Tuesday, July 19, 2011

KERSIE KOH: Exclusive Interview


Role in Clozette: Creative Director & Co-Founder
City: Singapore

FASHION STUDIO: When did you start your portal and what was your inspiration? 

KERSIE: I was very fortunate to be part of the Internet phenomenon when it exploded in Asia about 15 years ago. Sometimes it still amazes me how the Internet has changed my life; photography is a hobby of mine, and social media sites like Facebook allowed me to share my photos with everyone online, escape from the daily stresses and connect with friends and family despite scheduling challenges and distance.

Kersie Koh
In the recent years, I’ve been able to indulge in my passion for fashion through the multiple available online platforms devoted to style. 

While the idea for Clozette actually crystalised over dinner with a bunch of friends/ex-colleagues, I had always wanted to work on something that married my love for fashion and the online world. When iPhone applications caught on in Singapore, it spurred me to look into a closet phone application that would allow women to catalogue their wardrobe pieces for easy reference and styling.

Three years on, and after a lot of time devoted to research, I’m very pleased with how I’ve managed to harness my interests and launch Clozette with both an online and mobile platform (iPhone and Samsung Android). 

FASHION STUDIO: How does it work and what can we find there? 

KERSIE: Clozette is a fashion social network for women with an obsession (healthy of course!) for fashion and an opinion on style. We are essentially a visual and image driven community, that also incorporates user generated content and opinions with the aim to virally influence others in the virtual space. 

Key features of the site include a:
  • Virtual mix & match styling tool 
  • Online closet where members can organise pictures of their fashion items 
  • Bazaar for members to purchase or sell their items in an online marketplace 

In addition to all these exciting components, we want to encourage stylish individuals to socialise by sharing their shopping finds or dream-desired items; connect with like-minded women who have similar tastes and styles; and even uncover unique fashion gems at the ‘Shoppe’, where the Clozette team curates fashion from up and coming designers in Asia and Australia. 

FASHION STUDIO: How did you become interested in fashion?

KERSIE: It really is quite clichéd, but my curiosity was piqued when I first started watching Sex and the City. Carrie’s wild and adventurous fashion choices were so unconventional and refreshing for someone growing up in Singapore, where most women stick to the comfortable and safe (denim and tank tops). Eventually, the Internet made it accessible to continue pursuing my interests because it opened the doors to so many different individual styles globally. It’s hard not to be a voyeur in this day and age, with so many fashion bloggers and personal online wardrobes. 

FASHION STUDIO: What do you consider your biggest achievement so far?

KERSIE: I would have to say that taking a leap of faith to invest my life’s savings into establishing Clozette instead of choosing to go back to another corporate job! 

Being able to work with clients to design social engagement campaigns that are unlike any advertising campaigns out there, in particular with Clozette being just five months out of its beta stage, is definitely a proud moment. It proved that we were on the right track with Clozette – providing a new way for consumers to interact with products and develop a relationship. 

FASHION STUDIO: How would you define fashion?

KERSIE: Fashion for me is not the latest trends or runways looks. It is the unique, unexplainable presence that cannot be defined by an item of clothing or a singular look; but encompasses the confidence and poise that an individual emanates… that ‘je ne se qua’!

Have that and fashion comes naturally, complements your personality, gives you that swing in your waist and joy in your feet! 

FASHION STUDIO: What are your favourite items in your wardrobe? 

KERSIE: Dresses, jeans, well made tops, my rings… and recently, bags. 

FASHION STUDIO: Who is your fashion icon?

KERSIE: Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City has made fashion fun for me… and I’m sure everyone would agree that Patricia Field really reinvented fashion for women worldwide. 

FASHION STUDIO: Your favourite supermodel…

KERSIE: Miranda Kerr.

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe fashion scene and street style in Singapore?

KERSIE: Unfortunately, the weather in Singapore can be quite limiting – one season all year round! Having said that, I think our style can be defined as ‘careless chic comfort’. Singaporean women wear a lot of shorts (tailored, denim or casual), loose billowy tops, maxi skirts and dresses. 

FASHION STUDIO: Which fashion trends are most popular at the moment?

KERSIE: Shift dresses, maxi skirts and colour blocking – all perfectly suited and adaptable for the Singapore climate. 

FASHION STUDIO: Who is your favourite local designer and why?

KERSIE: Pauline Ning in Singapore.

Pauline’s pieces are very sensual and chic, with just the right touch of edginess for the modern woman. The cut of her clothes flatter the body, and require little effort to put together in and outfit or incorporate into one’s wardrobe. 

FASHION STUDIO: What is the most stylish place in Singapore?

KERSIE: Ann Siang Hill and The Butter Factory.

FASHION STUDIO: Best shopping spots in the city…

KERSIE: Haji Lane, Ann Siang Hill, Parco next NEXT, ION Orchard.

FASHION STUDIO: If you could choose one place to travel to right now, where would it be? 

KERSIE: New York! I’ve only spent five hours there once before. 

FASHION STUDIO: What are your future plans? Where do you see Clozette in a couple of year’s time? 

KERSIE: I’m pretty focused on Clozette at the moment, and will work on establishing it as Asia’s most vibrant community of fashion tastemakers that provides unprecedented insights into consumers’ preferences and trends in the world of fashion & style.

FASHION STUDIO: Thank you for your time and we wish you further success in developing Clozette!

By Eva Fydrych
Photos courtesy of Clozette

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