The Bag Page

Hong Kong style icon Charlotte Chen marks move to Singapore with a travel guide

Hong Kong style icon and tech entrepreneur Charlotte Chen now calls Singapore home and she has marked her move with the launch of a hip travel guide to showcase the city.

The Singapore issue of the Spottly Insider Magazine is part of the Spottly mobile travel application, which was co-founded by the 31-year-old in 2013.

The app allows users to archive their favourite travel spots and share them with followers.

The 36-page print product features six of Singapore's tastemakers - Earn Chen, creative director of Potato Head Folk restaurant; boutique owner Yoyo Cao; DJ Has Sidik; food stylist Bella Koh; photographer Anton Lim; and fashion blogger Nicole Wong - and their favourite local shopping, food and entertainment haunts.

"As the Spottly application is about people telling others about all the great places to visit, we thought it would be good to interview people about places for the guide," says Ms Chen.

She hopes that residents will use it to explore new places in their own backyard.

The guide is free and available at more than 70 locations including Books Actually, Park Royal Hotels, Basheer Graphic Books and The Lo and Behold Group of restaurants.

Plans are underway for a travel guide on Taipei and Bali.

The former banker and fashion brand strategist moved to Singapore late last year, when her South African husband was posted here for his job in the finance industry.

Listed as one to watch by Hong Kong Tatler magazine, Ms Chen is unmistakable for her quirky sense of style.

She turns up for the interview in a high-waisted, drop crotch pants from the Japanese label Toga, which reflects her passion for prints.

The effervescent Ms Chen credits her late mother, Hong Kong fashion designer Rowena Yu, for her eccentric sense of style.

"She had boyish red hair and dressed in avant garde brands such as Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto," says Ms Chen.

With her eye on style and as a fixture in Hong Kong's fashion scene, Ms Chen has earned herself the It girl label, but it is a title that she rejects completely.

"I'm not an It girl. I'm an It lady," she says with a laugh.

Adding: "It doesn't define me. What defines me is what I do and not what I wear or where I go. Call me an It entrepreneur. It sounds much cooler."

ST 20150306 BAG06A 8 1108643m



When I'm too lazy to take pictures with my regular camera, I'll clip this on my Apple iPhone to take wide-angle shots.

ST 20150306 BAG06G 8 1108698m


I find this cute because I used to eat McVitie's biscuits as a kid. This is my make-up pouch.

ST 20150306 BAG06B 8 1108652m


My sister gave this to me for Christmas. You rarely find small wallets that can store so much.

ST 20150306 BAG06C 8 1108651m

4. PEN

I love kitschy-looking things and that's why my pen looks like an orange.

ST 20150306 BAG06D 8 1108670m


I travel so much. I go back to Hong Kong every two weeks and I'll be in Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Bali within the next few months.

ST 20150306 BAG06E 8 1108677m


I buy a lot of lipsticks, so I'm never without them. These are dark shades because I'm kinda tired of bright red. I love those from Nars and Shiseido.

ST 20150306 BAG06F 8 1108691m


One of my best friends, Rene Chu, is the designer of this label. It's sold at Club21b here. I love it for its reflective lenses.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.