7 things in a fashion creative director's bag

7 things in a fashion creative director's bag

Ms Anne-Marie Bodal, fashion creative director of e-commerce company the Lazada Group, says that it was her parents who first got her interested in fashion.

"My mother, who's now 65, used to be a model, and she had the most fabulous clothes. I used to spend many hours trying them on as a four-year-old," the 39-year-old Dane says.

That, she adds, was when she was bitten by the fashion bug.

Both her parents are now retired and live in the Caribbean. Although her father is 77, he still has a crisp, formal dress sense, and will wear a pink shirt and pale yellow bermuda shorts, for instance, because he loves colours.

Ms Bodal, who is based in Singapore, has a South African boyfriend who works in marketing here.

Lazada, set up in 2012 by its chief executive officer, Mr Maximilian Bittner, operates individual websites in six South-east Asian countries, including Singapore and the Philippines. Clothes, beauty and electronic products from brands such as Tory Burch, Clinique and Apple are sold on the websites.

At Lazada, Ms Bodal studies consumers in the six countries, to understand what products they would like to see on the websites.

Before joining Lazada two years ago, she already had 17 years of experience in the fashion industry. She was senior childrens' footwear designer at Marks & Spencer, and the design manager for women's shoes and accessories at Woolworths.

She says: "This experience gave me a good grounding, as it helped me understand consumers better, such as their buying habits."

Living in Central America, Caribbean and Bermuda has helped her to be more flexible and open to different cultures, she says. She is planning to live in Singapore for the long-term though, as she loves the food and fashion here.

"There's quite a broad spectrum of fashion here - from the fashion-forward cool kids to high-end fashion," she says.

She looks at international catwalks, South-east Asian designers and vintage clothing to get inspiration for the products Lazada offers.

It will be launching its premium collection this month, which carries just 12 to 15 pieces per style of formal wear, and uses fabrics such as silk. It will also be launching a menswear assortment in June.

Her plans for the company include having more designer collaborations and to allow it to sell clothes across six countries instead of just one.

Asked for a piece of fashion advice, she says: "It's all about proportions. For example, you should pair volume trousers with a fitted top and something delicate on your feet, and balance out skinny jeans with a voluminous top."

7 THINGS IN HER BAG

1. OUT OF PRINT POUCH

Out of Print is a literary lifestyle brand that features iconic book covers on their products. My senior fashion stylist bought me this for my birthday a few months ago, as I love reading, and Pride and Prejudice is a great book about strong women. I use it as a make-up pouch.

2. FARMER'S GRAIN GRANOLA

As I often miss lunch due to work meetings, I always have a snack on hand to keep my energy up. I believe in supporting fairtrade products. This brand is from Bangkok.

3. HOOP EARRINGS

Having quite big hair, I feel a need to compensate it with large earrings. They finish my outfit too, so I always have a spare pair of earrings with me. I buy earrings from all over the world, whenever I travel.

4. SEE EYEWEAR SUNGLASSES

All the sunglasses from this brand cost US$99 (S$136) each. I love that I can match these with black and coloured clothes, as they have tortoiseshell frames and black legs.

5. MOLESKINE NOTEBOOK

I believe that inspiration is everywhere. I write down my ideas, as and when I get them, in this notebook. My whole brain's here.

6. FABRIANO PASSPORT HOLDER

I always have my passport with me, in case I need to travel for work at the last minute. I like Fabriano's leather goods as they come in bright colours. Many of my things are orange - it's a vibrant and positive colour.

7. PENCIL CASE FROM BALI

I've been looking for a pencil case as small as this one for years because it fits in my handbag, so I have four of these. I prefer to write and draw for the creative side of my work, but I'm okay with typing for the business side of things, such as pricing.


This article was first published on April 3, 2015.
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