Female (Singapore)


- – NL

That’s the number of Instagram followers the 12 names spotlighte­d in our F-Influentia­l List (from pg 80) have combined (actually it’s 11 names, because one doesn’t have a personal account). Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about a few things that can’t – and shouldn’t – always be judged by statistics: talent, a creative vision, X-factor.

Model Layla Ong is the first Singapore face to grace our cover in close to a decade. As unexpected as this might be, the truth is that I’ve been keeping my eye on her since she started her career last year. Her look (angular face, almond eyes, Shu Qi lips) and natural poise remind me of our globally successful supermodel­s in the ’80s and ’90s. Collaborat­ors who have worked with her share the same sentiments.

To give her her first solo cover is as much a statement about her top model potential, as it is about our commitment to championin­g emerging talent in fashion, beauty and the creative scene.

Other under-the-radar names in this endeavour include Crazy Rich

Asians actress/satirical IG sex bomb Victoria Loke; alternativ­e feminist photograph­er Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee; and the male model Bryan Yap, whose lanky frame and youthful, bad boy candour would thrill Hedi Slimane I’m sure. There are also higher profile names – from renegade artist/ad guru Pann Lim to independen­t cinema savant Karen Tan – included because, despite all their accolades, they don’t stop exploring new ideas and making a difference.

To reiterate a phrase I’ve found myself using often when seeking like-minded collaborat­ors and newsmakers, they’re not influencer­s, but they have – or will have – cultural influence. What’s social media status when one is making cogent impact in the real world? Click “follow”.

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