Imagine walking into a hotel room decorated with the latest CHARLES & KEITH bags, sunglasses, jewellery, and shoes (in your size!) — how perfect would that be, right?
That was exactly what happened last Wednesday when Instagrammers and Youtubers from 12 countries flooded into Singapore for a vacation.
The shoes and accessories label, founded by the Singaporean brothers Charles and Keith Wong, started out as a single, humble store in 1996. Back then, they sold just one thing — shoes.
Fast forward 23 years, the brand is now bigger than you can fathom. Their mainstay everyday-wear shoes aside, there’s the CHARLES & KEITH Collection (a premium line), there are bags, accessories, costume jewellery, and children’s footwear.
Today, the brand has a whooping 600 stores around the globe — spanning the United States, United Kingdom, European, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Southeast Asian markets.
A little known fact amongst Singaporeans is this: in many of these countries, CHARLES & KEITH is considered a mid-luxury brand — so you are likely to find the stores parked in luxury shopping malls such as the Siam Paragon in Bangkok, the APM mall along the famed Wangfujing retail belt of Beijing, and the Century Link complex in Shanghai.
Here, an insider’s peek into the who, what, where, when, and why-s of CHARLES & KEITH’s biggest-ever event in the brand’s history:
Who Was There?
Representing India were the fashion Instagrammers, Monalisha Mahapatra and Mitali, and from Philippines was the 23-year-old actress, Issa Pressman, who most recently made news and earned praises for coming out officially as bisexual.
We did the math — judging from the sheer number of influencers who turned up, it amounted to a staggering 7 million followers.
What Went On?
Here’s what went down: the brand housed the influencers at new The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, and brought them on a tour around the island’s most insta-worthy tropical spots.
The first stop was the Flower Dome at Gardens By The Bay, where the influencers spent a full two hours nailing that perfect Instagram shot.
That intense photography session was quickly chased by a dinner at Pollen before the group called it a night.
Come the next morning, the day kicked off at CHARLES & KEITH’s global headquarters where attendees went on a tour of the office, met the team, and got a sneak preview of this Spring/ Summer 2019 season’s shoes, bags, accessories, and jewellery launches.
The ladies then came together for a lunch at Straits Clan before heading to a painting workshop with local artists Danielle Tay, Simon Ng, and the local contemporary art gallery, Chan + Hori Contemporary.
Their canvases for the day? Brand new CHARLES & KEITH bags.
Hours later, the party continued — this time at the Capella Hotel located in Sentosa.
The brand threw a beautiful, al fresco rustic garden dinner — complete with fresh flower arrangements, sequinned CHARLES & KEITH straw hats, wine, selfies, laughter, and lots of friendships forged.
As the guests got up to leave, Tan Catherine Nakashima walked up the stairs, looked over the entire dinner venue and shouted, “Bye bye! I love you all!” Yes, Catherine, that’s probably how every single person at the dinner felt. This will go down in history to be the single-most fun-filled and beautiful event.