DOES THIS SPARK JOY?
From left: Layla Ong, Kaigin Yong, Kaci Beh and Mei Yue
It’s come to this—the start of a new decade and a chance to Marie Kondo my life out. I’m the worst offender—a hoarder of all sorts. The romantic in me will say I am sentimental and hold on to memories. The practical side will say, “Seriously Ken, do you need that 28-inch Romeo Gigli trousers that no keto diet will ever make you thin enough to wear again?” I’ve managed to clear out some of the unnecessary but honestly, working in fashion, a LOT of things spark joy! So I’ve learnt to compartmentalise as best as I can. That means physically sorting out the beauty things from the fashion; lifestyle paraphernalia from travel necessities.
But fashion occupies a special place in my heart. Take for example, the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award. Helming it for five consecutive years has been such an incredible journey for me, professionally and personally. I’ve seen such beautiful stories emerge from young minds and creative hands. Today, they are all addressing serious issues like sustainability, inclusivity, upcycling and functionality so there’s a lot less waste in the community. See their fabulous fashion on page 38 and find out why the winners were chosen, not just for their runway collection, but also their business acumen and ability to engage their audience across different ages and budgets.
I also felt that the best way to start 2020 was to go back to the ethos of what a fashion magazine stands for. I’ve tackled education, and now what about our models? In a time when influencers have overtaken many models to be stars and cover models of choice, I’ve decided to take an about turn and remind ourselves and our readers why these beautiful creatures are the best to showcase fashion.
Singapore has produced some stellar models over the past two years and on our very first cover of the new decade, I’ve decided to honour these ladies with a chic throwback to the Swinging ‘60s and Youthquake—a time when quirky, spirited women of character ruled the runways. Read our cover story on page 94, where our Associate Fashion Director, Jeffrey Yan, delves deep into the stories of each of these four young women to find out what propels them to slug it out with the rest of the world in the fashion capitals every season. It’s humbling to know that these girls battle weight concerns, mental health issues and parental pressure yet still want to be on the international runways. The hunger to be on a large billboard on Orchard Road is still a quest they seek.
Will their stars align? Well, we might have some answers in our mammoth zodiac special on page 74. Read it for an insightful guide as how best to navigate the Year of the Rat. We’ve even given you a head start with some lucky gems to illuminate your path and help you harness the powers that be. Look great, sparkle and support local—even Marie Kondo would approve.