Tell us about your background and how you got involved in fashion.
I actually am trained in business and not fashion. As an undergraduate, I found that there seemed to be gap in the local shopping scene between what people wanted and what was available, so I sought to bridge that with Exhibit, where it started out first as a multi-label store. About five years ago, the opportunity came for me to create in-house collections, and we’ve been doing that ever since. Instagram began as a means for me to spread the word about Exhibit back when we first started. One thing led to another – and now here I am!
More and more, the Singapore fashion scene has been making its way onto our radar. The uptick in attention might be attributed to everything from the growing number of designers and models hailing from the area, or even the anticipation of this summer’s Crazy Rich Asians—a fashion-centric film that highlights the opulent lives of the Singapore elite. But regardless of the reason, we have our focus set there. And on one fashion girl in particular—Yoyo Cao.
A veteran of the street style scene, she’s synonymous with fashion in Singapore. Not only does she have seriously cool style that garners upwards of 324K followers on her Instagram @yoyokulala, she is also the founder of Singapore-based womenswear label Exhibit—a fashion brand that turns out modern and minimal pieces. Ahead, we’re getting to know the style icon a little better, finding out what makes the fashion scene in Singapore so vibrant, and tapping into her unique personal style.
How would you describe style in Singapore? What makes it unique?
The weather is notorious in Singapore. It can be chilly and very rainy one minute, very, very hot the next. So we toggle between dressing for the two “seasons”. I think because we don’t get the four seasons—spring, summer, autumn, winter—we try to work our way around it so we’re not always in shorts and t-shirts. Comfort definitely plays a big part.
Tell us about Exhibit and your future plans for it.
Exhibit is the label I founded several years back and we’ve been producing runway collections for almost five years now. We’ll continue with our annual runway collections, but we’re also looking more into capsule collections now that focus on basics and wardrobe essentials, such as denim collections.
Which fashion trends are popping up in Singapore right now?
I think “mood” is a better word to describe it. Like the rest of the world, easy clothing in breezy, summery textures and silhouettes are favoured. There also seems to be a ’90s redux.
Are you as inspired by the Singapore fashion scene as we are?