6:15AM I read the Business of Fashion even before I get out of bed. I’ve two young children and my eldest daughter is like an alarm clock. As a mother, when you tell yourself to wake up at a certain time for your kids, you will no matter what. It’s important to me that I prepare them for school because that’s the only time during weekdays that I get to see my children.
7:00AM I’m done freshening myself up by this time. I always check what’s on my agenda for the day the night before, so that I can plan what to wear. But the tricky thing is, I have to send my daughter to school before going into the office. You need to feel your outfit so that you can connect it with what you’re about to do. I can get fussy when it comes to the basic stuff, but I don’t think I’m too complicated. A great t-shirt that doesn’t lose its shape and cut after washes is a good investment piece to have. I use Laura Mercier’s bronzer—I only have to put some on and I’m good to go. I’ve had short hair for more than 10 years. I can’t remember why I got it… maybe I had broken up with a boyfriend? I just needed a change.
7:45AM Breakfast is simple, no longer than 30 minutes. I have toast, while the kids have fruit or cereal. They also drink Yakult. It’s somehing I grew up drinking, and I want to pass that habit on to them. 8:15AM We live by a park not very far from my daughter’s school, but for some reason we’re always late for classes by 10 minutes! There’s too much morning traffic and everything just snowballs. The roads are quite congested in London.
8:35AM If I don’t have bags to take to work, I’ll just hop onto the train because there’s a station near the school. I can get into the office in 10 minutes. The short commute is great, because I feel like I’m part of London’s workforce. It gives me a little bit of a reality check. I observe what people are up to and what they’re wearing. To get inspired, my team and I sometimes take inspiration trips, but we haven’t done it for long. Such trips allow you to pick up bits and pieces that you can reference in the collections; or just to cleanse the mind.
9:00AM Once I get into the office, I make myself a cup of coffee and savour it properly. The one I have over breakfast is never finished because we’re always in a rush! This is also “me” time: I reflect where I was the day before and what I have ahead of me. 9:50AM The office is in a tall, urban building in Victoria and I can see one part of London from my desk. I’m fortunate to have the view. London’s weather is unpredictable, so it’s always nice to see how the light falls and cloud formations change. I have a large bunch of eucalyptus in my room. I like to bring the outdoors inside. It’s the same with the little cottage my husband and I have. He found it because he was determined to find a place outside of London. It’s two hours away by car. Over there, we grow things ourselves and turn them into dishes.
10:00AM People start streaming into the office. I oversee 19 people and they’re divided into sections handling different work. As a boss, I like to inspire; I like to provoke the team to think beyond what they see. I’d also like to think that I’m firm, but fair. I’m only as good as they are so I treat them as equals. Creativity is important. Think Jimmy Choo, and fashionable, glamorous high heels for the red carpet come to mind. These qualities are still relevant, but fashion today is not just about a skinny stiletto, The power of the brand is more than that. We’re emphasising alternative footwear styles such as sneakers. I think creating a more elasticated boundary is something that I’m really pushing. And when it comes to shoes, I think men and women have the same needs. But I love designing men’s shoes because it’s a break. For men’s, there needs to be a form and it has to be absolutely perfect. You cannot overdo it because you’ll cross the wrong line.
12:00PM I’ll have lunch, but it also depends on what’s happening. I prefer to deal with matters first. When I’m stuck with something, I forget to eat or I’ll not have the appetite at all. I sometimes only dig in at four in the afternoon. I’m a slow eater because I like to enjoy my food.
9:00PM The office closes at six, but we seldom leave the office at that time. I want to get home as soon as possible, so I take the bus. We have a live-in nanny and she’s been so helpful. My children are already in bed when I get back. My favourite corner at home is the kitchen because it’s where the heart of every household is. My husband loves music, so the house is always full of music. We’ve been playing different remixes of “Hotel California” by the Eagles because my five-year-old loves it. My go-to playlist includes songs by Lauryn Hill, Neneh Cherry and FKA twigs; I think she’s unusual but incredible.
10:00PM I catch the news on television—it’s important to know what’s happening in the world. 10:40PM I settle into bed, but not before making sure that all my eye makeup’s off. I swear by Shiseido for this; and Aurelia’s Cell Repair Night Oil is really good too. I’ll be in bed checking emails and looking at Instagram and Pinterest. I catch up on things I haven’t managed to do all day. It’s my way of unwinding.
12:00AM It’s usually lights-off around this time. I can’t say I always fall asleep immediately, but when I travel, I use This Works deep sleep pillow spray. It’s brilliant; it goes everywhere with me. I like linen bedsheets—those from The White Company are really good. If you think about it, we actually spend a lot of time sleeping. It’s so important. It’s the one place where you’re just being you.
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This article originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore.