With a mellow demeanour and elegant style, Bella Koh embodies the spirit of Lohas (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) and the slow movement. While still relatively new here, living green and embracing a socially conscious consumer lifestyle is gaining popularity, and Koh’s the perfect, telegenic ambassador.
“I was a bag designer for almost a decade, and pretty much overworked in the fast-paced fashion industry. The work took a toll on me, physically and mentally. So I decided to call it quits and took a step back in life,” she explains.
Her first “slow life” venture was Flea & Trees. The now-defunct vintage and curio shop played a pivotal role in turning Tiong Bahru into the indie creative community it is today. (It continues to exist online at www.fleaandtrees.com.)
These days, though, she’s mostly known for her food styling that’s garnered her a cool 72.4k followers on Instagram. Recognisable by her signature use of a marble table top as a backdrop, every image is minimalistic with a distinct Japanese flavour (she’s a huge fan of Tokyo culture). “I became drawn to the world of food knowledge and factory farming, and became more conscious of what I ate and did,” she says. “So I started making food for myself, Instagramming it, and boom.”
Catching the attention of F&B powerhouse The Lo & Behold Group, Koh ended up styling for restaurants like The White Rabbit and Extra Virgin Pizza. Now, she even lends her discreet taste and eye for details to projects with major brands that target the modern lifestyle-conscious audience. Among them: Tumi and Swarovski, which has named her one of its influential “Insiders”.
Photography Ivanho Harlim & Shysila Novita, assisted by Marie Liang Styling Noelle Loh, assisted by Angela Chu Hair Brenda Lye & Adeline Seow/PaletteInc, using La Biosthetique Makeup Jane Lau/ PaletteInc, using Urban Decay/PaletteInc
Like this? Find out why Bella Koh has a thing for masculine watches, her 5 top tips on Instagramming the perfect meal and fellow F-Collective member Trishna Goklani’s London Fashion Week visual diary.