January 20, 2014
Yeane Lim, this year’s Fashion Icon, is inspired by her travels to many of the world’s most stylish cities to dress with all the sweetness and charm of Sex and the City”s Charlotte York, as Nina Hidayat discovered.
“It wasn’t until I had my second child in my mid-20s that I started dressing up,” says Yeane Lim during a casual chat in the lounge of her stylish residence in south Jakarta. “I was experiencing baby blues when a friend suggested I join (modelling school) John Robert Powers to regain my confidence. It was then that I fell in love with fashion. In other words, the baby blues was a blessing in disguise!”
Upon entering Yeane’s delightful home, a life-size fashion photo lensed by Markus Diyanto greets guests in the spacious living room. What follows is every fashionista’s dream: a systematic walk-in closet fillet with Hermes bags, Christian Louboutin shoes and Lanvin dresses. Each item is carefully stored in boxes, completed with a label indicating its content. It really is hard to imagine that the entrepreneur and mother of two once considered herself a “nerd”. “During my college days, the only things I wore were T-shirts, jeans and sweaters,” she admits with a grin.
Yeane spent the most of her teenage years abroad, having been sent to attend primary school in Singapore when she was eight years old. At the age of 16, she moved to the United States for her college education. She joined the family-owned electronics firm Denpoo Mandiri Indonesia in 2000 and is now the company’s CEO. Denpoo manufactures electronic appliances and has more than 1,000 employees.
Yeane surely knows how to juggle the two roles of top executive and mother in grand style. With a job that requires her to run around town and fly across the region, she takes it upon herself to master the art of dressing up for evening events in a jiffy. “There simply is no time for me to book a make-up artist or go to the hair salon before events,” she says. “I have studied that works for me, and now it only takes 15 minutes for me to create an evening look.
Here elegant getups of monochromatic tops and pencil skirts are usually spiced up with fun accessories – be it a gold pair of heels, a chunky bib necklace or a colourful clutch. Attending the 2013 Prestige Gala last October, Yeane opted for a white tube gown with a black cage-like waist detailing from famed Australian brand Sass & Bide. Her look was a perfect combination of Angelina Jolie’s unrivalled elegance and some Gaga-esque edge. “I would describe my style as simple and chic with an eye for details. My clothes tend to be very basic, mostly in black, white and nude. The accessories are what make them stand out – the detail on the buttons, the striking chokers or the statement shoes.”
One peek into her shoe closet and it is apparent that Yeane is a shoe lady. “The outfits I wear depend a lot on my shoe pick for the day,” she confides. Besides her many pairs of Louboutin and Lanvin, she is obsessed about Zara and Topshop shoes. She creates a wish list before each new season. Once they are on sale, she will fly to Singapore or even Paris to lay her hands on the shoes that strike her fancy.
Yeane’s other treasured possessions are her necklace and clutch collections. The necklaces range from simple gold chains to show-stealing pieces. She makes it a point to go necklace hunting in every new city she visits. Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana are top of her list when it comes to dressing up for an evening event. The former for an element of surprise in classical pieces; puffed up sleeves on a little black dress and a distinctive flower ornament on a one-shoulder number to name all but two. When it comes to Indonesian designers, she favours Didiet Maulana and Rusli Tjhonardi. On a daily basis, Yeane often mixes high fashion pieces with high street brands to created eclectic ensembles.
“Fashion is about how you wear the clothes.” she declares. “There’s no point in buying clothes just because of their price tags.” This philosophy comes from her experience in the fashion industry. Yeane was the founder of Zix Fashion, a wholesale and retail company that supplied and distributed Korean fashion products to the local market, as well as a personal shopper at Diane von Furstenberg’s Indonesia boutique. In her spare time, she still styles and choreographs catwalks for Natalie Tjandra’s accessories brand Portia.
Although admitting that fashion is her confidence booster, Yeane is determined to dedicate her time and energy to develop Denpoo. In 2014, the company is going through a restructuring phase and Yeane is leading the implementation of the development plan. “Being a leader is about learning to say no,” says. “Prioritise the things that you need to do and stick to the plan. That’s my guiding principle.”
At a glance, Yeane’s life resembles that of Charlotte York of Sex and the City. Both are well-educated women with a chic fashion flair whose approachable attitude adds to their glowing beauty. Yeane combines family and career responsibilities in a way that all her friends admire. She wears both hats – and does an amazing job of it.
Photography by: Eliska Ratna – The Leonardi
Styling by: Peter Zewet
Story by: Nina Hidayat
Make Up & Hair by: Selie Jesse (62 819) 1243 4555
Assistant Fashion Stylist: Koko Namara
Shot on location at King Foto