Armed with a brilliant smile and impossibly glossy tresses, Melissa Koh is that girl on Instagram (@melissackoh) whose life reads like the stills of a picture perfect movie. She's coiffed à la the roaring twenties in Istanbul filming a digital venture one moment, and seated at Louis Vuitton's SS16 show in Paris the next. And most recently, the diminutive influencer was at the Buro pop-up propped on a sleek, white block, staring down the lenses of our cameras.
Having just debuted the cruise 2016 collection of easy separates at Digital Fashion Week, Koh adds founder of Run After to her bio of social media personality that's got 171K followers (and counting) hooked on her Instagram handle alone. As for the essence of the label, it symbolises the pursuit of happiness and dreams.
Pre-orders for the collection is now open on Zalora.sg, but the runway pieces have found home in Buro's retail space at Scotts Square — this is your invitation to come down and suss it out before you punch in your order online. And what's better than seeing, touching and trying on the clothes while spending a day with Koh herself at a meet-and-greet session at our pop-up this Sunday. We'll keep you hydrated with Hic coldpressed juices, and sated with creamy Pint Society goodness.
In an interview with Koh, it is clear that both girl and brand come with zero kitschy gimmicks attached. Relatable is the key word here, just like the influencers she herself looks up to.
So, what does this Insta-star have to say about the art of social media, and the meaning behind the name Run After?
Why start a clothing label?
Since I graduated with a business degree from NUS, I've always wanted to do something entrepreneurial. I chose fashion as the opportunities that arose as a result of my blogging background allowed me to be exposed to so many brands and clothes. Plus, I really love how I'm able to inspire others with my personal style. So, what better way than for me to have my own label where I can translate everything I really love and share that with everyone?
But, it's more than just the clothes, isn't it? Tell us about the message you really want to convey.
Yes, I wanted it to be more than just a brand selling clothes. It had to be inspirational and a reflection of my life story. The message that I hope to drive home and share is to enjoy the pursuit of your dreams. That's how Run After came about. I believe everyone writes their own story.
How about the tie-up with Buro? What excites you about the collaboration?
I've always loved Buro 24/7 Singapore. Specifically, the curation and the content you guys share. And, after meeting your fashion editor, Dora during Milan and Paris fashion week, I got really excited when my team told me that we're working with Buro. The most exciting part however, is the fact that people get the opportunity to see the pieces up close and touch the fabric — even those who caught a glimpse of the collection at the runway show last week. They'll then understand the quality and the amount of effort that went into the collection. I myself am personally blown away by the attention to detail my team puts in.
As an influencer that many people look up to, whom do you personally admire?
Chriselle Lim as she is relatable and connects with her followers. She's genuine. What you see on her social media platforms is who she really is, and I think that's so important. I love her for that. But, Nicole Warne is my style icon. She puts so much thought into everything she does, down to the curation of her feed. She works with brands very selectively. I think her followers can really trust that she stands behind whatever she posts. I also look up to Margaret Zhang as she's so talented. She's a photographer, stylist, writer, dancer and lawyer — I'm a fan.
There are many who aspire to build up their social media following. Any tips for them?
That shouldn't be the aim. It should come naturally and organically. Don't look at the numbers as the end goal, that's not real. You need to have something you want to share. Let's put it this way... I always tell myself that if one day Instagram ceased to exist, it's fine because people know me as a person and they can still connect with me personally.
And, how important is it to curate your Instagram feed?
Only to a certain extent. It should always still be genuine and you have to stay true to what you really like. In that way, that's already a "curation" to me. Don't post anything you personally don't feel for, or don't care about.
How about the last thing you ran after?
The train to get here because I was late (laughs).
Enjoy $50 off when you spend $300 on Run After at www.zalora.sg/run-after using promotional code 'BUROLOVESRUNAFTER' from now until 15 November 2015. Limited redemption codes available.
To explore the collection in person, visit the Buro Pop-up store at 6 Scotts Road, Scotts Square #01-06 (open daily from 10am to 10pm) from now until 15 November 2015.
Fashion direction: Dora Aljoofri