Meet the ZALORIANS whose street style get-ups have earned them their fashion credentials amongst the staff back in HQ. We ask the fashionistas why their go-to wardrobe staples are key when it comes to dressing down or glamming it up whatever the occasion and which brand gives them what they want.
Karisa Sukamto, Senior Public Relations Executive
You were crowned Miss Singapore — does this automatically make you a girly girl when it comes to your style?
Quite the opposite really. I tend to gravitate towards more casual, monochromatic get-ups. For some time my wardrobe was entirely black, grey and navy. My mother would always tell me to ‘dress more lady-like’ and wear more colour. I do try to dress a little ‘smarter’ now with floral prints making an occasional appearance, but I can’t help love my boyfriend-cut, super-hobo ripped jeans!
So you’re not totally adverse to colours or prints within your monochromatic wardrobe base?
No not at all, I always love pale pastels as they easily mixed-and-matched for everyday wear. When I’m feeling more whimsical, I tend to edge towards a subtle floral print. Earthy tones are also always nice. However during the evenings I often find myself resorting back to black — so for SS16 I’ll continue to stock design variations in this colour… or lack of colour for that matter.
You sound style-conscious! Would you now never wear the same outfit twice?
Not quite. But if I had access to the ZALORA warehouse, then maybe!
You’re wearing a shift dress today. How would you style the shift dress for the office?
The ZALORA office is pretty chilled out so either white sneakers or low heel booties depending on the vibe for the day! I pretty much wear the same staple accessories everyday — my chain necklace, bracelets and rings — so the way I’d update my shift dress look would be with a smarter shoe and a clutch.
Ettore Strapazzon, Business Development Manager
Is wearing a t-shirt with a blazer an alternative option for the smarter look?
Yes it is, for sure — depending on the style of the blazer of course. A smarter navy blazer on a plain coloured t-shirt can work well in different occasions, from everyday office to night events. I tend to stick to more monochromatic tones as they are easier to wear.
Why is the blazer your wardrobe staple?
There are several style situations where you can wear a blazer (or where you are required to wear one), so by having them in your wardrobe automatically covers a man for pretty much any occasion.
Which famous person best wears the blazer?
That’s a tough one so I’ll give you two. Daniel Craig as he’s James Bond and always looks super slick and for a more casual look then I look towards Robin Thicke for style inspiration.
How would style the blazer for a more casual look?
That’s easy. Jeans, white t-shirt and sneakers — you can’t go wrong!
You were on Asia’s Next Top Model as the ZALORA delivery guy. How do you dress to impress?
In general I think a white or blue casual shirt with a pair of dark jeans would be a versatile and fail-safe outfit choice for smart casual occasions.
Farhanah Mazlan, Fashion Coordinator
How do you take a jumpsuit from a day to night outfit?
I’m always in sneakers so usually if I intend to glam it up, I’ll pair my jumpsuit with a pair of heels and fancy earrings or layer it on with a blazer. Works all the time!
Your job means you are constantly on the go, especially while assisting on photoshoots. Does that have anything to do with why you love jumpsuits?
Definitely! I’m always moving about from the office, to shoot locations, to running around town for last minute shoot prep. The jumpsuit seems like the most flexible piece of fashion clothing as it’s a one piece outfit which makes life easy… except for when visiting the ladies!
You’re pretty tall… 1.7m! What brand do you look to for the perfect fit?
Usually, I’d get clothes from Topshop, River Island and Warehouse as they’re all from the UK, so they have a range of sizes for the petite and tall.
Which do you prefer, long-leg or short-leg jumpsuit?
For the office I definitely prefer the long-legged jumpsuits as they’re comfy enough during the day (and the air-con) but can also be easily dressed up for an evening look. I tend to keep my shorter jumpsuits for more casual occasions where I can wear them with sliders.
Chris Clarke, Regional Onsite Project Manager
What is your go to sneaker brand?
I have always been a Nike or New Balance person. They both have a diverse range of sneakers that cater for most of my needs whether it’ll be a more casual everyday sneaker or a good pair for the gym.
So what makes a good sneaker?
For me it needs to be able to match with a lot of different outfits and be used for different occasions. I like to be able to wear the same pair of sneakers, on the weekend, to the gym and even to go out.
What is the sneaker of 2016?
With the key focus on Athleisure for Summer 2016, I think any type of trainer will be a good investment. I personally will be looking for a new pair of Nike’s to add to my collection.
How do you keep you trainers looking clean and shiny?
Depends on the trainer — some are good with a spin in the washing machine, but others require a more loving approach like using a cloth and a nail scrubber which generally does the job. The key is to do a little often rather than wait till they are really dirty, otherwise you’ll never get them back to looking new.
Would you ever not wear sneakers to a particular event?
If I can get away with sneakers I usually would. But inevitably there are some events where sneakers are not allowed or if I feel like I need to dress a little smarter, for these kind of events or parties I would usually go for simple Black or Brown formal lace up shoes.
Allegra Lee, Womenswear Assistant Designer
Who do you think is the best high-street brand for shoes?
TOPSHOP is my go-to brand for shoes. Their designs are always on point but commercial enough for day-to-day wear. I find their footwear more comfortable compared to other brands too.
What kind of boot styles do you foresee taking the retail world by storm this season?
This season I’m favoring a boot with a chunkier, thicker heel. It’s a shoe that is very versatile and can completely transform a look whether it’s paired with a floaty maxi dress or leather pants & white shirt combo.
Nice, so what would you suggest wearing with a pair of ankle boots for a night out?
I would normally go casual with jeans for a night out, but a fluid feminine slip is nice as a contrast with boots for dressier days.
What piece of clothing have you designed recently that would work perfectly when paired with an ankle boot?
A white embroidered slip dress I’ve designed for June ’16 would go very well with ankle boots. It’ll be a nice juxtapose between the lightness of the dress with a more masculine boot.
Sounds dreamy, but how do you make ankle boots work for Summer?
Personally I find boots easy to wear no matter what the climate is. Boots are a wardrobe staple that can go well with anything from denim pants or giving an edge to summery outfits.
Phil Rowbottom, Womenswear Category Director
Why are denims your style staple?
I think if you invest in a good quality pair of jeans then they will last you way longer than a season and give you a lot more satisfaction than something you wear for a few weeks. Denim is a great fabric that can improve over time and I quite enjoy watching that happen.
Blue or Black jeans?
Blue every time.
What type of jean fit do you tend go for?
For me it depends on what shoes I want to wear. Generally I would wear regular straight fit but if you are wearing sneakers then maybe a slim-straight, equally if you have bigger boots then go for a bit more of a relaxed cut.
Great tips. What are your top three pairs of jeans on ZALORA?
Edwin is a great Japanese brand that we stock, we also sell Levis who have been making jeans for over 150 years so they know what it takes… finally if I was a bit younger then I would say TOPMAN does a great job of offering choice on fits and washes at sensible prices.
Men’s fashion is continuously growing will it ever be on par with the size of women’s fashion?
I don’t think so, definitely not in terms of how many items men buy compared to women. What we do see is that men are prepared to spend more on single items but less often and I think this is important — quality over quantity.
Fatiha Faulzi, Social Media Marketing Executive
Do you have any tips and tricks to style the hijab?
There’s no tips & tricks up my sleeves to be honest. I’m a fuss-free person. When I’m wearing something printed, I like to keep my scarf plain and simple and vice-versa. I still find myself searching for hijab tutorials on YouTube every now and then (usually when an occasion comes round that requires me to dress up). I always try to keep the usage of pins & needles to the very minimum.
What is your favourite brand for muslimwear?
I don’t have one particular brand I always go to, but ZALIA is doing an amazing job at catering to modest wear. I find myself buying a piece or two every month. Other than that, I still find myself shopping at River Island, MANGO and our ZALORA own brand.
What do you look at for outfit inspiration?
Hmmm… I’m inspired by a lot of things in my surroundings. Sometimes I see colleagues wearing something cute, and I’ll be thinking, “Hey, that looks good! How can I make it work for me?”. Then I’ll go on Instagram or Pinterest and find myself absorbed by everyone’s styling game.
What is your trick to staying cool in the hotter months?
Shopping (laughs) I’ve never really thought about how to change up my dressing according to our weather forecast. I always find myself layering but when I’m out in the sun I’ll drape my outerwear on my shoulders. However if I’m in the malls or in the office then my layering techniques become my best friend. Of course, I don’t wear anything knitted or have a leather jacket on, I’d melt.
What colours are you most drawn to this season?
Nudes. Believe it or not, I am drawn to Kim Kardashian’s fashion sense. She nails the nude look so well and I find myself wanting to try on that colour palette myself. It’s definitely a refreshing change for me as usually I’m drawn to anything colourful!
Bernard Kuah, Financial Planning Analyst
How do you style your shirts?
I usually match them with casual bermuda shorts for weekends, or with a clean, solid colour pullover for smarter occasions. I also like to keep my shirts single coloured and in contrast to the colour of the trousers and pullovers I’m wearing. It’s important to only have one piece of clothing patterned while the others are kept simple and clean.
Who is your go-to brand for shirts?
I don’t really have a particular favourite. I look at the cut and colour of the shirts depending on the season rather than going straight to one particular brand. I do however have a number of shirts from ZALORA’s inhouse brand as they continuously update and change their colours relevant to trends and seasons.
What are your favourite kind of shoes to wear with your shirts?
To be honest it really depends on the occasion and function. For a formal function I would lean towards a pair of loafers in a neutral colour. At the office where our dress code is relaxed, I would go for a pair of brightly coloured sneakers.
Why are shirts your key wardrobe staple?
They’re highly versatile and easy to wear whatever the occasion. If you choose the correct fabric, they really do work well in the hotter climate of Southeast Asia!
Who is your style inspiration?
I generally browse Korean pop culture because I find their colour sense creative and bold. It makes dressing up and looking good fun!