From The Straits Times    |

This year, Singapore marks 52 years of independence. What better way to commemorate the occasion than to celebrate the strength, tenacity and diversity of our very own “Daughters of Singapore”? Homegrown jewellery brand Risis, known for its gold-plated orchid creations, has gathered six feisty, independent women to showcase its statement-making Orchid Rhapsody collection – lensed by another local talent, rising photographer Sharon Leisinger.

These women are leading the charge in the arts, as well as creative and media industries. Though each represents a difference success story, they are united in their work ethic, passion and drive to succeed. There’s what you should know about them, and their hopes for the future of our creative scene.

A mother, musician, entrepreneur and one of Singapore’s most stylish women, Aarika shares her take on how things are looking for the music scene in Singapore. “We’ve come such a long way, and I think the next generation of musicians coming up are going to do great things. They are incredibly prolific and resourceful. I hope they continue to dream big, work hard, support each other and keep the spirit of collaboration going.”

In 2012 this former magazine stylist spied a gap in the market for modest fashion and stylish hijabs. This led her to create her eponymous company, which specialises in easy-to-wear hijabs for all occasions.

“I hope to see a more inclusive fashion scene that brings people from all cultures together to create a melting pot of ideas, styles and art. Just like how Singapore is for everyone,” she says.

Travel journalist Anita has been a familiar face on our TV screens for years, working across channels like Discovery, TLC and Channel NewsAsia. She’s eager to see the media here evolving.

She shares: “I hope that Singapore will have a media landscape that is filled with smarter opinions, richer content, deeper thought provocation, clarity and openness. I also wish to see a return to core journalism.”

She co-founded branding and marketing agency Elementary Co four years ago, which has since taken on projects like the shiny new Philippe Starck hotel, The South Beach.

She says: “I’m hoping that Singapore continues to blaze its own trail, and that the creative minds here will strive towards carving out their own identity, instead of feeling the need to replicate what is globally accepted or popular. I also hope the support they receive on home ground will continue to grow, and that there will be a deeper appreciation of our local talents.”

Her background as a DJ, a fashion designer and musician feeds her day job as programme leader for the Diploma in Fashion at Lasalle College of the Arts. This mother-of-one is passionate about education, but she’s not obsessed with box-ticking or exam success.

In her own words: “I hope that, in the future, we can focus more on the process of learning than the results,” she says.

This tastemaker and influencer has travelled to all the major Fashion Weeks, spreading her style know-how to her nearly 60,000 Instagram followers from around the world.

She says: “I hope for the social media scene to become more friendly and supportive. A lot of users can get pretty nasty while they hide behind the protection of their screens, and it paves the way for bullying to happen more frequently. I would like my future kids to be able to grow up in a healthy social media environment, where it’s all about sharing and spreading positive vibes.

Each necklace from Risis’ fourpiece Orchid Rhapsody collection is made of real orchid blooms from the Renantanda family, which is native to South-east Asia. Blooms are selected for their unique shapes, and carefully plated in rose gold, palladium and 24K gold. Click here for more information, and follow on Facebook at and Instagram at