The Life List

Bling Empire's Kane Lim a real-life Crazy Rich Asian

Kane Lim at home in Los Angeles with his collection of designer footwear.
Kane Lim at home in Los Angeles with his collection of designer footwear.PHOTO: NETFLIX

If Bling Empire has you dazzled, you are not alone. The Netflix reality series about the lives of the ultra-rich Asian elite living in Los Angeles is currently among the top 10 shows in Singapore on the streaming platform.

One of its stars is Los Angeles-based Singaporean Kane Lim. Here are five facts about the glamorous shopaholic.

1. HIS FAMILY IS IN BIG BUSINESS

Lim, 31, has been tight-lipped about his family in the show and in press interviews.

But he has said his family controls a billion-dollar company, though he clarified with The Straits Times over the telephone that his father is not a billionaire.

They are in real estate, as well as the oil and gas industry.

Lim himself runs an investment fund in Los Angeles with a portfolio that includes real estate deals.

Little else has been revealed about his family, though Lim has mentioned that his grandparents left communist China for Singapore.

2. RIHANNA FOLLOWS HIM

The reality-show star, who has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram, regularly models branded pieces on his account.

And one of his dedicated followers is none other than pop star Rihanna. Lim tells ST that one of his favourite pieces of outerwear is a sparkly Balmain jacket, which the singer had told him over social media to wear to one of her concerts.

3. HE ADORES DESIGNER SHOES

Lim has an extensive designer footwear collection of more than 300 pairs and is a self-professed shopaholic.

In a 2018 interview with The New Paper, Lim said the character who most resonates with him from the hit film Crazy Rich Asians (2018) is fashionista Astrid Leong.

He added: "I have walked into a designer shoe store and said, 'I'll take one pair of everything you have in every colour, I'll take it all.'"

4. HE IS A BUDDHIST

Lim's Buddhist faith has been well documented on the show. He is seen meditating and chanting in one of his first scenes on the series.

He tells ST he turned to Buddhism three years ago. "It really taught me to be compassionate to myself. I've been vegetarian for the last three years and I've stopped smoking."

5. HE DOES CHARITY WORK

Lim's fashion sense has come in handy when he does charity work.

In 2015, he sold pre-loved and new items - worth more than $20,000 in retail value - at discounted prices at the Singapore Red Cross International Bazaar.

They included a rare Hermes crocodile bracelet and a new Celine bag.

  • Bling Empire is available on Netflix.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2021, with the headline 'Bling Empire's Kane Lim a real-life Crazy Rich Asian '. Subscribe