Jo Soh

Fashion Designer

Singapore

Jo Soh is a spunky Singapore fashion designer. After graduating with first class honors in fashion design with a concentration in marketing from Central St. Martins in London, the ambitious entrepreneur brushed up on her skills with various designers around the world, including sewing haute couture garments for Tristan Webber in London. She debuted her womenswear line, Hansel, at the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in November 2003, and has been going ever since. Her bubbly personality translates into her spunky designs (think bold patterns and contrasting shades), which have garnered many fans, including pop singer Katy Perry, actress Rose Byrne and all-girl pop band The Veronicas. In February 2011, Soh introduced Hello Hansel, a diffusion line by Hansel that focuses on younger, vibrant casual pieces with bold prints and bright hues. Soh was also commissioned to design uniforms and merchandise for companies such as DBS Bank, Maybelline New York and Sony Ericsson.

  • On November 14, 2013
    Marie Bobel is now following Jo Soh
  • On November 14, 2013
    Tom Flournoy is now following Jo Soh
  • On November 14, 2013
    Hayley Bosch is now following Jo Soh
  • On November 14, 2013
    Andi Berens is now following Jo Soh
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What are the best neighborhoods in Singapore?

    I grew up and went to school in the Siglap neighborhood. It’s right by East Coast Park and the sea. Because I grew up there, I feel very comfortable there. I just love being close to the sea.

    Marine Parade is also a great neighborhood, and the best part about it is that it is right next to the sea. Long walks along the beach at East Coast Park are always a favorite relaxing activity. Marine Parade is also right next to Katong, which is filled with eateries serving both local and international cuisine.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What are the best things to do in Singapore?

    1. Haw Par Villa. It’s weird, wonderful and a little macabre. It’s this really old park that’s free in entry and built by the Aw Brothers [Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par]. They used all these plaster of Paris sculptures to depict Chinese folklore. There are really weird things like women that are half-crab, half-woman, or people that have a head of a cow and the body of a human being — it’s kind of weird. The statues always tell some moralistic story. There’s the Ten Courts of Hell [exhibit], which all Singaporean kids get dragged through to scar them for life; maybe that’s how Singapore stays crime-free.

    2. The Southern Ridges. It is a great [6.2-mile] walk. It takes you maybe an hour or two. It guides you through lots of lush greenery and great views. I like to go walking a lot.

    3. Tiong Bahru. The old Tiong Bahru neighborhood is very popular. It’s an old housing estate built in the 1930s, so it’s all low-rise Art Deco buildings. Now, it’s got more restaurants and is becoming quite a popular place to visit. I enjoy the food at modern restaurants such as Open Door Policy, and at the same time, I also like to visit the Tiong Bahru Food Market & Hawker Centre — my personal sinful favorite is the roasted pork.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What are the best museums in Singapore?

    There are a number of museums. There’s the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum, the Asian Civilisations Museum. The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is the best. I find it the most interesting because it brings in shows that involve design, which I’m interested in. The rest of the museums are all like fine art, Asian art or local heritage.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What are the best restaurants in Singapore?

    I would say Kok Sen Coffee Shop on Keong Saik Road is one of the best Chinese restaurants. They call it zi char; basically, they just cook a variety of different dishes. They have this amazing dish called the “Golden Dragon Chicken” that isn’t actually chicken. The so-called flesh is actually made of seafood paste. It looks like a roasted chicken spread out with the wings and everything, but the meat inside is actually seafood paste — it’s kind of weird, but wonderful.

    There’s one called The Big Sheila. It’s in this little neighborhood in Opera Estate. It’s run by an Australian lady [Fleur Glover]. Her food is down to earth; it’s homemade style. I really don’t like itsy bitsy fine-dining food. The Big Sheila turns even the humble Scotch egg into a gastronomical heaven. It's Glover's signature approach to food — hearty, homemade and very tasty. Her portions are generous, too, and overall her dishes are as big as her personality.

    Because I’m a big veggie girl, I like The Garden on Sentosa. I think it’s the best hidden secret for vegetarians. They don’t serve just vegetarian food — they do serve meat — but when they do vegetarian, they do it really well. It gives me my ultimate feel-good fix. They practice what they call "conscious dining" where they prepare fresh, premium produce with a focus on retaining their natural goodness and flavor. Their self-constructed salads allow you to choose what makes up your salad from quality ingredients. (I always go for the larger “bucket” portions.) They have an absolutely delicious fennel risotto, and the one dish that really tips the experience over the edge is the wild mushroom soup made from boudin blanc, shimeji mushroom and leek ravioli. They might as well call it the "magic mushroom soup."
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What are the best places to stay in Singapore?

    I haven’t stayed in it yet, but I love [Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star] The Fullerton Bay Hotel. It’s so beautiful. It’s not the biggest hotel — it’s cozy — but it’s just so well designed. It’s not over the top glitzy. It’s got some kind of Art Deco-style touch to it. I like that one.
  • On November 14, 2013
    Jo Soh answered the question: Jo Soh

    What’s the best time of year to visit Singapore?

    Because I’m in retail, Christmas! Everybody spends. Maybe it’s more commercial here during Christmas but it’s still a lot fun. It’s my favorite time of year because my work means a lot to me because it’s my company. I enjoy meeting people in the shop. Everything has fairy lights. Everyone is eating and drinking. It’s fun.