A self-taught fashion designer, Jaren Ho is now designing classy, yet casual cruise wear.
What’s your story?
A self taught designer with no design background, I left Nanyang Technological University in 2005 after studying civil engineering for two years to pursue my dream. I started my own line of “traditional chinese medicine (TCM)” inspired lifestyle goods, Folk’s Leaf. Following that, I began my retail journey with a few collaborating designers and an interest for fashion grew. YACHT 21 was established in 2009 and relaunched in 2013 with the help of designer Jasmine Huang and her team. The brand got its name, Yacht 21, because at 21 years old, I started my ventures, and it is my lucky number. My yacht would be a yacht filled with adventures and cruise wear, sailing my way to your heart.
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s ever changing and that’s also the most challenging part of our industry.
What’s your connection to Asia?
We are based in Singapore and currently, we are distributing our label to Malaysia and Indonesia. Our next target location is Myanmar.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Transparency in government policies and easy communication among people we work with because our common language is English.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
Who inspires you?
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Recent collaborations with various websites, multi-label stores and department stores taught me the importance of brand positioning. When a brand or label is placed in a location with the right concept, coupled with the right price point and target audience, magic happens.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would devote more capital and resources into exploring online opportunities instead of just focusing on brick and mortar.
How do you unwind?
I like having a cocktail in a nice bar after work.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. No skyscrapers, beach hopping and beautiful sunsets.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
Shameless plug for your business:
YACHT 21 is Singapore’s first cruise wear label.
Relaunched in 2013, YACHT 21 is a Singapore-based Cruise Wear label that fuses fashion with functionality, while striking a perfect balance between the casual and classy. Inspired by the lifestyle of yachters, holiday makers and the simple elegance of Scandinavian designs, YACHT 21 was born. To better suit the region’s tropical climate, YACHT 21 places a strong focus on creating summer-friendly collections all year round. The brand integrates lightweight and breathable materials such as denim, cotton and poplin to fulfil all metropolitan ladies’ actual day-to-day needs.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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