competing, because it takes a lot of strength and courage, and they do become a better version of themselves in the end.
Guo Pei will open Singapore Fashion Week ’16 with 2 Show Seatings
Opening Singapore Fashion Week 2016 with 2 show seatings this Wednesday is the much anticipated haute couturer, Guo Pei. Hailed as China’s Queen of Couture, Guo Pei, who has been designing since the early ’90s, is responsible for the head-turning golden dress worn by Rihanna last year at the 2015 Met Gala. According to a report by Fashionista.com, the dress weights in at 55 pounds, and took 20 months to make.
#unCOVERED: A Moment with Guo Pei
COVERED: What inspired you to take your first steps towards studying fashion design?
GUO PEI: I grew up with my grandmother in kindergarten. She was born during the Qing Dynasty, My fondest impression of my grandmother was when she told me that growing up, she always wore “smooth” clothes. As I closed my eyes and listening her story, I pictured in my mind that she was wearing slippery-smooth clothes, embroidered with beautiful flowers. This vision was so vivid in my mind, that it influenced me to want to create the most beautiful clothes. That is why at a very young age, I begin to learn painting. My biggest wish at that time was to enter an academy. During my elementary school, I altered and fixed my own clothes. Up to then, China was never offered a certification in fashion design. It was only in 1982, that China offered its first fashion design certification. Without hesitation, I entered myself for an examination in fashion design.
“My fondest impression of my grandmother was when she told me that growing up, she always wore “smooth” clothes.” – Guo Pei on her inspiration to becoming a fashion designer.
COVERED: It has been 19 years since you created your own fashion brand. When would you say was the moment when you felt your creations started getting noticed, and what do you most attribute it to.
GUO PEI: Upon graduating, I served as the chief designer for the clothing brand Pegasus. I feel that it was from that moment on that I felt my work started to gain recognition. In 1997, I was interviewed and my work was reported on “Asahi Shimbun“, and also in an Australian made documentary. In 2006 I showed my first collection titled “Reincarnation”. It was from after that show, that my work started to get recognized not just in China but also at an international level. I felt this was the first big highlight in my career after having done “sur mesure” (bespoke tailoring) at my own company for nearly ten years. This was my first breakthrough, the result of 10 years of learning to truly hone the art of “sur mesure“. Moving forward I then created “大金” or “big gold” which required 50 thousand hours to complete. From then on, I firmly believed that Haute Couture was the only road for me.
COVERED: This year, we understand that you are now a guest member of the exclusive Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. This is a noteworthy accomplishment. To all aspiring local Singaporean designers out there, what would you say in encouraging them to pursue their dreams as a haute couture fashion designer?
GUO PEI: I believe that to be invited to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is the dream of every designer, I think I am very fortunate. every step I’ve taken has always seemed to be in the right direction. I feel like haute couture is like a steep peak, one where the road to the top is narrow and rugged. Persevere on. Stay strong. Have faith and belief in yourself, and you will reach the peak.
For the full schedule of shows at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week, check out the official website here. This year’s Singapore Fashion Week shows, and extra show highlights will be available to stream right here with Digital Fashion Week.
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The Digital Age of Fashion -in conversation with Charina Widjaja.
Entrepreneur. Role Model. Optimist. A true lady. These are the words that best aptly describe the co-founder of Digital Fashion Week, Charina Widjaja. Following the incorporation of Digital Fashion Week and Singapore Fashion Week this year, excitement surrounding the digital highlights of this October’s annual Singapore Fashion Week shows is at an all time high.
Amidst her extremely busy schedule balancing motherhood and preparations for the upcoming Singapore Fashion Week, the ever bubbly Charina agreed to catch with me over a quick coffee break recently. Aside from updates on the upcoming Singapore Fashion Week, she shares what drives her entrepreneurial spirit, and even candidly lets us in on her lesser known passion; cheerleading.
COVERED: In the past decennium, fashion aficionados have seen interesting uses of technology in fashion and on the runway. What are your plans for uping the ante on your digital direction at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week?
CHARINA: We are allocating more time to digitalize Singapore Fashion Week this year; there will be a switchable ‘live’ 360 Virtual Reality functionality. Our team will be creating multi-angle and multi-options (different camera areas of the show) for the viewers to select on their screen. The selected influencers will be given access to record multi-screen camera options from their own device, and share it with viewers on digitalfashionweek.com.
“Remember “The Burberry Booth” at its Regent Street flagship store in London which offered real-time video-stitching technology, enabling customers the chance to film their own versions of the brand’s current ad campaign? We would love to bring to Singapore Fashion Week guests and viewers, a similar digital immersive experience.” -Charina Widjaja on digital tech and fashion
COVERED: What is your take on the idea of using technology and ‘online space’ to build a local cohesive fashion community?
CHARINA: It will be the fundamental core of a cohesive fashion community. Instead of striving to fill up seats at the fashion shows, organizers can explore investing into technologies with the ability to broadcast fashion shows on the internet to reach a wider audience base. With the use of technologies, organizers will be able to multiply their reach and educate the audiences about their brand. Aligned with this vision, we have decided to invest in 360 Virtual Reality technology as well as a new multi-camera screen views. While offering viewers greater insights into the designer’s fashion show, this is also a great way to get optimum visibility for designers to the desired geo-targeted audience.
COVERED: With the rise of disruptive technologies, how would you infuse fashion and technology?
CHARINA: Fashion and technology have not been so boldly used in the past. However, 50 – 70 % of businesses in today’s society are using technology for their brands and businesses. Technology allows you to cross boundaries and reach out to a wider geographic area.
CHARINA: For example, Diane Von Furstenburg was the first to implement a “shopable fashion” collection. Burberry implemented live-streamed shows, with “shopable”, “order right now technology”, and event utilized augmented reality.
On how her journey as an entrepreneur began
COVERED: Would you like to tell us more about yourself and your journey as a fashion entrepreneur? What are the road blocks that you have faced on your journey?
CHARINA: When I first started out in 2012, the local fashion designers were facing a ‘mid-life’ crisis – fast fashion labels such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 entered into the Singapore’s market. As the well-established fast fashion brands were competitive and well-received by the Singapore’s market, it has resulted in the quick exit of many local designers.
CHARINA: In the midst of the local designer’s crisis, I recognised the need for a platform to showcase and shine the spotlight on Singaporean’s designers. Fortunately, we were able to collaborate with the likes of Youtube and Yahoo. Our first Digital Fashion Week (2012), was attended was 2,000 guests, and received an online viewership of 20,000+ views.
On Overseas Collaborations
CHARINA: After the event, we realized that there is so much more that we can do for independent designers and create a community that truly appreciate local designers. In 2012, we realized that the 5,000 population in Singapore was not sufficient. Hence, In 2013, we decided to collaborate with UK to cross syndicate content – an exchange of speakers and designers, notably supermodel, Naomi Campbell, allowing for greater exposure and a larger community base for local designers to reach out to.
On Growing Up
COVERED: How would you describe yourself during your teenager days? Growing up, who do you aspire to be?
CHARINA: As a teenager, I wanted to be like a business woman, and own multi-businesses. My dad was, and still is my role model. I also admired my mum, being able to look after the family, and groom her children into the driven and caring individuals.
On her secret other passion – Cheerleading
CHARINA: I did take an interest in music and dancing, and I captained my own cheerleading team in High School. My school was actually a Christian school, and cheerleading was deemed a taboo. Despite this, and inspired by the movie, Bring It On, I decided that I would ask my teacher for the permission to form a cheerleading team. It was turned down immediately. Nevertheless, we proceeded to form our team, and we practiced everyday after school.
CHARINA: We created our own moves, routines, uniforms, and choreographed our own music. Eventually, we went to our first competition, and faced some strong competition. Although we were not physically strong, we were able to execute four tier pyramid formations. The fiercest competition that we entered had participants from 5 cities. As the announcer called out the winners, our expectations began to diminish. Surprising, we won first place – our biggest achievement ever.
CHARINA: Of the ten competitions that we took place in, we always placed, and never failed to bring home a trophy. From the win on, we became the highlight of the school, and we were always invited to perform at every of our school’s event.
Words of wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs
COVERED: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
CHARINA: Do your business plans well. It is not about coming up with the greatest idea. It is about executing and sustaining your business and its plans, and growth.
CHARINA: In this industry, you have to be persistent as it is a tough industry. Always try to collaborate, and it is no longer the time to do everything independently and on your own. Obstacles will always present themselves, but persevere and never give up.
On what to look out for at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week
COVERED: What are some of the shows at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week that you personally are looking forward to?
CHARINA: It will be Guo Pei’s fashion show. Likewise, I also look forward to Max Tan’s fashion show as he prepares his collection way ahead of the season. Microsoft will be participating in Max Tan’s show this year – look out for live music performances created on the spot. For the first time in Singapore, Self Portrait will be here. Do keep an eye for Self Portrait’s latest SS’17 collection.
Guo Pei x COVERED Asia
Stay right here for our upcoming interview with Guo Pei on COVERED Asia.
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Happening This Month – The Debut Edition of the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS.
Think sunsets, luxury cars and yachts, wine pairings, DJs, and all the finer things in life right in one family friendly destination. The SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS is poised to be a luxurious 4-day nautical lifestyle festival at the picturesque Raffles Marina, Singapore.
Highlights at this year’s SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS will include:
In conversation with the founder of the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS, Olivier Burlot
COVERED: We know you to be a serial media entrepreneur, having led multiple media titles and publishing houses to set new standards within the publishing industry. In addition to this though, you have also been responsible for creating amazing luxury event experiences in the past. What are some of the most memorable events you have created in the past?
OLIVIER: I was part of the initial team that created in 2010 the Hainan RendezVous, led by the talented Delphine Lignieres, that became China’s largest luxury lifestyle events with over 140 yachts on display, 22 business jets and prestigious sponsors such as Chopard, Perrier-Jouet, Martell and Lacoste.
COVERED: Where does your passion for such large scale luxury “festivals” stem from, and what you do you personally believe should be the main “ingredients” of every successful event?
OLIVIER: I believe that visitors to a show are looking for an experience, and too many event organizers focus solely on their core business (yachts, art, watches) and forget that a modern lifestyle is made of several elements that form a combination unique to each person. A successful event is an event that led to a special experience, developed knowledge and provided emotions.
COVERED: In your own words, what is a “rendezvous” to you, and what is your vision for the Singapore Rendezvous in terms of event standards that you hope to achieve?
OLIVIER: The SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS staged this October will answer this need for experience, knowledge and emotions. Through a mix of car, yacht, watch, real estate, champagne and wine displays in a happening & entertainment-filled environment, we are putting together an event that will stand apart from any other in Singapore.
COVERED: The Singapore Rendezvous has already set the imaginations of many to be a “fantastical” luxurious showcase at the Raffles Marina like none before. What would you say are the indicators that make you feel that the Singapore event scene is ready for such an experience, and how does the location play an important part of this “rendezvous”.
OLIVIER: The location of the RENDEZVOUS, Raffles Marina, is a stunning one thanks to the space it offers to visitors as well as an unparalleled spot to appreciate gorgeous sunsets. The afternoons of the 4 day event will be dedicated to a family crowd looking at discovering classic cars, tall ships, yachts, real estate and getting a better understanding of life in and around a marina. The evening at the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS will be targeted at a more party crowd loving the idea of dancing the night away in one of Singapore’s iconic marina and drinking champagne while admiring some of the world’s finest yachts.
COVERED: Lastly, in terms of event highlights and “attractions”, can you share some of the “must-not-be-missed” highlights that event goers should prepare to check out, like for instance how to arrange for sea trials on board selected yachts?
OLIVIER: Lots will be happening during these 4 days, the best way to understand the concept is to come down at Raffles Marina from October 20th to the 23rd and experience it by yourself. – Sea trials will be available with prior bookings, and all request can be sent to email@example.com .
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