Naiise Conversations - introducing The Scarlette
Who is in the The Scarlette team and how did The Scarlette come about?
The Scarlette essentially comprises of me (Amanda) and Mei. The Scarlette was conceived in 2007 when we were both in university and the local blog shop scene exploded. We began dabbling in wholesale (the traditional bread and butter of blog shops) but later expanded into designing and manufacturing our own clothes as we wanted a certain style that weren't always available in the market. We also felt that there was a need for better quality clothing that can last more than five washes, and that's why we decided to venture into making our own clothes. Above all, we feel that creating our own clothes is a lot more satisfying than just being a middleman!
We love the style of The Scarlette clothing. Can you describe the signature The Scarlette aesthetic?
The Scarlette celebrates the art of dressing up, so we're all about class, elegance and feminity. We aren't slavish to trends, rather we aspire to create dresses that will continue to be stylish even five years down the road. We design with real women in mind, real women who accomplish many things in a day, and want to look great doing so!
Who is the The Scarlette girl?
The Scarlette is not a girl, but a woman. A woman who is productive and intelligent, and wants to look and feel great all the time. She is confident about herself, and isn't afraid of being in the limelight.
What are your influences while designing?
Our customers and real women on the streets. We're slightly maximalist when it comes to designs, and our first drafts are either too dramatic or too preppy, due to our very different personalities. It's tough to strike a good balance, and the question is always - would real people wear this? The two of us always have to remind each other to stay grounded, because we often have pretty out-of-this-world ideas!
Name some of your everyday essentials.
A great dress that complements every curve of your body. Wear it in a bright color on days when you need an extra edge, or wear it chic in black when you prefer something more understated.
Any favourite brands/designers?
The duo behind Marchesa, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. What can we say, we love drama!
Describe a day of being in the The Scarlette team.
We all hold full time jobs so most of The Scarlette 'work' is done on weekends or after work. We brainstorm on design ideas together, and Mei liaises with our manufacturing partners. I market the brand, and am also the model for The Scarlette. Together, we're a team and we handle most of the customer service together!
How has The Scarlette evolved from the beginning?
The Scarlette started out on Livejournal, but we’ve since moved to a dotcom. Better presentation of our projects aside, we hope our customers have enjoyed the now streamlined shopping experience. The time we used to spend on a manual invoicing system has also been channelled into (hopefully!) better designs.
What is it like being a designer in Singapore?
It is challenging, because great design often comes at a higher price - due to smaller quantities being produced, and also the added creative work that goes into each piece. So we are may at times be uncompetitively priced against mass market products.
Why is great design so important?
It is important because it means that whatever you use, wear, see has a thought process behind it, not just a factory production line. This puts meaning to the things you do, use and interact with.
What are your top 5 naiisest things about living in Singapore?
1. The growing independent design boutique/cafe scene
2. The great food
3. Old conservation shophouses and cool haunts
4. Its proximity to some of the best beaches in the world
5. Access to the best brands in the world
What can we look forward to from The Scarlette in the near future?
Frequent usage of spring colors! We've recently started working with brighter hues, a big departure from the neutrals & black we've always been known for and we're loving it so far.
Any tips for great personal style?
As Yves Saint Laurent once said, "Over the years, I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it." Never be a slave to trends, find what works for you and stick with it! Also, a good pair of shoes goes a long way, literally & metaphorically :)