MY WARDROBE: A Japanese minimalist wardrobe

Q & A

Mr Mark Leong, 26, single, copywriter at a Web development agency

How would you describe your style?

My style is influenced by Japanese minimalism. I like white and earthtoned colours, such as beige and olive.

When did your interest in fashion start?

I started writing two years ago for a lifestyle magazine, where I was exposed to a plethora of fashion influences by my colleagues and editor. I was exposed to prints and loud colours and learnt to pull a look together using accessories.

Who are your favourite designers and which are your go-to brands?

I liked French label Yves Saint Laurent when French designer Hedi Slimane was its creative director. His style is clean, sleek and minimalist. I am also a big fan of Japanese brand Journal Standard - its clothes give off a relaxed and comfortable vibe and, as I have a skinny frame, the Japanese style of boxy silhouettes appeals to me. I also shop at Uniqlo because I like the simplicity of its designs.

Who are your style icons?

British model Ricki Hall and New York street-style star Nick Wooster - I draw inspiration from the way they match colours and put their outfits together. I also admire Mr Darren Lee, founder and director of communications and branding agency Uniform, as he has a distinctive Japanese style.

What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe?

My Uniqlo x Lemaire off-white long-sleeve shirt (photo 1) because of its laidback feel; my olive linen shirt from Muji (photo 2) because it is perfect for Singapore's tropical climate; a brass cuff bracelet from Singapore-based accessories brand Stale & Co. (photo 3), which I wear every day because it is elegant and timeless; my round-toed black boots from American outdoor clothing and shoe brand Wolverine (photo 4) as they work for both formal and casual events; and my olive and beige tote bag from Seattle-based outdoor clothing and bag brand Filson (photo 5), which I use for work and leisure. I think that bags help to express style and individualism.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?

I can't resist white oxford shirts because they are so versatile. You can pair them with anything.

What is your favourite splurge piece?

A pair of glasses from American luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples (photo 6). I bought the lens and frames for about $800 about a year ago. There's nowhere I would go without wearing it or having it in my bag.

Is there a purchase you have regretted?

My greatest regret would be a varsity jacket I bought from Taiwan. The threads in the sleeves tore almost immediately when I returned to Singapore and had to be sewn back a couple of times. It now sits in my office, ignored.

What is your most recent fashion purchase?

It wasn't a purchase, but a birthday gift I chose for myself and received in June. It was a pair of Converse sneakers in white leather (photo 7).

What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?

Have confidence and trust in your style.


This article was first published on August 11, 2016.
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