Ira Kwa

Indonesia Tatler Society - - 12 BEST COUPLES -

Ira kwa was sup­posed to be a banker. She stud­ied fi­nance at univer­sity and her fam­ily as­sumed she would fol­low them into the won­der­ful world of num­bers. “When I first told my par­ents my plan to open a store, my mother said no, be­cause she be­lieved there was no fu­ture in fash­ion in Jakarta. In New York or Paris, things would have been dif­fer­ent, but she was wor­ried I would never be able to work in my own coun­try,” says Kwa. Luck­ily for the fash­ion­able women of In­done­sia, Kwa proved all the naysay­ers wrong. To­day she’s the owner of Jade Bou­tique, Jakarta’s most pres­ti­gious cloth­ing shop. “I was work­ing for Citibank for two years but I al­ways knew it wasn’t for me, so I left to open the bou­tique. We started with just jeans but, 14 years later, we have built it into a se­ri­ous com­pany. In­done­sia isn’t as fash­ion-lit­er­ate as some­where like Hong Kong, and most bou­tiques fo­cus on de­signer bags and shoes. But I de­cided to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and em­pha­sise clothes over ac­ces­sories.” The gam­ble paid off and to­day her store is a haven for the best-dressed women in the city. To en­sure her lines are con­stantly up­dated, Kwa trav­els con­stantly to all the fash­ion cap­i­tals. But when she’s in Jakarta, she di­vides her days be­tween try­ing out new brands in her store—her favourite re­cent ad­di­tions in­clude Azze­dine Alaïa and Mis­soni—and look­ing af­ter her two chil­dren. “I love be­ing in the store,” she says. “And I never shop any­where else—why would I need to?”

This page: Dress by Gi­ambat­tista Valli; plat­inum ear­rings with di­a­monds, and diamond ring in plat­inum, both by Tif­fany & Co.; Kwa's own bracelet

Open­ing spread: Dress by Azze­dine Alaïa; ring in plat­inum with sap­phire and di­a­monds by Tif­fany & Co.

Group photo: Gown by Roland Mouret; bracelets in plat­inum with di­a­monds and fancy in­tense yel­low di­a­monds, and ring in plat­inum with di­a­monds, all by Tif­fany & Co.

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