One of the most overlooked elements of Singapore’s success story is it’s ability to mix cultures so seamlessly. This gives foreigners a much better scope to set-up and enjoy success here than in many other countries. One person who is using her Italian heritage to help the Singapore market is Serena Forlino.
What’s your story?
After my studies in Fashion Styling and Fashion Design, I worked as an assistant for stylist Tsuyoshi Kurata, who is now based in Tokyo and then as a Fashion Designer in Milan, Italy, for important brands like Alessandro dell’Acqua who is now the head of Rochas Paris and No.21. I came to Singapore to experience Asia and I curated events, press and PR for my well known family group of restaurants (Osvaldo-No Menu). Driven by my passion for fashion I founded Bohology, an exclusive boutique in the heart of Singapore where you can find Italian Fashion and handmade accessories that I personally select in Italy, France and the most exclusive shopping destinations like Capri or Santorini.
What excites you most about your industry?
Being an Italian, I can be a better guide of what’s unique, exclusive, high quality and design which people in Asia are now craving.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My family has been living in Singapore for13 years. Moving here gives me the opportunity of living in a multi-cultural environment and learn more about Asian society.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. It’s a world hub for business and it’s incredibly well organized.
It’s supportive of new enterprises and meritocracy often matter more than age.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Stay humble. Always downplay.
Who inspires you?
Frida Kahlo. She followed only her gut and her personal style in giving to the world something unique, fresh and new.
To make a difference, you can’t repeat what others already did just because it looks alright..
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Learning to say No. I never had this ability, but to become an entrepreneur you must become more assertive.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would live for a while in New York and Paris.
How do you unwind?
Discovering new meanings of “me” time
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, the sunset in Uluwatu, surfing, there is a magic in that island despite the horrible commercialization that is happening recently.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“When China rules the world – The end of the Western world and the birth of a new global order” by Christian Jacques.
Shameless plug for your business:
I like to inspire women in Singapore to explore and find little treasures from Italian Fashion and exotic destinations, all under one roof without the need of traveling abroad.
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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