SGFW Special: 7 questions with Yoyo Cao, founder of Exhibit
Before Exhibit takes to the runway tonight, founder Yoyo Cao chats to Buro about unveiling the unexpected
1. What are you most excited about for Exhibit's upcoming show? We're doing something completely different from what people expect from Exhibit, so that in itself is exciting. It's still the Exhibit silhouette, but it's different from the previous collections in terms of the textures, colours and feel. I think it's best if people came without expectations. A clean slate. That way, there'll be room for surprises!
2. With your hectic schedule — especially since Milan and Paris fashion weeks ended not long ago — what's your secret to juggling the workload? I don't really have a secret; I love what I do, and that really helps a lot. It doesn't feel like work. 3. Which are the pieces you see becoming a staple in your wardrobe, and how would you wear them? There are a few pieces that I see myself wearing a lot, like the ruffled shirts and trousers. We wanted to make pants that people can wear on a daily basis and will have no trouble mixing and matching with pieces from their own wardrobe.
4. What was the toughest challenge you've had to overcome when it comes to owning your own brand? Creating a brand is easy — it's the maintenance that is difficult. However, going for international fashion weeks helps because I learn from these designers that I see. Also, because I studied business instead of fashion design, the nitty-gritty details of designing the pieces and bringing them to life takes a bit longer than trained designers. 5. Tell us about the best memory you've had in an Exhibit outfit. The best memories would have to be the times when I wore our designs to fashion week in Milan and Paris and people asked me where the pieces were from. When I said they were from Exhibit, they were shocked. It gives me so much satisfaction and recognition for what I do. 6. As a style icon, your outfits are widely documented in street style photos and on Instagram, but what is your go-to pair of pyjamas? A set of silk pyjamas in navy blue that I found online. I feel that you need to be totally comfortable when you're going to bed. 7. What's the oldest Exhibit item in your closet that you find yourself reaching for up till today? It's actually a white shirt from our very first in-house collection. It's cotton with a very sharp collar. It's my ultimate go-to when I need to suit up because it's so sharp, and the material is comfortable and doesn't crumple easily. It's my all-time favourite.