20 November 2014

Fighting Fit

Zann, Interior Designer, Shirt from Zara, Bracelets from Fossil and Shanghai.

Zann describes his morning routine as something that goes like this: “Panic, shower, pack my bag, panic, leave the house.” It’s a good thing then, that he usually sticks to basics when it comes to looking work-appropriate, no mean feat when he has to look both presentable enough to meet clients, and comfortable enough to go to construction sites should the need arise. A stickler for good design, Zann counts Japanese brands such as Muji and Uniqlo as his favourites when it comes to good workwear. “Their shirts are comfortable, and breathe well,” he says. Zann’s favourite part of his job, he says, is the fact that he gets to design things from scratch, and gets to see the process of it being built. Zann does Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the side, and reveals perhaps the one secret superpower he has that helps him along his work: “I remember almost everything, like an elephant — from when I was 4 months old,” he says. “I pretty much have a photographic memory, but it comes in random flashbacks of which I have no control over. It’s a lot of brain noise and fuzz.”

19 November 2014

Life In the Fast Lane

Clara, HR, Skirt from Cotton On, Shoes from Staccato.

Clara keeps it simple in this fail-proof outfit: plain black top, graphic midi skirt, and sensible shoes. She does have a soft spot for her Balenciaga bags, however. “They’re really versatile to carry for work, or for the casual weekends,” she says. And when it comes to her off-day dressing, her one rule is: “Anything I can’t wear to work!” If she wasn’t working where she was now, Clara thinks that she might be a writer instead. “I've always been an avid reader, and sometimes I think about the joy a writer brings to people with the words and stories he or she creates.” At work, she finds a sense of fulfillment in sorting out difficult issues, but also acknowledges that she has to be extremely detail orientated and careful during work, which can be stressful. Nonetheless, she’s learnt a thing or two when it comes to coping. “Never be afraid to look stupid and not ask questions when you are unsure,” she says. “It is good to always have a positive attitude and be willing to learn.” Pleasant, genial demeanour aside, we are surprised to learn that Clara’s a huge F1 fan, and tries to catch every race on TV when it’s race weekend, and also does kickboxing once a week. It seems that Clara’s all about being open to everything, as she muses: “Life is short, so live it without regrets. Do the things you love, live the life you love, and love yourself.”

18 November 2014


Cherin, Interior Designer, Top from COS, Pants from Laark, Shoes from Melissa. 

Cherin wears multiple hats — she runs her own interior design company, LAANK, as well as her own fashion line, Laark, and when she finds some extra time on her hands, she finds joy in cooking up a storm for her friends and family. Busy as she sounds, Cherin loves that her day job is anchored around two simple things: people and emotions. “We aim to redefine the way people live and experience spaces by creating diverse, innovative, and exciting environments that evoke emotions.” She’s found that, like design, life is all about good balance and management. “My personal happiness is tied to the co-existence of work, and family and friends,” she says. “One cannot exist without the other; they're both as important.” As such, Cherin places immense value on the people around her, as much as she finds strength within herself to carry on. Some things she’s learnt from work: “Give even when you can't give,” she says. “Be ready to hit rock bottom, and to pick yourself up time after time, and never forget the people that form your support pillars in life.” She counts Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club as one of her favourite books, saying that it tells a sincere story of strength, pain, and lessons in life, and it’s easy to see how the multitude of relationships within the tale has impacted her in real life. On a less serious note, Cherin finds a solitary peace in her out-of-work pursuit of cooking. “It’s a craft that I’m constantly trying to perfect,” she says. “If I wasn’t an interior designer, I’d be a professional grilled cheese sandwich maker.”

17 November 2014

Out of the Woods

Aiwei, Teacher, Top thrifted, Shoes Tokyo.

Aiwei might possibly the coolest teacher at the design school she’s teaching at, and she says she loves that she actually gains knowledge even as she imparts it. The downside of her job, however, is her fixed schedules, and she makes use of her free time on some weekends to fly back home to Sarawak to visit her family. Aiwei recently started teaching after completing a three-year stint in Finland, but she longs for a slower life. “If I could, I’d be a filmmaker, or a wood craftsman,” she says. “I’d like to be more self-sustainable, live in the country side, and grow my own vegetables.” Her unusual aspirations are reflected in her quirky sense of style, which she describes as a “raw mix of clothing” that either ends up looking like a “catastrophe of exploded prints” or “nothing elaborate at all”, but we think that Aiwei looks charming in everything she wears.

16 November 2014

SHENTONISTA Trend of the Week: Not So Simple

Featuring: Kelly, Samantha, Sara, and Samantha

Black and white is a fail-safe combination, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun. Take the ladies in this week's round up, for example — while the colour palette of their outfits is classic, a little twist here and there is all that it takes to bring their ensembles up to a different level. A graphic check, deconstructed shirt sleeves and hems, boyish accessories, oversized silhouettes — who says that a life without colour is boring?

15 November 2014

Quiet Noise

Samantha, Content & Communications,  Bag from MM6, Hat from Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist.

Although Samantha has a penchant for deconstructed, and oversized clothes, she warms up easily to the people she meets. Her carefully curated wardrobe hints at her dream: to have her own boutique and café, preferably in London or Paris. “I love travelling because that’s when you discover yourself, and the people around you,” she says. “I always feel different after a day of meaningful conversations and travel. You see things differently, from fresh new perspectives. It's like a blind spot — you have to move to clear your view. Otherwise your vision will always be clouded and skewed.” At work, Samantha’s only worry is that she’ll reach a point when she gets overwhelmed, and she loses her drive and purpose in life. Her antidote is to take each day as it comes. “I always make it a point to breathe after working hours,” she says. “Let tomorrow worry about itself. Even your worst days only have 24 hours.”

14 November 2014

The Business Times x Shentonista — Behind The Scenes

Here's a look at what went on behind the scenes of Shentonista's latest collaboration with The Business Times. It was a full-day affair as we hit the streets with the help of our models, sharply dressed in Ermenegildo Zegna, and set out to spread the word. We met with executives and entrepreneurs in and around the central business district, shared about the all-new Business Times, and spoke to them to find out how and why they do what they do.

First up was Alexis, who put us all in a good mood with her sense of humour and wit. We then met Yong, who gamely posed for his photos despite the increasing heat. Charmaine then charmed us with her easy-going personality, and had everyone cooing over her baby bump. Fiona caught our eye with her bright-coral top and ready smile, and Y.C. was all laid-back cool in his rugged denim look. Farah was poised and elegant as always, and the sweet Samantha was a breeze to shoot. We met Pat by the river, in her tailored navy-blue jacket, and had a good chat; up next was Samuel, whose friendly demeanour served as a timely pick-me-up for the crew. Rounding off the day was No'man, whose natty vest and boyish grin we spotted from afar. 

A Shentonista Project and UNIFORM Production.
supported by Ermenegildo Zegna

For a look at all the previous features from the campaign, click here.
To see what's new for The Business Times, visit here.
Read our Shentonista feature in The Business Times here.

Models: A.J., Dennis, Wilfred, Shin Woo

Hair by Rick Yang
Makeup by Raudha Raily Mahmud