updated 12 Dec 2010, 18:58
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Wed, Mar 10, 2010
The Business Times
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Nancy Lim
by Melissa Lwee


WHAT was initially born out of a love for fashion eventually became a long-term thriving business for Nancy Lim, whose multi-label boutique Pois has been growing from strength to strength in the 26 years that it has been around. 'Pois started in 1984,' says Ms Lim. 'I used to collect vintage ball gowns from the '50s and I'm a great fan of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.'

Last year, her business grew enough for her to open a second outlet enVie de Pois at ION Orchard last year.

'The business growth was organic,' she says. 'Initially, I was only buying items that I love to wear myself but as more people became aware of us, I realised there were many gifted designers out there yet to be discovered whom I could introduce to my customers. So I slowly diversified and started sourcing for those new to market labels which would bring some excitement to the local fashion scene.'

She adds that she now has a very experienced team of buyers all of whom have a keen eye for new talent who will 'shape next season's fashion landscape'.

For Spring/Summer 2010, she has introduced a wide range of eye-catching labels like Erdem (often cited as London's answer to Christian Lacroix) and the very funky British label Basso and Brooke. In particular, she singles out Giambattista Valli; Hotel Particulier and Leitmotiv as some of the new labels she's brought in to look out for.

'Giambattista Valli has an established collection with great silhouettes and a strong celebrity following,' she says.

'Hotel Particulier is an up-and-coming brand with innovative techniques such as processed leather that is stretchable and washable, definitely an edgy brand worth looking out for, and Leitmotiv is known for its interesting digital print designs.'

Like many others in the fashion retail industry, Ms Lim has noticed how fashion forward local consumers are today, thanks to the proliferation of information available on the Internet as well as the increased amount of travel that Singaporeans do these days. An enlightened market means that there is greater scope for her to bring in new labels she might not have thought viable before.

'Women in Singapore are very chic, updated and cosmopolitan. In fact, they are getting more experienced in keeping up with the trends these days,' she observes.

'Even so, I think that our team's passion for dressing our customers constantly challenges them. We determine the viability of a brand by first assessing if we personally look good in them. It's about having the instinct to know how well a brand can work in our market.'

Pois at Paragon, envie de Pois at ION

This article was first published in The Business Times.


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