MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Meet one of Singapore's hottest fashion retailers

Viola Tan of Love, Bonito has perfected the Asian fit.

Love, Bonito is a homegrown fast fashion e-commerce label that has shown tremendous growth trajectory over the years.

"We started out with the motto 'To share our love for fashion' and over the years have gained a cult following of loyal followers and customers who identify with the brand and whom wear Love, Bonito with confidence and style," says Viola Tan, co-founder and executive director of the Love, Bonito Group, which is also noted to be Singapore’s largest fast fashion retail brand.

Tan is a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Singapore and together with her co-founder, they turned $500 into the multi-million dollar company Love, Bonito, by expertly leveraging online platforms and social media channels and pioneering new strategies to reach the modern customer. The company earned less than SGD1 million, but 2016 revenue was at approximately SGD10 million.

Tan currently heads the Group’s business development efforts as Love, Bonito seeks to further expand its footprint across Asia. Viola led and closed the first round of funding for the company and is also heading investor relations for Love, Bonito Group. Viola is a regular speaker at trade and industry conferences. She is also a media ambassador for select luxury brands.

Love, Bonito’s unique selling point and competitive advantage is that they have perfected the Asian fit, says Tan. "We understand the Asian woman’s physique is so different from anyone else in the world. We are consistent with our sizing and we provide trendy clothes at affordable prices," she says. "We will in the next three to five years strive to touch women all across SEA, Asia and Asian women globally."

Tan also shares that they will be the largest fast fashion female e-commerce company with touch points and flagship retail outlets in major cities. They believe in gaining each and every customer’s confidence through channels like their personal styling sessions held in their stores and educating and encouraging them to purchase online.

"We believe in touching women, and building a brand so strong that all Singaporeans will be proud of, and at the same time recognized globally," she notes.

The story above on our customers’ testimonials is a constant reminder of what Love, Bonito can and will bring, says Tan. "Personally, every country that I can bring Love, Bonito to, is a huge achievement. Of course, awards and recognition along the way boosts our confidence too. Just last year, we bagged three awards from all three nominations at the Singapore Fashion Awards and it was an extremely proud moment for us," she says.

At the same time, growing as a leader in the company, from 2 employees in 2010 to where they are now is also the best achievement, notes Tan. There's a team of 45 in Singapore, 12 in Indonesia and 10 in Malaysia. With partners in other parts of the world, like a franchise in Cambodia, potential partners in Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. Not to forget Asians in Australia, Canada and USA.

"I’ve learnt so much and am continuing to learn every single day of this journey as an entrepreneur," Tan says.

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