Tell us more about what you do for work, and how you got into it.
I currently handle visual merchandising for a Korean beauty and skincare company.
Before this, I used to do visual merchandising for retail stores, but then I moved on to doing events. After a while, I realised that I prefer working in visual merchandising, so I came back into the industry and took up an office-based position in my current company.
Has working in an office changed your style in any way?
Yes, actually. Outside of work, I dress according to my mood. Sometimes, I’ll get the urge to go the extra mile in styling my outfit (laughs), and sometimes, I don’t really bother about what I throw on. Some days I’m preppy, and some days I’m more punk, so I wouldn’t say that I have a fixed style to begin with.
Now that I have an office-based job though, I feel the need to dress a bit more appropriately—basically cannot anyhow. I also have visible tattoos, so I’ll try my best to cover it up at work. The company hasn’t explicitly said that I can’t reveal my tattoos, but I don’t feel comfortable having them exposed in a corporate setting, because there’s a certain image that I have to portray.
Some of my colleagues have caught glimpses of my tattoos though. They’ll be like “Oh, you got tattoos!”, and I’ll be like “Oh shit!” (laughs).
What do your tattoos mean to you?
I think it’s a very personal expression of yourself, because you get to choose each design. For me, each tattoo represents a specific phase in my life, especially since I like to get tattoos when I travel because it’s cheaper a lot of the time. For instance, when I was in Greece, I got an olive branch tattooed.
Getting tattoos in Singapore is super overpriced! I mean, I understand that local artists need to pay rent as well, so I’m not complaining about their prices—I would just rather get tattooed overseas.
Another reason why is that I feel like the process is a lot more flexible abroad. I’m usually overseas for holidays, so I’ll be in that holiday mood and will just walk into any studio to get something impromptu. In Singapore, this is a little more difficult because many tattoo artists are very organised with their time, so I typically have to book a slot in advance, which isn’t as impromptu.
What’s the most painful or longest tattoo session that you’ve had?
It was the one that I did in Singapore. My friends and I gifted a friend of ours a tattoo session for her birthday, so we all went down to the studio with her and was watching her get it. Then I got itchy fingers, so I got an apprentice at the studio to tattoo me on the spot.
That session was super long, maybe three to four hours, and the tattoo wasn’t even that big! It ended up only being about 5-8cm. I did a really big piece in Bangkok previously, and the artist only took about two hours max to complete it.
Going back to fashion, what are you most inspired by?
Japanese fashion inspires me a lot. You know how in Japan, there are lots of different styles, like Harajuku girls, the Comme des Garçons people, or the city boy look? Yeah, fashion there is really mixed and diverse, which I really like.
It’s also really expressive, and people there dress a lot more freely, and are more open to wacky styles. If a guy wears a skirt in Japan, people wouldn’t think much of it, but in Singapore, he would get so many stares and comments.