The 2017 Life Power List

The last word on cool


4 Christina Ong, 70, founder of luxury fashion and lifestyle retailer Club 21 and luxury hotel brand Como Hotels and Resorts

A purveyor of the high life, this savvy businesswoman runs a resort chain, a slew of high-end luxury stores and, now, a spanking new lifestyle enclave that has been drawing foodies and fashionistas and is fast becoming one of the trendiest places in Singapore.

It is Como Dempsey, an uber-cool cluster of restaurants with long wait lists.

Already making waves are the one-Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant Candlenut and Japanese restaurant Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh, which opened late last year, and celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar, which opened in March.

There is also Como Cuisine, which serves healthy, light cuisine. It was previously available only as a pop-up at the Paddock Club of the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

Then amid the cool eateries, an even cooler shop opened - in fact, one of the coolest in the world.

In July, the 12,325 sq ft Dover Street Market threw open its doors, giving Singaporeans a unique experience melding art, street fashion and architecture.

The store is the first offshoot of the high-end multi-brand retailer first started by Comme des Garcons founder Rei Kawakubo in London, one of the most hallowed concept stores in the world.

For the sure hand behind the tenant mix and for revitalising the Singapore retail and F&B scene, Mrs Ong makes the list this year.

This is the fourth time she is on the Life Power List for her various career coups. For example, the billionaire businesswoman made her debut in 2007 when Club 21 celebrated its 35th anniversary. In 2014, she was ranked No. 4 for putting Como Hotels and Resorts on the global map with new hotels in Miami, the Maldives and Phuket.

Mrs Ong is married to property magnate Ong Beng Seng and the couple have two children. She declined to comment for this story.

Eunice Quek

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 03, 2017, with the headline 'The last word on cool'. Print Edition | Subscribe