Meet Our Style Insiders
DIONE SONG, MARKETING DIRECTOR
With a one-of-a-kind love for androgynous, relaxed cuts in a monochrome colour palette, Dione Song’s style is hard to miss and and she is undoubtedly one of the most uniquely stylish employees here at ZALORA. Her daily outfit consists of clever layers of textures in black or white and longline silhouettes, which she finishes off with a pair of masculine brogues, a structured satchel and minimalist jewellery. We speak to ZALORA’s youngest Marketing Director and find out her secrets to being effortlessly cool.
Hello Dione. Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Hi, I’m Dione and I lead the Singapore marketing team which includes Campaigns, Partnerships, CRM, PR & Social Media amongst others.
We’re bewildered. You’re always early in the office and the last to leave — with such a crazy schedule how do you get ready in the morning quickly while still looking stylish and presentable enough for the boardroom?
I keep my hair slightly tousled and wear minimal make-up, both of which take little or no time at all. Plus I have my ‘work uniform’ consisting of pieces I typically pair together so I don’t need to spend time in the morning contemplating what to wear.
So your personal style is pretty minimal. Describe it in just 3 words.
Androgynous. Unstructured. Minimalist.
Why do you like monochrome so much? Will colour be an eternal wardrobe no-no for you?
Well, black is technically a colour in its own right. But quite honestly, colours scare me a little and I personally find it a lot more intimidating and challenging to wear so I gave up trying the moment I turned 20. I secretly envy those who are able to pull colour off with so much confidence!
What are your style “security blankets” — anything you don’t leave home without?
My septum ring. And the 2 rings that I always wear — one’s a gift and the other’s part of a couple ring set (doesn’t look as cheesy as it sounds!).
Describe working at ZALORA in 3 words.
Full of surprises.
Hahaha that’s a good one. Any exciting, upcoming projects in the pipeline?
Yes, definitely, you’ll probably see Zalora being part of Singapore fashion week again this year which is pretty exciting. There will be more innovative projects to come like our recent click-and-mortar stores and modest stores! The rest are pretty much top secret so….stay tuned!
Speaking of that, any favourite brands to shop on ZALORA.COM?
Our in-house ZALORA label of course. In fact, I’m wearing a two-piece pantsuit from ZALORA today and i love its versatility because you can wear them separately or apart. The blazer can be worn with cropped denims, and the trousers can also be paired with an oversized tee and sneakers. I tend to typically gravitate towards the high street brands like Topshop and Topman (I’m pretty gender-neutral when it comes to fashion).
Who is your style icon and why?
No particular style icon but I love St. Vincent / Annie Clark. She has an incredibly unique personal style and her videos and onstage performances are amazing works of art where you see her blending fashion with music beautifully together. She’s experimental but always very tasteful, something you don’t see too much of in an industry where everyone’s just trying to stand out.
ELEONORA VIOLA, HEAD OF WOMENSWEAR
As the Head of Womenswear for ZALORA’s Private Label, Eleonora Viola manages a team of designers to create the collections that you will be able to shop from on ZALORA.COM. Part grunge part goth, she’s never seen in anything else but black and her trademark septum ring. We’re all excited for what’s to come for our in-house private label in 2016, and we find out who Ele’s style icons and influences are.
Hi Eleonora! What’s your job role at ZALORA?
Hi! I’m the head of design for ZALORA’s private label.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?
Do or do not. There is no try. Never stop learning and finding way of improvement — fashion is a constant evolution.
Describe working at ZALORA in 3 words.
Passionate, intense, fun.
As a fashion designer yourself, we would love to know who your personal favourite fashion designers are.
I’m in love with Vetements because they are totally exceeding the boundaries of style. Korean label ALAND is also brilliant and i was so glad when they came onboard ZALORA — i’m obsessed with Korean fashion. TOPSHOP is also a great go-to shop for everyday pieces.
What’s your signature style?
Pretty easy: everyday I wear black. I also love mixing really different and unconventional pieces.
What or who are you inspired by?
People in the street all over the world, my friends, my team and fresh designers. Kurt Cobain was also a big influence from my teenhood!
Does your music taste influence your design work?
For sure, music is the most inspiring part of my entire life and I could not imagine myself living with no music. I get inspired from any kind of sub-culture and newcomer artists!
Sounds like you’re really experimental… thus i also get the feeling that you would also borrow clothes from your partner’s wardrobe…
Yes! Once he gave me one of his green scrubs (he is a surgeon) and I wear it at home during my spare time :D!
Not what we were expecting but we can totally see you rocking that!
APRIL LEE, SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
Behind every artwork lies a thousand considerations — the majority of which are decided by April Lee. April and her talented team of graphic designers and stylists (or her ‘kids’ as she fondly refers) creates, edits and produces the imagery we see on ZALORA today. And her talents don’t end there. She’s a musician as part of the band Aspidistrafly, and is often spotted jetting to Japan for gigs! We speak to April about her work at ZALORA and pushing the style boundaries.
Hi April! Please tell our readers who you are and what you do.
Hi, name is April! I’m an Art Director and I work with an amazingly talented team of graphic designers and stylists.
What was your first experience with the internet and what led you to a career in e-commerce?
Give us some words of wisdom for aspiring creatives.
Hard work, adaptability and a constant thirst for learning are more important than talent.
Describe your personal style. As an Art Director, i’m sure you’re inspired by more than just fashion…
Yes! I look into the past, present, and future. Anything from ’20s flapper to ’90s grunge, or how we imagine the future of fashion to be like. In the time-travelling classic film “Back To The Future” from the ’80s, i loved how they foresaw the world in 2015. Some predictions were eerily accurate while others were were simply over the top, which was funny too. Fashion is always evolving and i think it’s about being open to what’s happening in the world.
So having said that what’s your everyday outfit like?
I have a huge collection of vintage dresses from the ’70s. But these days my wardrobe is stuffed with long, oversized clothes in black because they’re so easy to throw on. And you can eat a buffet lunch and hide it all in.
Tell us your favourite label to shop on ZALORA.COM.
Our private label ZALIA has some of the most beautiful statement dresses on our catalog… I try to grab the best pieces as soon as new collections arrive, because they get sold out so fast!
Which fashion labels have you been eyeing on the global runways?
I think Gucci has put out very strong collections for the past few seasons and also Maison Margiela, after John Galliano’s entrance. I also count Gosha Rubchinskiy and Vetements as current favourites.
What are your wardrobe staple pieces?
Black ankle boots and a classic pair of sneakers. You could be wearing a shitty old potato sack, but the right shoes will make your outfit on-point.
Last but not least, is bohemian style just for festivals?
Nope. I would rock a fringed cape in the office. Fashion is about wearing whatever you feel like and not worrying about getting judged — you get judged enough in your lifetime.
SAYAKA VARMA, DIGITAL CONTENT STRATEGIST
Everyone at ZALORA would tell you that Sayaka Varma is the office beauty girl in-the-know. Not only does she regularly contribute to the beauty articles on the ZALORA Magazine, Sayaka also runs her own beauty blog. From a style perspective, the Japan-born beauty loves flirty dresses and feminine silhouettes, but is not your typical Girl-Next-Door — she also loves ripped denim, gladiator heels and statement lips. As a Digital Content Strategist at ZALORA, we speak to Sayaka about what’s to come in the digital world and what her beauty secrets are.
Hi Sayaka! Tell us about what you do at ZALORA.
I’m a digital content strategist in the regional team. My work mainly revolves around campaign strategy and execution so I work a lot with the creative team.
Tell us about an upcoming, exciting project you’re working on!
I’m working with Asia’s Next Top Model and a few high-profile beauty brands for a super exciting initiative… i can’t reveal more details right now but keep your eyes peeled!
Is ZALORA anything like the offices in film The Devil Wears Prada?
I think all fashion companies are going to have strong personalities that might show off their inner divas at times but that is the fun of it! (laughs) Honestly, ZALORA has been one of the most supportive and friendly environments I’ve worked in! I think we are more like the second half of the movie when everyone is nicer to Anne Hathaway.
You look fabulous today. How do you get ready in the mornings?
Why thank you! Honestly, these days sleep is my best friend so I prefer my wardrobe be fuss-free (but fabulous). Skater dresses are cute and easy to throw on, and it doesn’t take long to accessorise it with nice earrings or jewellery.
Do you have any style heroes or heroines?
I grew up watching a lot of old movies so for me it’s always been women like Sophia Loren, Marlene Dietrich & Carole Lombard that excite me the most. I think there’s something really elegant about the way they compose themselves and to me that’s really what personifies a really beautiful woman. My modern day muses are Lea Seydoux & Penelope Cruz.
What’s your favourite brand at ZALORA?
That’s a really hard question! Firstly, I love our in-house brands, and recently I’ve been shopping a lot of Topshop and Missguided. Miss Selfridge just came on board so I was cheekily shopping this morning. Shhh!
Why do you love beauty so much?
Having grown up in Japan, India, America… you really see how the idea of beauty is shaped by the culture you’ve been exposed to and it’s just always been something very fascinating to me as I’ve grown up in societies with drastically different beauty norms.
Your beauty bag is probably stuffed.. but tell us about the one item you would take with you if you got stuck on an island.
(Ponders for a bit) A bright lipstick. No matter crappy anyone looks, it just brightens and freshens the face. Plus it can work as blush as well as some grunge-y eye shadow!
It’s ZALORA’s birthday month and we want you to join in the celebratory fun — just spend a minimum of PHP 2,500 on your new outfit and STAND A CHANCE TO WIN 2 SKIDDOO AIRLINE TICKETS to Bali, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur — everyone needs a party outfit after all!