This Hong Kong native, who moved to Singapore in January this year, is the epitome of a New Age socialite. By that, we mean that she hails from a family of fashion insiders (mum’s the late designer Rowena U, dad’s in manufacturing, while sis is the general manager of luxury retailer, the Joyce Group). She gets invited to all the right dos, including Amfar’s first gala in Hong Kong this past March. She’s also changing up the creative and lifestyle scenes one badass digital idea at a time.
The first – and her most famous – is Spottly, the travel app that she co-founded in 2013. Voted “Best New App” across 15 countries seven times since, it’s like a tastefully curated Pinterest for travellers, where users can share photos and tips. Her latest is Wundrful, which launches next year. It’s meant to identify emerging or under-the-radar creative talents (writers, photographers etc), then get them hooked up with big names in the business. Says Chen: “There are so many talented people out there to be discovered and, I thought, why not help them with my connections?”
The 32-year-old has an equally adventurous yet sharp approach to dressing up. She advocates experimenting with one’s wardrobe whenever possible. “If you limit your fashion indulgences during the holidays, you’d be taking a big risk when the occasion comes. Test drive the look in advance, and you’ll have time to tweak and make sure you don’t look like an idiot,” she advises. Ever cocktail-ready – she slipped effortlessly from a Mary Katrantzou body-con dress into this flowing Ellery number for the shoot, despite being on standby for a video conference call – she lets on that she’ll be “winging it” this party season. “I’m just going to use outfits that I’ve accumulated over the recent months to put together my look.”
Photography Elvina Farkas/Anue Management, assisted by Mich Tan & Lucas Milone Art Direction Noelle Loh Hair Heidi Huang/Air Salon, using Aveda Makeup Zann Thiang/27A
An adapted version first appeared in Female’s December issue.