The past 10 years have seen seismic shifts in the world of fashion and culture at large. Gone is the dictating manner in which fashion used to speak. Today, influence and inspiration bubbles up as much as it trickles down. The speed at which movements now take root and cross-pollinate across cultures and communities would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In many ways, the rise of social media and the digital age has revolutionised the way we access, consume and interact with fashion. At its core, style is still about looking a certain way to telegraph a certain message, but the key components of that message have evolved to centre around the ideas of authenticity, individuality and positivity. To close out this progressive, transformative decade, we’ve chosen to celebrate a group of originals who are as sharp as they are stylish; the ones who march to their own beat while maintaining a certain polish and verve that drives home a uniquely Asian perspective.

Carol Chen

Can you tell us a little more about what you do?

I’ve always been passionate about helping women look and feel beautiful so I started as a fashion designer, but I went on to found Covetella—a personal styling and luxury rental service—for women to share their wardrobes in order to be more sustainable. Now, it’s also a fun destination where you can access coveted brands and have a modern Cinderella experience for special events.

What are the style rules you live by?

Wear what looks good on you, not just what looks good or what people say looks good. You won’t go wrong with a look that makes you feel confident and comfortable, but also don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things.

What is a piece you go back to most often?

A well-fitted black blazer. You can dress it up with a dress and diamonds, or down with jeans and a t-shirt— it will never go out of style.

What is a current favourite trend?

I love to sparkle, so I’m obsessed with all the sequins that come out during the holidays. I always encourage clients not to be afraid to shine, and I love how fashion becomes a bit more fun and dressier during the festive season.

Who are your style icons?

A mix of Coco Chanel for her sophisticated elegance, Jennifer Lopez for her sexy femininity, and Lady Gaga for her unabashed attitude.