Most parents would not take their child to a business meeting, but that was not the case with Lois Tien.
The daughter of Mr Michael Tien, founder of Hong Kong workwear retailer G2000, recalls fondly how she would attend meetings with him when she was a child, giving her opinions on the brand's children's wear collection at the time.
"He would take me to the office and ask me what I thought went with what and how I thought that would help the product sell better," says Ms Tien, 29.
She went on to do several internships with big fashion names such as Valentino and Lane Crawford before going to university.
She double majored in art history and Italian at Brown University in the United States.
" I ended up learning a lot about Italian culture such as literature and film, which tie in with fashion. If you think about the top fashion brands, they all come from Italy. Italian culture and art are the background and inspiration behind fashion."
Even though her father supported her interest in fashion, he initially wanted her to explore other career options.
"I dabbled in banking for a while, but at the end of the day, my life has been so immersed in this industry, it's quite hard to get myself out of it," she says.
Fast-forward a few years. Ms Tien is now the brand manager of Anagram, a clothing line aimed at working women in their early 30s who are looking for casual elegance.
Anagram was launched in 2010 under the G2000 group and its first store was in Hong Kong.
Today, the label has three outlets there and one in Macau.
"It's what we call affordable luxury. We're selling classic designs and timelessness," says Ms Tien, who was dressed in a chic white jumpsuit from Anagram when The Straits Times spoke to her earlier this month.
The Hong Konger was in town for the launch of the Anagram pop-up store at Tangs at Tang Plaza, which is on until May. Prices start at $159 for a sleeveless crop top.
When asked how Anagram would stand out in the crowded retail scene here, Ms Tien points out that the clothing line's strength lies in its quality fabric.
"The design team and I go to Paris twice a year for sourcing. There's a massive expo in Paris twice a year and we meet with Italian, French and Spanish textile mills and curate our collection from there."
Apart from work, the bachelorette sets aside time during the weekends for her family, friends and toy poodle.
"I go to The Pulse (a mall in Hong Kong) a lot. It's by the beach and it's dog-friendly. You can go into all the restaurants, bars and coffee shops with your dog, so I go there with my friends and their dogs. We chill out and have coffee."
ON HER BAG
This is from American leather goods retailer Mansur Gavriel and it is the perfect-sized bucket bag.
It looks small, but somehow, I managed to fit 10 things in it.
It is durable and I use it twice a week.
Things in her bag
- I am into essential oils. I put a little bit of this peppermint one on the palm of my hands, rub it and smell it for a pick-me-up. When I am at work and have had four cups of coffee and cannot have another one, I do this.
- It is something I carry with me every day because I am a clean freak. This scent is Mandarin Rind and it is one of my favourites.
- It is orange-scented. I got this from Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
- I do not use the calendar function on my phone. I like writing everything down because it helps me to remember events. I use it to jot down work and personal stuff.
- I love reading but hate carrying books. I travel a lot, so this is perfect for me. I am reading Zero To One by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
- I use this every day and change to a new one every two months. I use the same flavour and buy in bulk. The last time I went to Australia, I bought about 20 sticks.
- I do all my work here. I do not like to take along my work computer because it is such a hassle.
This article was first published on March 30, 2017.
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