Fashion Idea needs to construct a greater trend future

Chris Halim and Raena Lim. (PHOTO: Style Theory)

Founded in 2016, Singaporean fashion rental platform Style Theory is one of Southeast Asia’s largest circular fashion platforms aiming to reshape women’s relationship with fashion. When Yahoo Life SEA met husband and wife team Chris Halim and Raena Lim, the driving force behind the brand, in their new showroom, Lim shared: “Personally, I feel very motivated to build a better fashion future. I think sustainability is a very big thing for our business and that’s also something that really appeals to me.”

The husband-and-wife team also admitted that starting the company was stressful at first, although they were used to each other’s working styles before Style Theory was born. “We have pretty clear boundaries at work and in personal life, so that helps,” Lim said.

However, the transition from employee to entrepreneur was a big leap. “It is a burden that we were previously employees of a company. Saturdays and Sundays are your own time, after work is like your own time. But when we became entrepreneurs, the two of us couldn’t walk together anymore, so it became a bit of an issue. We didn’t have any vacation for the first two years,” the co-founders shared.

Chris Halim and Raena Lim. (PHOTO: Style Theory)

As a rental platform for clothing and designer bags, the brand offers curated women’s pieces from its inventory on a monthly membership basis.

As stated on Style Theory’s website, hiring from the Circular Fashion platform for your next outfit means you no longer have to suffer from “worn-this-once” regrets or environmental guilt.

For most business owners, expanding during the COVID-19 pandemic is something that not many are interested in. For Style Theory, however, the brand had expanded the program to Hong Kong in the last year and has seen great success with its consumer base there. To quench our curiosity, we asked Halim why they chose Hong Kong for the latest expansion?

The story goes on

“For us, we saw that Singapore was a great success. It is the first market for our rental business and when we think about the next market we are trying to find similar and maybe even better markets than Singapore. In a way, if we look at Hong Kong, it’s a very similar market. People live in small houses, love fashion and live sustainability. These are great qualities to have in our business. Additionally, for our type of business, to a country or city where I would say the majority of women work, I think that usually suits us well too,” Halim said.

In 2022, Style Theory plans to expand its clothing rental business to Hong Kong and set up a warehouse there to facilitate and improve customer service for the brand.

Comparing Style Theory’s target markets, Lim shared that Hong Kong customers are trendier, while Singapore customers prefer casual looks and her Indonesian customers are more conservative in their style. “So if we source collections and stuff from the same designer, we might choose different things just for different markets.”

When it comes to designer bags, Lim found that high-end brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton still have a strong following, while customers are more inclined to try indie brands when it comes to apparel. Lim, who hails from over 20 countries, shared that they’ve had inquiries from their members about certain indie brands like N12H, which are “really interesting moments where we see how different people’s perceptions of what they are.” choose between clothes and bags.”

Style Theory’s business model, supported by investors such as Softbank in both rental and resale businesses, has allowed the brand to excel not only in execution but also financially. “All of our inventory is provided by customers, so in that sense we are very well funded for our business. That will allow us to also be very, very lean and agile,” Lim added.

If you’re framing your New Year’s wardrobe by Marie Kondo and reducing your shopping intent, Style Theory 2022 could be the answer for you.