Life really is a beach when you’re in Hawaii. Cruising along giant waves, trekking through volcanic plains and venturing into uninhabited islands are all just part of ordinary life here. Born on the island of Maui and raised in the beautiful countryside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Samantha Feyen now calls the island of Oahu home. She is a budding force in the fashion world, taking on the roles of fashion merchandiser, social media manager and fashion show producer all before graduation! Her zest for Oahu and the island life is captured in moving pictures that make us thirsty for endless days spent on the surf. Follow along as she introduces us to her favourite Instagram-perfect spots.
Oahu to me, can be compared to a funky, modern aloha print jungle of cool urban brands and beachy laid back vibes.
Favourite thing about Oahu…
The diversity of everyone in it and where everyone came from. You’d be surprised how many people are from so many other places around the world. It makes for a good conversation! Also, have you tried local Hawaiian food? You haven’t lived if you haven’t tried the food here. It’s a combination of so many cool flavors.
Least favourite thing about Oahu…
Boy oh boy, least favorite? Probably that it’s far from all the fun surf towns like Haleiwa & Makaha.
Fun fact about the locals…
You can bribe us with poke & spam musubi and we’d do anything!
Best time to visit…
Summer in Hawaii! Of course!
Local phrases to know…
“Ho, we go!”
“What flavor shave ice you like?”
What to pack…
Your favorite bikini or board shorts, sunscreen, sunglasses (probably a wild one to match your personality), a beach towel, a video camera, a big sense of adventure and not to mention a big appetite. Come with a semi empty bag cause you’d wanna take some amazing stuff home!
OAHU BLACK BOOK
In the city itself, my favorite thing to see is our Chinatown. What sets our Chinatown apart from others around the mainland is our touch of Hawaii in everything. I can’t explain it, you’d have to explore the town yourself.
There is too much to see in Oahu, so why not explore the entire island? You can do it within the span of a day. Start from Honolulu city towards Hawaii Kai where you’ll drive southeast towards Oahu’s infamous surf spot, Sandy’s. Then you’ll head more east into Waimanalo. This is beach heaven. Stop to see Waimanalo Bay and Kaiona Beach Park, it’ll be like stopping in Tahiti with its clear majestic blue waters and the view of yet another small islet not too far away. Once there, you head to Kailua to see the beach that made the number one beach spot in the world year after year — Lani Kai. If you’re able to leave, I’d head onto Kamehameha Highway towards the North shore. The road trip there is an adventure in itself. You’ll see Kualoa Ranch which is the settings for many Jurassic Park movies. Across the way is China Man’s Hat (trust me, you’ll see why it’s called that). Then you’ll pass way too many beautiful beaches to name which will bring you to Haleiwa town. This rustic Hawaiian town has everything you could possibly ask for — from amazing shops with local products to all the sweets you could eat!
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is the iconic pink hotel that is the star of any place to stay. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s on the famous Waikiki strip and has a view of the magnificent Diamond Head.
The Modern Honolulu is also another amazing place to stay if you’re looking for a more modern (hence the name) and chic place to lay your head. The night life here is amazing.
The Surfjack is an up-and-coming hotel that has been the target for all the urban parties and grand events of the city. It has a cool laidback 70s Hawaiian vibe to it that makes you never want to leave.
Up Roll Cafe
‘Ai Love Nalo
Fighting Eel – Luxury meets Hawaiian modern prints makes this boutique a must shop! My favorite thing about this place is that it’s all made in Paradise, Hawaii and has prints and cuts that is suited for ladies of all ages. Plus, they have four locations around the island!
Barrio Vintage – Here’s a shoutout to all of my vintage collectors out there that enjoy the groovier things in life — this store is for you! It is owned by two of the coolest guys in the world who travel around the nation collecting all kinds of fun and quirky items to bring back to the people of Hawaii.
Aloha Superette – The store is name after what it truly stands for… Aloha! Everything within this store exudes Hawaiian flavour, from their clothing to accessories to even skincare! This store is a must especially when the owner is also the creative mind behind the famous Samudra bags.
You could live here your whole life and you wouldn’t run out of beaches to go to. My favorite thing to do is to go to the beach, get some sun, grab an acai bowl, travel to the next beach, watch the sunset and get some rest. All in that order 😉
You can’t leave Oahu without…
Grabbing a board and heading over to Queens surf break in the heart of Waikiki. Have you really been to Hawaii if you didn’t learn to surf?
Follow Samantha Feyen on Instagram @samantheeyo
It’s been said that all Singaporeans are foodies at heart. Fashion entrepreneur, Savina Chai is no exception. The intrepid traveller and founder of womenswear label, Eight Slate fondly cherishes her mornings spent at the hawker centre, tucking into a hearty breakfast of eggs, kopi and kaya on toast. A certified Singaporean indeed! A peek at her very flawless Instagram account tells us that she is also fond of luscious overflowing brunches and the minimal aesthetic that’s all the rage right now. Intrigued yet? Read on for her personal pick of brunch spots, local boutiques and chill hangouts in Singapore!
Singapore is a vibrant, fast-paced city with rich culture, dynamic people and delicious food. The streets are always busy, the people are driven, hardworking and warm towards one another.
Favourite thing about Singapore…
I love that we are a multi-racial country. It means that we are always supportive of one another, welcoming to everyone and most of all, diverse and yet unique in our own special way.
Least favourite thing about Singapore…
The weather… We have an eternal Summer due to the geographical location of our city, which is a downer for me because I love to dress according to the seasons.
Fun fact about the locals…
We are the fastest walkers with the fastest walking speed.
Best time to visit…
August. It is a cooler time of the year, which might not make a great difference if you live in a 4-season climate but it does not exceed 31 degrees (celsius) in the afternoon.
Must know local tidbit…
You must try our tropical fruits – durian, jackfruit, mangosteen etc.
What to pack…
SUNBLOCK, and I cannot stress how important it is to use a good hydrating sunblock that does not make your face shiny with facial oil but keeps the skin hydrated at the same time.
SINGAPORE BLACK BOOK
Gardens By The Bay – It is the core of our garden city with amazing garden sculptures and the most beautiful plants and exotic flowers.
Universal Studios – Every holiday or getaway is not made complete without a trip to an amusement park right? This takes you away for the day as it’s enchanting, thrilling and makes an exciting trip for the family.
Orchard Road – For the city girl like myself, Orchard Road is the best place to shop with everything and anything laid out along the same stretch of road. From departmental stores featuring local designers to big luxury designer houses, you will be shopping for hours to come.
Tiong Bahru – is a heartland that features many interesting cafes, Chinese restaurants and shophouses if you’re a foodie like me.
The Ritz-Carlton has the most amazing and beautiful marble toilet overlooking the whole of Marina Bay. Boutique hotels like The Club at Ann Siang and Lloyd’s Inn are affordable places nestled in the heart of Singapore. The interesting décor and design make them both Instagram-worthy stays.
I like multi-label boutiques such as Revolte x SheShops at Raffles City Shopping Centre, which features up and coming digital fashion labels, established local designers as well as Asian designers. Other stores include Robinsons at Heeren which curates great local labels.
Check out hawkers centres like Bedok 85 for minced meat noodles, Newton Circus or Maxwell Food Centre for seafood and a variety of local favourites. For restaurants, Margarita’s at East Coast is my favourite Mexican restaurant. With rich flavours and interesting textures in its foods, I always accompany it with their signature Margarita.
I love to visit our ArtScience Museum for different art installations, perfect for couples. I also like clubs like Kyo and Zouk for a night out with my girlfriends.
You can’t leave Singapore without…
Supporting local labels which can be found around Orchard. They are mostly in multi-label departmental stores or boutiques.
FOLLOW SAVINA CHAI ON INSTAGRAM @SAVINACHAI
IMAGES COURTESY OF SAVINA CHAI.
The fashion industry is in a constant state of flux and the future is as predictable as the weather. Enter the next generation of entrepreneurs rocking the boat. This young crop of designers, new-age retailers, content creators, technopreneurs and style leaders are birthing many of today’s newest fashion trends, bringing their risk-taking attitudes and out-of-the-box thinking to the fore.
Here’s how 8 young fashion entrepreneurs are disrupting the industry, one leap at a time.
Amber Venz Box, 29, USA
Amber Venz Box could very well be nominated the patron saint of fashion retailers, designers and bloggers all over the world. Her business, rewardStyle functions as a digital monetisation platform that allows bloggers and lifestyle publishers to earn a commission off each e-commerce purchase directed through their site. Founded in early 2011, rewardStyle has progressively changed the face of the retail and blogging industry. It now boasts a network of over 4,000 retailers and 14,000 publishers. At just 29 years of age, Amber’s already experienced most sides of the fashion industry, including founding her namesake jewellery line, working as a freelance stylist, fit model, retail buyer and lifestyle blogger. All that would have earned anyone the chance to take it slow, but Amber’s already on to the next thing: LIKEtoKNOW.it, a similar tool that’s built for Instagram.
Evita Nuh, 17, Indonesia
Blogger and Creative Director, EN.PENS
Evita may be 17, but she has more industry experience than most bloggers twice her age. The fashion wunderkind started her blog, JellyJellyBeans in 2008 (now renamed as The crème de la crop), when she was still a wide-eyed eight-year-old. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, blogging and tackling questions on ask.fm became her way of communicating with the world. She has since risen to stratospheric heights as one of Indonesia’s preeminent style influencers, with followers that number in the tens of thousands. She was recently heralded as a teen visionary in Refinery 29’s Z list — a list made up of the world’s most influential teenagers and Elle magazine famously christened her the “next Tavi (Gevinson). By all accounts, Evita is living up to the title. Carving her own path like the famous “style rookie”, she’s added creative director to her resume with the launch of EN.PENS, her own line of customisable bags. Just goes to show you’re never too young to make the world sit up and listen.
Luke Grana, 32, Hong Kong
Founder and CEO, Grana
Luke Grana is no stranger to the start-up world, having established and successfully sold several companies and cafes, before turning his sights onto the lucrative fashion retail market. His brand Grana evolved from the simple concept of luxury-quality wardrobe essentials with fast-fashion price tags. According to Luke, everything boils down to outstanding logistics. For instance, headquartering the business and its distribution centre in Hong Kong has allowed Grana to deliver its products to customers worldwide at highly affordable price points. Focusing primarily on online also cuts out the middlemen. Luke’s calculated strategy shows how a global-oriented company can thrive in the digital age.
Jane Lu, 29, Australia
Founder and CEO, Showpo
Jane Lu is the shiny beacon of hope for all aspiring girlbosses out there. The 29-year old heads Showpo, an Australian-based e-tailer with a turnover of $10 million. Showpo has amassed a huge following by leveraging social media and staying a step ahead of trends. But her success did not come easy. Finding it hard to settle into her job in corporate finance, Lu quit the corporate grind in 2010 to start her own online store. Her first business failed to take off, leaving her with $50,000 in debt. In order to avoid her parents’ disappointment, Lu even hid the fact that she was jobless from them, putting up a show of going to work for a whole 6 months while secretly plugging away at her new business idea. With no experience or funding, Lu managed to scale the business to the global fashion empire it is today. She attributes her success to her ability to bounce back from failure, stressing the importance of allowing yourself to fail, to fall, and most importantly, to do what you love.
Stephanie Crespin, 31, Singapore
Mention secondhand luxury or socially conscious shopping and Stephanie Crespin’s name is bound to crop up. The 31-year-old is the founder of StyleTribute, a preloved luxury goods portal based in Singapore. The premise is simple: StyleTribute helps users make money off of their idle, expensive clothes and iron out the buying process for shoppers who lack the time and energy to hunt down unique vintage or contemporary designer pieces. StyleTribute aims to corner the top tier of the secondhand market by creating “a premium, safe and hassle-free solution for high-end fashion connoisseurs to sell and buy luxury and designer items”. This is reinforced by a strict authentication process and a high level of curation, ensuring that only goods of a high standard are sold on the platform. Crespin’s ultimate vision for the future: To contribute to an era where shoppers will consider the resale value (on StyleTribute of course) of a particular item before any decision to purchase.
Velda Tan, 28, Singapore
Velda Tan is known as a leading light in the Singapore fashion scene. As co-founder of fast fashion e-tailer Love Bonito, she was part of the team that started the online shopping wave in Singapore, alongside her sister Viola Tan and childhood friend, Rachel Lim. Since parting ways with Love Bonito in 2013, Velda has been busy running her own independent label, Collate. The label made its debut at the 2015 Singapore Fashion Week — a historic first for a new local brand, immediately gaining traction with style leaders and fashion industry insiders alike. The Central Saint Martins alumni, who studied visual merchandising, pattern making and business management is passionate about growing the nascent fashion industry in Singapore and altering perceptions of local designers as second to globally successful brands.
Vivy Yusof, 28, Malaysia
At 28, Vivy Yusof has experienced life as a fashion entrepreneur, designer, mum and reality television star, which is more than most. Together with her husband and partner, Fadzarudin Anuar, the pair founded FashionValet, one of Malaysia’s leading fashion e-commerce sites. Founded in 2010, FashionValet set out to become the go-to platform for the best of Malaysia’s homegrown brands and designers to build their presence online. Despite its young age, the e-commerce portal has reportedly hit the $10 million mark and secured several rounds of funding from entities like Elixir Capital and myEG. FashionValet has recently taken its online business offline as well, with the opening of its second store in Singapore’s prime shopping belt — Orchard Road. That’s not all, Vivy has also found considerable success as a designer, designing her own line of scarves called dUCk — a nod to her blogging roots under the banner of ProudDuck.
Yoon Jayoung, 27, South Korea
At 27, Yoon Jayoung might just shape up to be the next Ben Silbermann or Kevin Systrom with her winning app, StyleShare. Combining the social networking element with fashion-related visuals, the Pinterest-style image sharing app allows users worldwide to trade information on OOTDs in real time. As the app grows in popularity, businesses are starting to catch on to its commercial potential. Yoon states that eventually, users will be able to view fashion content and purchase items with one click— good news for independent designers and small businesses who wish to gain more visibility but don’t necessarily have the budget to do so through traditional advertising means. Founded in 2011, StyleShare has grown immensely in the last five years. It currently tracks 2.2 million registered users from 120 countries, and has raised $3.3 million in the same period.
The lack of diversity on fashion runways and campaigns has been a mounting pressure point for the fashion arena. Across the world, people of colour, along with plus-size, transgender and older models continue to be underrepresented, prompting calls for more inclusivity on the runway.
The diversity figures
The Fall 2016 Diversity report by The Fashion Spot surveyed 312 shows and 8,727 model castings from New York, London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks. It was found that less than 25 percent of the models who were cast in fashion shows this season were people of colour (categorised as black, Asian, non-white Hispanic and other). Out of the 25 percent that represented minority models, black models made up slightly over 10 percent, while Asians represented about 6.5 percent. This stands in contrast with the overwhelming majority of white models — 75.25 percent — who were cast.
White models were also commonly chosen over models of colour for editorial coverage and advertising campaigns. Fashionista’s round up of 2015’s September Issue covers revealed that only 12 of the 41 covers featured non-white men and women. This contributes to the fact that last year, just under 20 percent of fashion magazine covers featured models of colour, according to data collected by The Fashion Spot. Fashion advertising has also become a legitimate target for critique, with white models making up almost 85 percent of those cast in campaigns.
Lack of visibility
The fashion industry has historically struggled with its acceptance of models that don’t adhere to a certain type. Designers, stylists, booking agents and industry professionals often claim that consumers aspire towards a narrow Western ideal of beauty — one that prioritises whiteness. Unfortunately, few are making a conscious effort to deviate from this standard. Furthermore, the lack of visibility of models of colour reinforces the idea of ‘whiteness” as the accepted model.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that nothing has been done. The fashion industry is definitely talking about diversity. Greater media coverage, the work of outspoken advocacy groups such as the Diversity Coalition and backing from the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) has brought the issue of diversity to the forefront. But these efforts have not translated to more models of colour walking the runways or more appearances in glossy magazines.
There are of course designers like Riccardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen who include a diverse range of models in their shows, but they are the exception to the rule. Most fashion brands pretend to address the issue by recruiting minority models but discard such hiring policies after just one or two seasons. Indeed, as Vogue notes, fashion’s treatment of minority models often seems to be centered on tokenism. For a long time, it seemed the industry only allowed room for the rise of one model of colour at a time. Naomi Campbell is indubitably the most famous of them all. She was the first black model to front a Prada campaign in 1994. Since then, not a single black model featured in Prada’s advertising campaigns until Malaika Firth got cast in 2013. While there have been considerably more breakout runway stars in recent years. Beyond a few recognisable Black and Asian models like Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Kiko Mizuhara, Liu Wen and Godfrey Gao, few are able to stay on fashion’s radar long enough to effect real change upon the industry.
The multicultural edge
Until now, fashion had revolved around the fashion week cities of Paris, New York, Milan and London, bolstered by the success of European fashion brands like Kering and LVMH. While it used to be that the West led the fashion charge for the rest of the world to follow. The same cannot be said of the fashion climate today. Fashion weeks are staged all over the world and global brands are taking their shows on the road to far-flung exotic locations. Over the summer, Chanel rolled out the runway carpet in Havana, Louis Vuitton tripped off to Rio De Janeiro and Gucci wowed Britain’s fashion elites in Westminster Abbey.
Fashion consumers are also more diverse than ever. Case in point: Asia-Pacific’s share of the global luxury goods market grew ten percentage points from 2007 to 2015 and the Middle East and Africa have been pegged as the fastest growing luxury markets in the world. (BOF) So why hasn’t the fashion industry evolved to fit this new reality?
The past decades of side-lining models of colour (or any person of colour really) points to a larger, more embedded problem. Perhaps fashion’s diversity problem starts from the boardroom, where few key decision-makers belong to the minority races? Or perhaps there are simply not enough designers of colour to dismantle the unconscious racial bias that plagues the industry.
True, it’s next to impossible for designers to design clothes that fit everyone and anyone, but it pays to consider how something would look on someone with a different skin tone, for instance. Indeed, diversity-friendly fashion brands will base their designs or messaging on careful research, often operating on the understanding that the consumer wants to see himself or herself represented.
The bad news is that getting rid of such archaic ideas of ethnicity will take time. The good news is that anybody can do this. This doesn’t mean that you have to fix a quota of models of colour per casting or make a law. We’d prefer if people would consider including people of colour as the norm after all.
Ho Chi Minh City bears an intriguing contrast of old and new — a fury of sights and sounds that begs exploring. Still, there’s only so many bowls of pho to be had or war relics to view before one is left wanting. Take Lam’s lead and be guided through Ho Chi Minh’s scrappy pavements and French colonial buildings to experience daily life beyond the tourist centres. Stylist, fashion designer and lifestyle blogger, Lam Thuy Nhan is a woman of many talents. She takes us on a stylish jaunt through the city of Ho Chi Minh.
Ho Chi Minh’s vibe…
The first things that come to mind are the million motorbikes (all sizes, colours and brands) that fill the roads.
Favourite thing about Ho Chi Minh…
Most Ho Chi Minh residents are really nice and kind folk. Besides that, I’m glad to be able to hunt down my favourite bowl of Cơm Tấm — only in Saigon.
Least favourite thing about Ho Chi Minh…
Pickpockets. Also, we don’t have many communal spaces to explore or visit. Trends catch on very quickly in Ho Chi Minh. If vintage cafes are trending today, you can be sure another ten will pop up in no time at all!
Fun fact about the locals…
Nobody takes any notice of red lights here, particularly when there is a traffic jam. I’d recommend you do the same, unless you want to get yelled at for holding everyone up. Besides that, the yellow light is understood as a signal to speed up and drive fast!
Best time to visit…
Excluding the rainy season between June to August, any time is a good time to visit!
What to pack…
There’s nothing you can’t buy cheaply in Ho Chi Minh so bring your passport and money and you’re all set. But watch out for pickpockets!
L: Draco Coffeeshop, R: REN boutique
Ho Chi Minh Black Book
Ben Thanh Market — The sprawling market is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Local handicrafts, textiles, ao dai, coffee beans, fruits or even raw produce can be purchased here.
Pham Ngu Lao Street — “Khu Pho Tay” or Western town in Pham Ngu Lao Street is Ho Chi Minh’s backpacker district. You’ll find street food stalls, pho eateries and live music bars scattered around the area. It’s the best place to grab a drink on the cheap!
For me, District 1 is always the best. “Khu Pho Tay” in Pham Ngu Lao Street has plenty of cheap accommodation for those on a budget. The streets of Dong Khoi and Mac Thi Buoi are studded with famous 5-star hotels like The Rex and The Intercontinental Saigon. Staying here will put you within walking distance of most of the city’s main attractions.
District 4 is famous for good street eats and I head there just for “oc” — a Vietnamese delicacy. You can find them at the stalls lining Vinh Khanh Street.
I always recommend Hoa Tuc restaurant as a great introduction to contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. It’s situated in the courtyard of a former opium refinery, and boasts a wonderful ambience.
The Vietnamese drip coffee at Café Runam on Mac Thi Buoi Street is a must-try.
Rue Des Chats
THUY Design House
For items at wholesale prices, head to Districts 5 and 6.
You can’t leave Ho Chi Minh without…
Taking a stroll along Nguyen Hue.
Find out more about Lam Thuy Nhan at www.lamthuynhan.com and follow her on Instagram @lamthuynhan
Images courtesy of Lam Thuy Nhan.