Hubert Burda Media

LIM AI CHIIN OF CUEVOLUTION

Fashion entrepreneur Lim Ai Chiin speaks to us about her online fashion platform turned physical showroom. 

Former scientific researcher turned fashion entrepreneur Lim Ai Chiin founded Cuevolution in July 2014 on the basis of introducing exciting labels from emerging designers around the globe. In January 2015, the launch of Cuevolution's first flagship showroom space at Publika Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur marked a significant milestone for Ai Chiin. She currently stocks a range of international designers including Cristina Sabaiduc and Eugenia Kim, as well as fashion week local favourites such as Cassey Gan and Moto Guo. Her fervent passion for fashion stems from a young age, as she began designing dresses at the tender age of 7. When she's not busy managing her brand, she can be found travelling the globe seeking for inspiration or scouting new talent at fashion week. 

From online to offline

I decided on a physical presence as the labels that I carry are relatively new to the market and I felt it was important for clients to come and personally see the specially curated pieces that we have at Cuevolution. It's kind of like a first date in some ways, the physical presence would enable clients to get to know the brands that we carry personally. It is important to not just understand the label's ethos but to also see and feel the quality and fit of the pieces first hand.  I also wanted a space where clients and future designers could come and see what Cuevolution is all about and the direction that we are heading towards. There's that nice touch of exclusivity as well as we get to personally style clients and advice them when they come to our showroom. 

Future expectations

More collaborations with our current designers and new collections as well. It's a secret...

Exciting independent labels

What excites me about independent labels is their story and individuality. It's a great feeling when you chance upon a label that has a great core which is reflected well in their collection. There's a nice touch of something mysteriously different about their pieces and yet not too unfamiliar. There's nothing better than having that key piece in your wardrobe that you know you can't chuck out even after years of having them in your wardrobe. 

Local fashion scene

I think it's amazing that it's growing: there appears to be an increase in young local talents who are doing great abroad: Moto Guo, Yii, Self Portrait, Jonathan Liang and it's lovely that everyone in the industry is picking up on that. It's really great to see locals supporting our own talents and wearing them out to events as well. In terms of style, I'd say we are pretty versatile and that's exciting: we have hijabistas, plenty of streetstyle and more importantly, there appears to be a higher amount of people going for individuality in terms of style. We love that at Cuevolution. 

Driving motivation

Building Cuevolution is what drives and motivates me currently. There are plenty of ideas I have yet to complete as well as things I want to do with Cuevolution, one baby step at a time I guess.

Favourite style influencers

Hmm...tough question as I don't really have one but...I'm currently liking the Man Repeller's Leandre Medine's style a lot.

The ultimate vision

I would love to have pop ups abroad in the near future. The focus now is to steadily build brand awareness and presence offline and online in addition to curating more exciting designers to house under Cuevolution.  

Visit www.cuevolution.com to view her designer picks