Desti Saint is our kind of girl. Not one to be contented with being great at just one thing, she has turned her attention to a rather extraordinary knack – designing handbags. Since the release of her inaugural Goatskin collection, Desti has been impressing fashion-forward thinkers with her unique sense of creativity and style. It is no surprise to us that Singapore-based media personality, Anita Kapoor, has stepped in as the brand’s ambassador.
Audrey Lee: Tell us a little more about your fashion background and what got your started?
Desti Saint: My background was in finance but fashion has always been something I loved. I love creating and it has always been finding the right colour, fabric, style… I love the individuality of fashion. When I left my finance job, I decided to go into retail. I became a distributor for handbags, which I took to New Zealand. However, the colours didn’t sell, so I decided to create my own brand. I found the right colour of gold, created my first handbag, and I suppose the rest is history, really.
AL: What are some of the challenges you faced?
DS: Competition is fierce so you really need to stand out and give people something unique, something that they want. Production and manufacturing are critical, without good material and quality production, you simply cannot get anywhere. In this field, it’s all about having good relationships. It’s a very small market and you’ve got to treat people respectfully. If you help them, then they will want to help you. It truly works.
AL: Tell us a little bit about your brand identity
DS: The Desti Saint brand is about quality, standing out from the crowd. It’s about having a unique style and often, there’s a message in the bag. The goatskin clutch is inspired by the beauties of Asia – it is designed to look like Balinese clouds, trees, flowers and it is embellished with a hand carved jade ingot. My Italian collection features the happiness symbol and the leather will be all Italian. I’m trying to be spot on with the colours so it will be a work of art as well. My next collection Love Knot is inspired by my experiences in Hong Kong.
AL: Which famous designer is/has been your inspirations?
DS: I love Valentino, because he makes a woman a woman. He uses the most amazing soft fabrics with beautiful quality. His creations make you look beautiful, which is what I try to achieve with my bags. To make beautiful statement pieces. I would say Desti Saint is sort of like Sex And The City meets Valentino – quality and always with the quirky uniqueness.
AL: So any future plans for yourself, for your brand?
DS: I’m looking into India for inspiration and possibly set up production there. Australia and America are markets we’re exploring. We’ve just got here, but we’ve already gotten seven retails and an agent. Singapore has been phenomenal and we want to give back and support local initiatives like Blueprint that’s coming up. We are a Singapore brand. So next year, you can look forward to my new collections Love Knot and Maddie.
By AUDREY LEE
Writer, Insiders’ Clozette