Fashion

A Fashion Consultant on Mixing Luxury with Humility

Michelle Hui Lao, the fashion consultant at Suyen Corporation and co-owner of shoe accessory brand Fringy, has a dress code that speaks volumes.
IMAGE Kai Huang
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Michelle Hui Lao, the fashion consultant at Suyen Corporation and co-owner of shoe accessory brand Fringy, has a dress code that speaks volumes.

Fashion background: I was the managing partner at Mango from 2001 to 2005 and worked as customer base development senior manager and chief frontliner of sales at Adora from 2009 to 2015.


Current fashion wishlist: Hermès crocodile Kelly bag and hinged enamel bracelet, a cashmere long coat, and Adidas track pants in azure and red.

Personal style: I quite fancy layering my clothes, which allows me the liberty to achieve a certain look or to just stay warm when traveling to cooler places.


Michelle wears her own Paul Smith camisole, knit dress, and espadrilles; Zara headband.

Travel style essentials: A denim jacket, cashmere shawl, brooches, sunglasses, a pair of boyfriend jeans, a striped T-shirt, white sneakers accessorized with Fringy, and a cardigan.

Work essentials: Since I work in fashion, I find that there isn’t an acute separation between my workwear and personal styles. Both are inexplicably linked.

Favorite fashion memory: After finishing university, my parents presented me with my first Rolex watch.

Describe your style: To borrow the words of Jenna Lyons, “I like a sense of luxury mixed with humility. I'm not a huge fan of all one thing.”

Favorite brands: Paul Smith, Chanel, Gucci, Loewe, and Zara.

Favorite shops: Assembly, Le Bon Marché, and Selfridges.

Fashion philosophy: Substance is what matters, but style is what opens the door.


Michelle's favorite bags

Fashion influences: Tilda Swinton, Jenna Lyons, and Leandra Medine.

Style icons: Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Hutton, and Madonna.

First big splurge: A pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Varina ballet flats back when I was a college student and enjoyed—often times exploited, I am ashamed to admit—the generosity of the two people who brought me into this world.

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Her own Zara denim jacket; Chanel brooches; The Black Shop vest; Enan Almando ball skirt; Converse x CDG shoes; Fringy shoe tassels; and Hermès bracelets.

Prized possessions: My son Nathan’s handwritten notes to me when he was a small boy; an artwork that marks a “before” and “after” in my life; and a tennis bracelet my mom gave me when I graduated from university.

I can't live without: Air. I refuse to be an utter slave to my desires.

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Carole Cuasay-Tagle
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