Aarika Lee

Silk crepe de Chine wrap dress, matching tiered dress, and leather sandals. Jewellery, Lee’s own. All outfits and accessories Diane Von Furstenberg, unless stated

A strong sense of family bond has always been the motivation for this free-spirited 35-year-old marketing director of boutique branding and marketing agency Elementary Co. “A large part of the ‘march to the beat of my own drum’ mantra stems from my upbringing. There are definitely days when I feel less energised, but I have an amazing support system that champions me and reminds me that I can – and will – achieve what I set my heart and mind to,” she says.

Which explains why #LifeBeyondGrades, a series of conversations with parents from this month, is something dear to this mother of two vivacious tots. The campaign, which Elementary Co. is involved in, aims to create a mindset shift in Singapore to dispel the increasing pressure of getting good grades in our young. The perfect icebreaker for that first dialogue session? Getting parents to share their PSLE scores — with no judgment at all.

Freedom is: “Knowing exactly who you are and not being afraid to let the world know it.”

Nadia Rahmat

Silk crepe de Chine chiffon wrap maxi dress and leather sandals.

There’s an infectious energy about this plucky 27-year-old, who splits her time between being events manager at the trendy Kilo chain of F&B lifestyle outlets, and a model with local agency Upfront — amid several other personal and professional projects. This year alone, she’s starred in a Netflix ad blitz championing diversity, and recently started using her Instagram account @skinnykatwoman to advocate conscious living.

The latter is something that has trickled down into her work at Kilo, which has switched to using chicken that are milk-fed and free of antibiotics, and added sustainable wines to the menu. Nadia’s self-love and be-kind message — especially about embracing different facets of beauty — stems from her personal experiences. “These topics became a part of my life at some point and affected me in a certain way, which is why I feel so strongly about them,” she says. “I feel it’s sort of my duty to uphold that responsibility in giving a voice to those who didn’t have an opportunity to represent themselves.”

Freedom is: “The ability to be anything you want to be without the fear of
self-judgment holding you back.”

Charlotte Chen

Silk wrap dress, cotton nylon sweater and leather sandals. Jewellery, Chen’s own

It’s enviable how ceaselessly enterprising the Hong Kong-born Chen is. One just needs to look at her CV, which spans everything from creating award-winning apps to building and scaling luxury fashion and consumer tech start-ups. That innate just-do-it attitude is what spurred the 34-year-old on in her latest foray: Everyday, a brand of personal care products with the “millennial touch”, thanks to the cheery and modern packaging, and a clean beauty ethos (it uses non-toxic, vegan-friendly and natural ingredients).

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was looking for paraben- and cruelty-free alternatives to my daily routine, and couldn’t find anything in the market that was clean, affordable and fun,” she says. Launched in the US in June exclusively at retail chain Madewell, the brand is opening its Singapore e-shop this month. “We want to make typically utilitarian unsexy products cool, so you’d be proud to display them at the front of your bathroom cabinet,” she says.

Freedom is: “Having the confidence to say and do what you want and believing in yourself.”   

Photography Zaphs Zhang Videography Andrew Goh Styling Imran Jalal Hair & Makeup Adeline Siow & Manisa Tan/Paletteinc, using Keune & Nars