From Audrey Hepburn to Kim Kardashian, muses have long been an inspiration for designers. But founders Daniel Chew, 34, and Rebecca Ting, 33, say there isn't a Beyond the Vines woman when it comes to the local fashion label.
Instead, the husband-and-wife team is catering to the "woman-at-large" with their effortless aesthetic and transgenerational appeal (the couple say they often observe grandmothers, mothers and daughters shopping together in the stores).
Ultimately, the pair are on a mission to instil women with a sense of "quiet confidence" with their versatile clothes that look basic but boast interesting details - think loose-fit tops with asymmetrical hems and wide-legged pants with pleats.
It all started in 2015, when they set up an online store as they "couldn't get well-designed clothes at accessible price points".
Despite the lack of fashion-related experience (they spent a decade managing real estate investment portfolios before that), they quickly opened their first brick and mortar store in Mandarin Gallery less than a year after their online inception.
While it has since shuttered, the brand now has boutiques in five countries (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia).
Beyond The Vines is known for its two main collections: Light ($69-$109), its "everyday wear" line with easy silhouettes in natural fabrics; and Form ($79- $139), which focuses on occasion wear.
Both are perennial lines that include a mix of staples that are always available, and seasonal styles (which are while stocks last) that are added monthly. The brand also launches capsule collections throughout the year on a non-regular basis.
The two founders say that their complementary working styles have worked to their advantage. "We wear many hats and we're like a double-edged sword - sharp on both sides," quips Daniel.
And their current responsibilities are indicative of their formative years: Daniel leads the management and business development teams, inspired by his provision-shop owner grandfather, while Rebecca calls the shots when it comes to the creative and design aspects, thanks to a creative streak instilled in her by her father Arthur P.Y. Ting, a respected Singapore artist.
Their efforts have culminated in the opening of the brand's 2,000 sq ft flagship at Funan in 2019 (it also has a store at OUE Downtown, a counter at Tangs at Tang Plaza, and a pop-up at Tangs Vivocity till Feb 29).
The cosy boutique houses an open-access design studio where customers can view the intimate workings of a clothing label - from sketches to mood boards - and take a sneak peek at upcoming collections as the design team works on them.
Brick-and-mortar stores are another attempt to go the distance for customers. The physical presence means that Daniel and Rebecca could engage customers' senses in ways that they couldn't online, such as through the music or scents they picked for the store.
"It's not just about selling clothes. We really put thought into what customers buy, while keeping it accessible," says Rebecca.
That means thoughtful details, such as binding the zips so that the raw edges are concealed for a neat and comfortable finish. All that explains the name "Beyond the Vines" ("vines" being an informal American term for clothes).
2019 saw a couple of firsts for the brand, including a full-white collection and its first unisex capsule. This year, following the success of its Life collection of colourblock water-resistant bags, Beyond The Vines will be focusing even more on bags.
Daniel and Rebecca also hint at exciting collaborations and plans in celebration of the brand's fifth anniversary, including a menswear collection and an accessories line.
This article was first published in Her World Online.