Diving for Pearls


Proenza Schouler

I was born in the Philippines, but I’ve lived in many places around the world.
I’ve lived in Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, London, and New York, and now I’m a Singaporean PR.

Which has been your favourite place to live in?
It’s hard to say, but as an adult my favourite has to be New York, because that was the first place where I had my own life, an apartment, and a job.

Share with us an interesting encounter you’ve had:
I’m also a photographer and a model, and once when I was visiting Singapore someone recognised me on the bus, but they called out to me by my Instagram handle. I was still living in New York at the time, so that was a little strange that someone would recognise me all the way here!

What’s a place you’d like to travel to?
Recently I’ve been wanting to travel to Laos. It’s culturally similar to Thailand and Vietnam, but it’s much less popular with tourists, and I’d like to see it before it gets overtaken by backpackers. I’d also like to explore more of Spain.

You also read a lot—is there a book you wish you’d written?
It’s a controversial choice, but I’d say Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. I think it’s one of the best works ever, and a great example of unreliable narration.

What about art—are there any artists whose work you really like?
Yes—even though I have a boring day job, I still identify as a creative person. I like the work of photographers like Nan Goldin, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and there are some great local photographers who put their work up on Instagram like zalindrome, and uuanjie.

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