From Singapore and around the region, these highly influential girls and their style stand out from the Insta crowd.
WHY WE LOVE HER: Esther’s fun and fabulous wardrobe is proof that a closet filled with prints, patterns and colours can make us feel and look so much cooler than before.
If you’re a fan of street style, chances are, you would have come across photos of Esther online. The former editor was a regular face on the fashion week circuit, recognisable for her traffic-stopping bleached mohawk and her all-eyes-on-me outfits.
As one of the best-dressed women in town, Esther epitomises the dressing philosophy of go big or go home. Rarely seen in head-to-toe black (“I only wear all black when I’m in a bad mood”), she’s known for her fabulously colourful or print-on-print outfits.
Clearly, Esther’s not one to shy away from bold choices, and that extends to her innate accessorising skills. She loves to add camp by opting for dramatic earrings. Tassels, dangles, chandeliers… you name it, she’s probably worn it.
Outside of fashion, Esther also enjoys food and fitness – she loves to prepare healthy meals for her family and close friends. Earlier this year, she experimented and made her own bottled sambal from scratch and gave them to her friends. It was so well received that others started sending her enquiries. Today, she’s a full fledged entrepreneur, marketing her Simply Chilli brand, an all natural and keto-friendly homemade chilli sauce.
Fans of her chilli sauce can look forward to more offerings in 2021. “We’ll be launching new spiced products every month,” she shares. On top of that, she wants to raise awareness on a zero-waste lifestyle through her business. “Our delivery team collects all of our customers’ used jars for recycling,” she proudly shares. A made-in-SG brand with a good cause? Consider us sold.
WHY WE LOVE HER: The level of confidence, charm and cuteness that Coco exhibits in her photos is through the roof, and we’re absolutely smitten.
Arguably the coolest and most popular ten-year-old in Japan – scratch that, make it the world! – Coco is one of the youngest street-style stars on the www right now. Her family first set up her Instagram account in 2015, sharing snippets of Coco’s everyday life, before it evolved into a showcase of Coco’s double-tap-worthy outfits. Since then, she’s racked up a whopping 632,000 followers and counting.
Coco’s exposure to fashion started early when her parents opened a fashion boutique named Funktique in Harajuku, specialising in vintage women’s clothing and accessories. There, Coco grew up surrounded by the stylish set that Harajuku is famous for, sparking her interest in fashion.
Easily recognisable by her signature bob and statement sunglasses, Coco is unlike any typical girl of her age when it comes to dressing up. In fact, she is an adventurous dresser whose closet is filled with designer clothes from well-known brands.
Not only has she won over the hearts of her followers on Instagram, she’s also captivated countless brands, earning her fashion partnerships along the way. Last year, she fronted the campaign photos of hip eyewear label Gentle Monster promoting its debut kids collection.
2021 looks to be a big year for Coco as she is set to make her big screen debut in director Ryohei Watanabe’s new flick Aishu Cinderella.
“It’s her first time acting in a movie and she’s one of the main characters alongside other adult actors,” her mum Misato explains. Aishu Cinderella will be released in February 2021 in Japan.
@yayazahir, Kuala Lumpur
WHY WE LOVE HER: A successful multi-hyphenate with impeccable style, Yaya leads the way among young females, showing us that women can have it all.
Malaysian television host Yaya wears multiple hats. Other than her hosting job, the trendy 29-year-old is also the founder of Asly, a label with a focus on unisex streetwear designs. The brand was inspired by her trip to Seoul in 2016.
“Back then, the oversized trend wasn’t that popular yet, so my husband and I had this idea to establish this [in Malaysia],” she shares.
Her fashion business grew rapidly and, earlier this year, she opened her first Asly flagship store in Kuala Lumpur. And that’s just a starting point, as Yaya hopes for her brand to go global in future, following in the footsteps of fellow Malaysian designers Han Chong of Self-Portrait and Jenn Low of Wanderlust + Co, who are now based abroad.
“I aspire to be like them,” she says. “When I travelled for work, I met founders of brands such as Urban Decay and Kiehl’s… if I work harder, and I genuinely love what I do, I can be as big as those brands.”
Besides wearing her own designs, Yaya is often spotted in cool and casual outfits that mix different prints and patterns without looking OTT.
Fashion isn’t the only thing that Yaya is obsessed with. A year after setting up Asly, she was approached by a company to start a beauty brand. This led to her launching makeup line Asly Beauty in 2019, which aims to “create a fearless and kind community by celebrating uniqueness and perfect imperfections” – and that’s exactly what we need now.
WHY WE LOVE HER: Hessy’s can-do spirit, as well as her belief that all women should support, empower and lift one another up, inspire us to do the same for our society.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be an editor? You can head over to Hessy’s IG Stories to catch real-life snapshots of her daily activities heading fashion and lifestyle online news platform called The Editors Club. Previously, Hessy led the editorial teams at a few international fashion titles in Indonesia, jet-setting between fashion capitals, and getting up close and personal with designers and celebrities all over the world.
After 15 years in the media and fashion industry, Hessy set up the website in 2017. As its name suggests, The Editors Club is an online platform that brings together some of the best and most experienced editors, stylists, beauty experts and influencers in Indonesia and South-east Asia who share their insider’s take on the latest fashion trends, as well as all the exciting happenings in the luxury, lifestyle and beauty industries.
Hessy, who always looks effortlessly chic, counts Jonathan Anderson and Phoebe Philo as some of her favourite designers. “I love quality and comfort,” she says. “And I prefer a look that doesn’t reveal too much skin.”
In the coming year, she’s looking forward to growing the Club and influencing her followers positively. “We want to inspire more women and let them know that they have the power to become leaders in their own lives.”
WHY WE LOVE HER: Her tongue-in-cheek humour, coupled with her “Keep it real, gurl!” personality, make it impossible for us not to fall in love with her.
Fashion and humour aren’t usually two words that you’d link together; there’s no room to goof around in fashion. Not until you meet Molly Chiang. The Taiwanese Instagram influencer’s smile and laughter are just as distinctive as her impeccable dressing. Her sexy and sassy personality exudes next-level kind of confidence, and her jovial personality will make you fall in love with her instantaneously. Just look at her highly amusing Instagram content that garners hundreds of thousands of likes from all over the world.
Growing up, Molly wanted to be a celebrity. She had her first taste of showbiz by joining a Taiwanese variety programme. Subsequently, she turned her focus to social media, transitioning into a fashion influencer. In her early IG days, she had to knock on many fashion brands’ doors to look for opportunities to attend their runway shows. But her funny posts and ballsy persona made her stand out, and her follower numbers skyrocketed.
Her feed offers a no-holds-barred look at how fashion can be funny. One moment she’s wearing the latest runway looks and posing like a pro, and the next, she plays an overdramatised character in a video. It’s this natural ability to switch from serious to silly that makes her relatable.
To date, Molly has worked with some of the most renowned brands in fashion and beauty, including Max Mara, Nike, La Mer and Bobbi Brown, to name a few.
WHY WE LOVE HER: With many years of experience in the fashion industry, this PR pro lives and breathes fashion and she’s truly passionate about it.
Having worked as a public relations specialist in the fashion industry for over 10 years now, Prasana has always loved fashion. She describes her style as “a bit masculine, infused with some street influence, and a slight feminine accent”. These days, however, she prefers to wear black from head to toe.
“There might be an odd occasion where I’ll wear a pop of colour, but for now, it’s all about black. It’s just my mood,” she adds.
Perhaps that’s a way of reflecting how the pandemic has upended her personal life. Prasana, who was sales and public relations director at Australian fashion label Maticevski, relocated from Australia to the Philippines in 2016 when her husband got a job offer. She’s now back in Australia with her family, something that she didn’t anticipate.
“Because of Covid-19, I was forced to move back to Australia, which wasn’t my plan, as I had projects lined up in the Philippines,” she shares.
“Nonetheless, I’m going to keep an open mind for 2021, and take each moment as it comes. I’m excited to be back home, and I’m glad to catch up on all the latest happenings with the local designers.”
In August, Prasana fronted a campaign for popular Australian activewear label P.E Nation, one of her go-to fashion brands.
“The designs speak to girls who are always on the go, with little time to spare, because they can wear them to the gym and continue running errands in them after their workouts,” she says.
Her other favourites: “Magda Butrym, because the clothes have the perfect balance of structure and femininity; Jacquemus’ designs make you feel like you’re on a sexy getaway, even if you’re on a grocery run; and Maticevski – I’ll always be a Maticevski girl deep down. The man is a genius!”
@justinelee425, Hong Kong
WHY WE LOVE HER: We’re envious of her great taste in fashion and how she pulls off any designer piece with great finesse. We’d love to raid her lust-worthy closet too!
Justine describes her personal style as “never too complicated”, and she looks undeniably fashionable in just about anything. From a simple white T-shirt and jeans combo to an animal print dress, there’s always an element of ease in each of her ensembles, and her stylish OOTDs often trigger the shutters of street-style photographers at the major fashion weeks in Milan, London, New York and Paris.
Last year, she left her cushy job as fashion director of a Hong Kong glossy to focus on her own fashion styling and consulting business. And she plans to grow her personal brand.
“It’s important to be flexible and open to various job opportunities,” she says. “I started taking on some personal styling clients, and I’d also like to build my consulting portfolio by working more closely with brands that need styling advice or have an interest in expanding into Hong Kong.”
With Instagram continuing to be an essential medium for sharing all the things happening across the globe, Justine hopes to have a positive influence on her followers. “People come to your platform to learn about you, so being open and honest is crucial,” she explains. “I think it’s also important to stand behind the causes that feel personal to you, [especially when] there’s a lot of fake news out there!”
This article first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Her World.