In an industry that is largely dominated by men, Lyn Kua set out with her partner, Ken Zhou, to establish menswear tailor, Assemble and Accent, a modern contemporary tailoring store dedicated to women. We spoke to Lyn to learn more about her passion and the importance of power dressing.
Tailoring is a niche industry, what led you here?
My partner/husband wanted to quit his job in the finance industry to bring about change in the tailoring scene in Singapore. As both of us have great passion in fashion, he roped me in from the start to run Assemble and eventually we noticed that Singaporean women were not that much more educated on well-tailored clothing and that’s where Accent came in!
Power dressing has always been associated with confidence that allows women to establish their authority in a professional environment traditionally dominated by men. Do you believe in power dressing?
Absolutely. When I was younger, I wore clothes that didn't fit me well and often purchased clothes that I thought would look great on me. But knowing your style and recognizing your fit is key to power dressing. I would feel like I could take on the world when I wore something that accentuates my frame. Dressing is important to feel empowered but what’s within should be the key.
What does the concept of a suit mean to you?
Every woman that has made a decision to tailor one for herself will know that putting on a suit brings out a confidence, feminine edge and style like no other. I was once labeled as being “too butchy” for wearing suits and I felt like I had to change this stigma.
To me, wearing a suit is about making a statement about who we want to be and what we came to do.
What inspired you to start Accent? Did you have a mission at the outset?
I used to run my own blog store, but it was never really enough. It didn’t carry my own preferred or original designs, it didn’t carry the statement that I’d want to spread to the world and most of it all, I wanted ladies to know that tailoring is not just for men.
Can you imagine having to walk into stores, trying on countless pieces where they don’t fit or you like a certain design but somehow it can look better? Accent was born to create the perfect fit for any woman, regardless of skin tone, body shape and sizes.
Having run Assmeble and Accent, you would be the perfect person to share how different tailoring is for women as opposed to men?
It’s kinda more straightforward for men, it’s always the usual Shirts, Jackets, Pants. It’s a totally different ball game when it comes to the ladies. Everything and anything can be customized, which is absolutely more fun! Which means it gets more challenging for us as well.
Women’s bodies are essentially trickier to measure and as bespoke female suits are still rather new in the market, a lot of ladies do not know what they want to create and what’s best for them. As fashion and beauty can be quite subjective at times, we have met with cases where we provided our professional opinions but they might not be very open to it. So this can be extremely challenging for us at times. But without these challenges, there wouldn’t be growth for sure!
Tailoring a suit is very much customised to the individual, as everyone is unique. This is very much the same as how we see beauty, that there is no one definition of beauty. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty exudes from the inside out, and you can tell how beautiful a person is by the way he/she talks, engages, smiles and more.
Lastly, what is a mantra or motto you live by?
Help others to help yourself.
About the writer
The beautiful half of the successful travel influencer @TodayWeExplore, Cheryl also heads the marketing at Asian Beauty X. When she isn’t trolling the internet for beauty trends, or dreaming up travel vacays, you can find Cheryl sipping ’Gram-worthy cocktails at some trendy bar.