You’ve met the style insiders and you’ve had a look around ZALORA HQ, now meet a handful of our fashion gurus as we ask them about this season’s trendiest and affordable work to weekend wear which makes their fashion insides twitch. Plus they unveil their style tricks and hidden secrets that are a rite of passage in the world of ZALORA.
Amanda Tan — Fashion Stylist
Who is your dream person to dress?
I would love to dress Rihanna! And Britney Spears just because I love her.
As a stylist at ZALORA what are your fashion no-no’s?
The first thing that comes to mind are Croc shoes, which are downright ugly and can’t be paired with anything. Another fashion no-no would be teeny tiny shorts, the ones which leave half your butt cheek hanging out. Unless you have a butt like Candice Swanepoel, please spare a thought for the public. Oh, and leggings — they are not pants.
Wow they all sound like valid no-nos! So what piece of clothing are you currently obsessing over?
Pullovers! I’m all about dressing comfortably; throwing on whatever’s fuss free in the morning. Also, you can dress it up or down and it’s a great layering piece.
Describe your day
When I’m not on a shoot my day is a little more settled:
10am — 1030am: Reach office, make myself a cup of hot chocolate or coffee (whichever I feel like on that day), catch up with colleagues on what they did over the weekends/day before and then check my emails.
11am — 1pm: Read up on trends, liaise with our in-house designers/buyers regarding upcoming shoots, work out the budget sheet.
1pm — 2pm: Lunch!
2pm — 7pm: Work on shoot decks for upcoming shoots, plan logistics (hair, makeup artists, photographers, location etc), order items from the warehouse, share with teams the editorial images from previous shoots, cast models, source for props, settle invoices, pack clothes from previous shoots, reply to more emails etc. Basically whatever I need to do!
Alessio Romeni — Senior Planner
What is your job role?
I am the Senior Planner for ZALORA’s Private Label. I basically take care of anything number related to our private label; merchandise planning to campaigns/discounts, finance, pricing, and data analysis.
Did you always want to work in the world of fashion?
Honestly…no! I dreamt of becoming a professional sports player but then reality hit so I went to university and studied economics. After an internship in New York, I dabbled with a few ideas but then ZALORA happened — a bit by chance — the idea of working within the fashion industry, with a team that designed collections in-house made me super curious so I started as soon as I could. I still get very excited about working for ZALORA even after two years. I’m not going to stay in fashion forever, but it’s fun, fast-paced and dynamic enough that I’m learning like never before. The fact we are creating an in-house label which is selling at par with international and affirmed brands is fantastic, online shopping has only really just begun (with still less than 1% of the total industry) so there is still so much more to come.
You work in a fashion company and are surrounded by designers and buyers — has it influenced your wardrobe choices/do you feel pressured to dress up?
No, I’m Italian c’mon it’s in my blood to be stylish, my set of (30 plus) shirts are unbeatable!! (winks) Good quality shirts are a must but occasionally I’ll be a little more casual at work but then the girls on my team give me a hard time about even the smallest of details so I can’t win! I do occasionally listen to the girls in the office and experiment a little with my style but my shirts are my shirts — don’t mess!
So you work with a mainly female team… how is that?
(Laughs) Better more women than more men. It just turned out like that, I just keep away from those who are having a ‘bad day’ and I’m ok! Gender doesn’t matter, we’re all working towards the same goals, we all want to create the best international affordable fashion brand we can. My team are awesome and are such a varied mix of ladies, they get stuff done and have fun… they accepted me even if I am “ang mo” and male.
What’s your go-to brand on ZALORA?
Our own label of course! ZALORA first choice, 24:01 second. I have bought a few pieces from other brands but they’re not the same. Directly following the evolution of a product from the very conceptualisation right through to finding it nicely packed, ready to be worn is pretty amazing… it’s something that didn’t exist 2–3 months earlier.
Genevieve Rogers — Fashion Editor
What is your job role?
I am the Fashion Editor at ZALORA Magazine, in charge of writing and producing magazine content with the help of our fantastic graphic designers and talented fashion stylists.
What are your Summer ’16 picks?
My picks for this summer are a pair of pointy sliders similar to the Gucci loafers, a ’90s slip dress in black and a pair of over-the-top extravagant sunnies which will jazz up my casual day looks.
What’s your earliest fashion outfit memory?
When I was tiny I used to have a pair of Minnie Mouse printed leggings, they were literally the best thing in my wardrobe. I’d wear them with LED flashing trainers and a fisherman knitted jumper — such a ’90s kid.
Describe your day
9am: Arrive in the office where I make a cup of tea and browse fashion news, world news and my emails.
11am: Depending on the day I normally have a meeting or two with various colleagues to discuss the articles which need to go onto the magazine
1pm: Lunch which generally consists of salad or sandwich from the bakery around the corner from the office.
2pm: Back to work! I could be either planning, writing or editing articles for the month to come.
6.30pm: I like to escape the office early and catch the last rays of lights by doing something outdoors whether it’s running, yoga or catching up with friends for a drink.
Patrick Steinbrenner — Marketing Director
What is your job role?
I am the Marketing Director which basically means that day-to-day I’m looking after the merchandising of content, campaigns, and products on the website and our app. We do our best to show you the most relevant trends, newest products, and greatest fashion steals every day.
How and when did you start working for ZALORA?
I started as an intern in early 2012! It was quite crazy back then — when we started growing exponentially we didn’t even have enough chairs to sit on! We worked very hard as a team to built a great company over the past 4 years and I am very proud of what we have accomplished. I recommend having a look at our career page — we are always looking for the next great team member!
With your busy schedule, how do you get ready in the mornings fast while still looking so dapper?
Haha that’s flattering! I try to keep my wardrobe narrow which limits the choices I have to make. An oxford shirt in blue or white and dark chinos with a casual loafer normally does the trick.
Which brands do you look to when you’re updating your wardrobe?
For the office I like a number of British brands which offer semi-casual styles like Burton Menswear and River Island (as you can imagine we are not so strict on the dress code in the office). For more casual occasions I am a big fan of Nike, my Ray-Bans, and long sleeve types of shirts by for example Mango Man. Fossil has great watches which work in the office or elsewhere. Obviously I have a lot stuff from our ZALORA in-house label — especially the shirts, they have a great fit and cover a wide range of styles for any occasion and I definitely recommend checking them out.
Farah Suhaila Manaf — Regional Buyer for Womenswear
What is your job role?
I’m a Regional Buyer for womenswear. This means that I pick the designs which I know (based on past performances and analysis) will be bestsellers and pieces which shoppers will want to buy! I also work with suppliers and designers very closely on a daily basis to ensure that we also supply the best product package when it comes to the design and price.
What are your key items for Spring ’16?
My favorite key item for Spring ’16 would definitely be flared pants! I think they’re fun and cute when paired with micro tops (go adventurous with the colors!) I also can’t live without split maxi skirts — they are definitely a wardrobe must-have. Soft pink and nudes are the go-to colors this season. Bohemian pattern-blocked prints and florals are also key prints for the season and perfect for those beach days.
Have you had any fashion mishaps?
It’s always fun to explore different trends and styles but generally I think I do okay… I hope!
Aaron Ting — Campaign Manager
What is your job role?
I am a Campaign Manager for the newly launched ZALORA Taiwan. Generally I take care of any Taiwan related Marketing Campaigns, from generating content ideas to realising them, we strive to bring the best fashion deals and shopping experience to our beloved customers.
Has working at ZALORA made you very fashion conscious?
Definitely! I wasn’t very fashion conscious at all and perhaps even a little ‘nerdy’ before joining ZALORA. Now I tend to be more brand and style conscious! My job involves me exploring the wide assortment of new styles on ZALORA on a daily basis, so it has inevitably left a mark on my style and outfit choices — these changes are only for the better I’m sure! The ZALORA Magazine is also a great source of style inspiration.
What does your favourite smart-casual weekend get-up look like?
I tend to have an unofficial weekend uniform which consists of a well cut pair of skinny chinos normally from Topman or Burton and a lighter coloured tee. If I’m heading out in the evenings then I’ll throw on a stylish bomber, my go-to one at the moment is from River Island.
How do you unwind on the weekends?
I really enjoy travelling especially when we have a long weekend whether it be with friends or on my own, there’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new country. If I’m in Singapore then hanging out with my friends, going to the gym and eating good food is usually what takes up most of my weekend.
Vicole Lang — Fashion Designer
What are your Summer 16 picks?
The masculine blazer is a top must-have item for SS16. You can wear it with column dresses or shorts for an easier look. There are three important dresses for SS16 — the slip, the column and the romantic. A simple column dress is a must have — it’s the key for the relaxed modern trend and can be worn alone or with a bomber jacket and thick strap sandals for a Sport Luxe look. The slip dress is so important this season that one is not enough. You can have a simple solid colour or go with something that has lace trimmings, sheer panelling or a soft print. The romantic dress is a definite trend item this season. Dresses that have more of a wave than ruffles are really flattering and simple for days when I’m more in touch with my feminine side.
If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?
Grey stonewashed jeans, Dr. Martens high cut classic boots, a basic silk cami top, and my lamb leather jacket. I definitely need jeans that I can live in, boots I can run in and last a lifetime, a lightweight airy basic top that will be cool and airy in our scorching weather but still a little dressy, and a jacket for the cooler rainy season.
Who is your favourite designer of all-time?
The late Mr Alexander McQueen. He was a huge inspiration for my when I was just exposed to the work of fashion. He had brilliant creativity and was able to balance the roles and expectations of designer and artist — he created wearable art in couture and creative designer apparel for the mass in ready-to-wear collections.
Describe your day.
10am: Mornings usually start slow with a cup of hot chocolate as breakfast and surfing trend sites, looking at new trend reports, new designer collections and reading fashion news.
11am: This is when we start planning for mini meetings of the day with designers and buyers.
12noon: I start the first mini meeting of the day with my design team to discuss trends and concepts, slotting them in for different drops for the season and brainstorming new ideas or items we want to introduce.
1pm: Lunch time with the team is always fun, gossipy and full of laughter.
2pm: Fittings start after lunch as they are the best solution to the inevitable food coma. All the designers and merchandisers are on their feet for these. Lots of pins, masking tape and markers are involved. Fittings always seem to be like a problem solving session.
4pm: This is usually the time for a dry meeting about sku counts, numbers, planning etc. On other days, this will be a rather therapeutic session for me where I work on sketches or tech packs.
6pm: The last hour of the day is usually the busiest where I need to meet with the designers or merchandisers to wrap up decisions made during the day.
7pm: End of my working day though I am always taking pictures, or having random ideas even on my way home or whilst shopping. Inspiration is everywhere — strangers on the streets, in every shop I go to, advertisements on the walls.
Terence Chiam — Junior Art Director
What is your job role?
I am the Junior Art Director. As a Junior Art Director, my work involves managing the designers on their daily online visuals. I also work closely with the marketing team on the creative aspect of each campaign.
How did you get into graphic design?
Who knew that what seemed to be one of those regular disciplines taught in design school would get me exposed to a creative world far greater than I had expected. There followed years of learning, direction, preparation and creative thinking. Through exploring new directions, I discovered I had a knack and talent for graphic and design.
As an Art Director, does your design work also influence your dress sense?
Yes. Working in the fashion industry has its perks. Being a Junior Art Director at ZALORA, I am exposed to different cultures, styles and imageries. Drawing inspirations from my work whilst injecting individual personality, taste and style defines my essentials.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
It never gets boring. Creative exploration is one of the benefits of this industry. I get to put myself out there and do things differently. I get to work with inspiring and interesting people to find original ideas and creative solutions.
Who’s your style icon, and where do you go to for style inspiration?
Yohji Yamamoto. I am always inspired by his artistic integrity over everything else. He is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing and creating designs that are powerful, provoking and far ahead from current trends. His ability to inject different forms of art into fashion is highly admirable.