Even with a 202k follower count on Instagram at press time, simply calling Yoyo Cao a blogger or social media influencer is not giving her enough credit. Cao’s carefully curated digital platforms inspire fashion-forward individuals on a daily basis (her flatlays are to die for), and her knack for reworking runway looks to fit her personal style has been lensed by many a streetstyle photographer.
Besides being one of the hottest fashion Instagrammers to follow, she’s made a name for herself through her three-year-old label, Exhibit, which she first started as a multi-label retail store. It has since been reinvented as a womenswear brand that’s highly sought-after by fellow fashion fiends.
Here, we highlight five moments that proved why Cao officially ruled 2016:
#1: She was featured in Vogue.
Her October 2016 feature on Vogue proved that she had landed on the international radar, and made her the first Singapore-based influencer to be featured on the fashion bible’s online platform. What the article centred on: Cao’s clever ability to layer separates and create sleek, structured silhouettes with a distinctively boyish flair.
#2: She launched her own website.
And yes, it’s more than just a space populated with OOTD posts. Rather, her updates feature personal views on fashion-related issues, tips and tricks to ace a particular look as well as fashion designers she interviews. It’s a space where she informs and educates her fans and followers on what she feels is current, which makes them want to return to it regularly.
#3: She was the only Southeast Asian invited to hobnob with luxury fashion brands’ representatives and insiders.
As the only Southeast Asian invited to prestigious events and luxe soirees such as the re-opening of Loewe’s Madrid Flagship store and Dolce & Gabbana’s dinner in Milan, Cao has gained the kind of international recognition that many budding fashion bloggers aspire to. What’s more, her Instagram following jumped by over 10,000 this year – further proof that she serves as a source of sartorial inspiration not just for local fashion authorities, but also for those around the globe.
#4: She’s the founder and designer of an emerging womenswear brand.
Three years later and still going strong. A sincere thank you to everyone who has supported us from day one and an even bigger thank you to my teammates at @exhibitstore. You guys are the driving force behind what I do ? (The first drop from the #FW16 collection will be available on exhibitstore.co at 8pm +GMT 08:00 time. See you there!) Photo by @bamvisuals
Exhibit’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection, which showed at this year’s Singapore Fashion Week, presented a delightful array of oversized sleeves, bell-bottoms and multi-layered separates – items that Cao herself favours. It may only be her second collection for the three-year-old label, but she’s earned a respectable standing as a designer who knows just how to combine luxurious textures with minimalist leanings.
#5: She’s also a savvy businesswoman.
Her business smarts aren’t limited to the fashion label she founded. This year, she took up numerous collaborations with local and global brands such as SK Jewellery and The Hour Glass. She teamed up with Singapore footwear label Charles and Keith for Exhibit’s Singapore Fashion Week runway show, and also joined the style council on Net-A-Porter’s The Net Set, a shopping app fronted by a tribe of utterly chic girls like Nicole Warne and Poppy Delevingne, earlier in May this year.
In short: Cao’s star is set to rise even higher in 2017 – and we can’t wait to see more of her and what she’ll be up to next.
Main image: Showbit.com
Like this? Check out 8 questions about Yoyo Cao’s Fall Winter 2016 Exhibit collection from editor Noelle Loh, watch our video with Cao backstage at Singapore Fashion Week and see the top style tips to learn from Cao.