It’s been another year of being out and about, and sharing stories from the people we’ve met—some of them new faces, others old friends—and once again, we’re capping the year off with another edition of Shentonista Of The Year. As always, we turned to you, our readers, to make the call for us, and you made your voices heard. We invited our winners to join us in the studio, where we caught up with them and got to learn so much more.
With almost 300 candidates to choose from, the competition was intense from the get-go. The fearlessly ambitious Samantha took the lead right out the gate, winning our People’s Choice for Shentonista Of The Year. Not to be outdone, Ping also finished strong, with his charming nature and mix of playful wit and steadfastness landing him among our top 20 finalists—a well-deserved win as our Team Choice winner, in our book. Of course, a big part of Shentonista is the friendships and community we’ve built up, and we were delighted to see this reflected by Therese, our Best Comment winner. When we saw her comment on her friend Vanessa’s photo, a sincere dedication to their friendship that left us all warm and fuzzy, we wanted to learn more about this person who was so full of heart.
Shentonista Of The Year is always an opportunity for us to look back on and celebrate all the interesting folks we’ve met over the past year. However, with this year’s shoot themed around nostalgia, we took the chance to delve back much further by asking our candidates to share with us childhood memories and mementos they hold dear. We were also pleasantly surprised to learn that each of our winners had a unique connection to the theme.
Ping was the first to join us on set, and as we caught up with him as he got ready, we learned he and his wife were expecting their first child, making it an apt time to look back on his own childhood. His outfit was playful yet polished, his personal style finely tuned from much experimentation in his adolescence. Despite coming in from a long day, his energy never let up, and the shoot breezed by as he went from posing for the camera to sharing about his childhood hobbies.
Samantha was next, and while she’d embarked on some life-changing turns in the year since we first met her, we were glad to see that she’d made it through with the same grace and a little more perspective. A lover of all things vintage, she appreciates the personal stories lying hidden in pre-loved items, and her retro-inspired ensemble added a dash of colour that stood out against the backdrop. As if we weren’t already charmed by her, she even whipped out her ukulele and serenaded us in between answering our questions.
Our last shoot was with Therese, who came in with more than enough enthusiasm to go round. Therese describes herself as a confetti bomb, and her outfit certainly reflected that with a riotous mix of colours and textures that gelled together. Therese brought us on a treasure hunt through her imagination, turning out her unassuming small bag onto the table to reveal a cornucopia of art materials, stickers, and zines. Her items weren’t simply for show either—she constructed a model of a birthday cake out of craft materials, quipping “Welcome to Art Attack”, which tickled us and momentarily transported us back to our own childhoods.
We had a great time with all our winners, and to Samantha, Ping, and Therese, thank you for being a part of this, and we hope you enjoy the gifts from all the awesome people we worked with. We’d also like to thank everyone who took part in our Shentonista Of The Year contest with your likes, shares, and comments, supporting your friends and complete strangers alike. Your support reminds us why we keep doing what we do. Thank you to all of you for coming along with us for the ride, and we hope to meet more of you, and to share your stories this year.