Bonia has carved out a long legacy in luxury retail ever since it was founded in 1974. With more than 700 sales outlets across Asia, the fashion leader as well as leather specialist pay tribute to timeless sophistication while keeping up with modern trends. Chen clues us in on the brand's future plans as it celebrates its 47th anniversary this year.
Options: Congratulations on Bonia turning 47! What are some of your plans to mark the occasion?
Datin Sri Linda Chen: Thank you! It’s always a privilege for me to be able to celebrate the brand’s anniversary. For our 47th, we’re launching our Autumn/Winter 2021 collection ‘Wanderland’, which is inspired by travelling within our own space — a nod to what we’re facing with the current pandemic, where we long to go out and travel again. It’s especially exciting for us this year, as we’re unveiling B-Aeroport, our very first interactive virtual space that transports you to a post-1970s mod era airport. It’s a place where the public can discover our new Autumn/Winter collection, explore our campaign story and visuals, as well as play a game to win Bonia vouchers.
What are you carrying right now?
I’m currently using the Armeria bag from our AW 2021 Collection. All its designs evoke a sense of escapism and I’m especially fond of this bag because it gives me holiday vibes and reminds me of my travels.
What can we always find in your handbag?
My phone — I just can’t live without it. Purse and cardholder, lipstick, AirPods, my water bottle to stay hydrated and, most importantly during these times, my hand sanitiser.
How does fashion make you feel?
Fashion is a mood enhancer for me, which helps lift my spirits and allows me to embrace a certain vibe that will mould my mood for the day.
How would you describe your personal style?
Versatile. I tend to go for neutral colours, luxe designs that look polished and chic, and minimalist styles that are casual yet comfortable.
What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe and why?
A white silk collared blouse. It’s my go-to piece because it’s very easy to dress up or down — I immediately feel stylish and put together for any occasion.
Given the creative industry in which you work, could you describe your work space/office for us?
My office space is designed according to how I would like to have conversations with my team and also to spark innovation. I like a very neutral space — white walls, beige floor tiles and blinds to block out the sun. The most important part of my office is the height-adjustable long standing desk — it works best for me when I need to think of ideas on my feet and have engaging discussions.
Which are your favourite fashion destinations in the world and why?
There are too many to choose from — any destination around the world could be a fashion destination to me. I like to be inspired and exposed to different kinds of culture, fashion and arts around the world, which always bring out unique ideas in my head.
Do you have a favourite fashion memory or moment to share with us?
My favourite fashion moment was an [up close and personal] session with Orlando Bloom in 2017 when he showed up for Braun Büffel’s 130-year celebration in Singapore.
What are your fashion-centric playlist and reading list like?
The Bonia B-Vibes playlist on Spotify. I highly recommend you listen to our curated playlist filled with hits that perfectly emulate our brand. As for my reading list, I read everything from magazines and online media articles from The Business of Fashion (BOF) and WGSN that can help me explore new knowledge from industry leaders.
This article first appeared on Sept 20, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.