The lobangshop warms the cockles of our hearts with its accessories that come in an array of delightful colours and designs accompanied by names that would tickle your funny bones. Kiap (ear cuffs), Bo Jio (banana earrings), Ah Zhu (bracelet), Huat Ah (pineapple earrings) are some of the names that as Singaporeans we can almost certainly relate to.
We speak to Angie, the founder of the lobangshop, to learn more about her passion for all things fashion.
As a fashion curator, what piqued your interest in fashion?
I grew up with a fashion-loving mother and grandmother, who are a huge inspiration to me who also kickstarted my interest and career in fashion.
How would you define fashion today?
Fashion today I think is at a democratic crossroads of sorts, reinventing itself and also questioning the fundamental way it works.
For those not familiar with the lobangshop, can you share with us more about the inspiration behind the brand — the pieces and the names?
I started the business because I would always help my friends shop on their behalf based on their styles and preferences. They encouraged me to start doing my own thing to start selling them because we realized there is a gap in the local market for affordable unique pieces. To make the pieces more relatable and bring some cheer in life, I came up with a brand narrative that is colloquial with a touch of humour to make people giggle when they purchase something. I love coming up with little stories for each of the pieces, and I think they’re a great conversation starter with my customers, and it’s also something that everyone can relate to.
Do you think Singaporeans are fashion savvy?
For sure, in our unique way, such as being able to find the best deal or knowing what the latest trend is. I think savviness comes from being informed and Singaporeans are a well-informed bunch.
What is your fashion philosophy?
Attention to detail and storytelling, in my wardrobe a plain white shirt is not just a plain white shirt; it’ll have an interesting stitch or a unique cut. I believe that fashion is a great medium to kick start conversations, and I like to own things that have an interesting source or a story behind them.
From fashion to jewellery, why did you decide to go into the business of jewellery?
It’s a simple reason, for now, they’re the easiest pieces to ship out during this time! They’re the easiest thing to spice up an outfit, especially during this zoom call era where we want to look comfortable and still polished at the same time.
Who is your style icon, and why?
My grandmother! She taught me that looking good is a form of respect for yourself and to others, she used to plan her outfits for the wet market a day in her advance, jewellery and everything. Her level of dedication to her outfits even at her old age was and is a huge inspiration to me.
What has been the greatest takeaway for you working in the fashion industry?
I think we can all safely say fashion is not frivolous. Still, I think the importance of understanding economics, politics, history and current affairs is trivialized, to be remotely successful you must have an in-depth knowledge of not just fashion but also understanding what is going on in the world.
What are some of your must-have pieces to complete a look?
Earrings always. They change the way every outfit looks
Could you share more about what vintage fashion means and how important do you believe its role is in the fashion industry?
Vintage fashion has been changing and challenging the way people shop in recent years. It is important not only because it is sustainable and encourages people to seek out unique pieces vs mass market items but also helps people understand the history of fashion through what they wear. I always say that if a bag has already lasted 20 years, it can definitely last another 20 more.
What is your vision for the lobangshop?
To provide exciting accessories at pocket-friendly prices for a long time to come!
What do you hope to encourage in Singapore with the lobangshop?
I think a lot of people equate dressing well with costing a lot of money and I hope to change that and see more adventurous dressers taking a leap of faith with me!