Q & A
Mr Darren Loke, 26, single, education consultant and co-founder of leather bag and accessory label Omitir Concepts
How would you describe your style?
Minimalist with attention to artisanal details.
When did your interest in fashion start?
I was a child model when I was six years old. During the school holidays, I would strut down the runway at Forum Shopping Mall clad in American fashion labels such as OshKosh B'gosh and United Colors of Benetton Kids. My interest in fashion must have been piqued then.
Who are your favourite designers or go-to brands?
They would be Italian fashion designer Maurizio Altieri for his creations and in-depth understanding of leather and Austrian former fashion designer Helmut Lang for his revolutionary statements on the runway.
I also admire Barcelona-based fashion label Munoz Vrandecic for its beautiful accessories such as shoes and bags - the designs are detailed, antique-looking and out of the ordinary.
Who are your style icons?
Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto; English musician, producer and actor Tricky (whose real name is Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws); and American musician and producer Pharrell Williams. I don't dress like my style icons, but I admire them for their good eye and taste.
What are the favourite pieces in your wardrobe?
My Omitir sling bag (photo 1) because it is in the perfect size to hold my daily essentials; my Guidi leather lace-up derbys (photo 2), which are great for all-weather usage; my Carol Christian Poell pants (photo 3) for their amazing construction and fit; Werkstatt Munchen rings (photo 4) because I think accessories add character to an outfit; and my Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist hat (photo 5) - its nice details and headwear are a plus in summer.
What are your weaknesses when it comes to shopping?
Hats and garments with intriguing details and, of course, leather products. I have a soft spot for leather as the grain and texture of every piece is different and I love that the material ages with time.
What is your favourite splurge piece?
Probably a pair of leather shoes from Guidi (photo 6), which cost about $1,900. They are very comfortable, well-made and versatile. I have worn them even for backpacking trips in Thailand, Japan and Germany.
Is there a purchase you have regretted?
Yes, plenty. I realised at the end of the day, I have only one body and a pair of feet, so why do I need so many shirts, pants, jackets and shoes? I've been reducing my wardrobe to only key pieces that I use.
What is your most recent fashion purchase?
It was a pair of black cotton Boris Bidjan Saberi pants (photo 7) that cost about $800. I had to replace the old pair which had been torn beyond repair.
What is the best shopping or style advice you live by?
Buy what is practical in Singapore's climate and understand your body shape to avoid buying clothes that do not suit you. What you see on the models may not look good on you.