IM­AGE DEFINITION

The Peak (Singapore) - - Editor’s Note - JEN­NIFER CHEN

“Oh, and the headband stays on,” says my art di­rec­tor of Earn Chen’s pre­req­ui­site for grac­ing the cover of this month’s issue. Prior to this, my only ex­po­sure to terry cloth headband as a nec­es­sary ac­ces­sory was in a Wes An­der­son fi lm about a quirky, dys­func­tional fam­ily. And the char­ac­ter wear­ing it was fic­tional.

But in the same way that we at The Peak re­spect chief ex­ec­u­tives who in­sist that their hair not be touched for a photo shoot, we ac­qui­esced to Chen’s re­quest. It’s all about pro­jec­tion of im­age, and Chen, with his headband, long hair and shaggy wear, knows what ex­actly he wants – even if he at­tracts un­due at­ten­tion.

You have to ad­mire in­di­vid­u­als like him who have the con­fi­dence to carve a sar­to­rial path for them­selves, who risk mass ridicule to make a state­ment about who they are; peo­ple who have the guts to ex­per­i­ment and pi­o­neer new grounds. Peo­ple like Cara Delev­ingne, who sported a bald, sil­ver pate at the Met Gala this year. She made chop­ping off one’s hair cool rather than crazy, as Brit­ney’s act was per­ceived years ago.

Celebrity sta­tus helps, but Chen has been cham­pi­oning a niche brand of un­der­ground cool for close to two decades, way be­fore he was ac­knowl­edged as a trend­set­ter. That lux­ury la­bels are now turn­ing to some of these names to in­ject piz­zazz into their col­lec­tions at­tests to his fore­sight. Take the re­cent queues here for Louis Vuit­ton x Supreme prod­ucts. Chen brought the lat­ter to Sin­ga­pore a decade ago.

So, while his in­sis­tence on the headband took me by sur­prise, I checked my it’s-too-avant-garde ob­jec­tion. If Gucci stocks it, it’s all good.

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