Fashion is all about self-expression, notes Dione Song of Love, Bonito, but its impact is more than just what the eye can see. Through fashion, “everyone can be empowered to find their own unique voice; to refrain from conforming and become the best versions of themselves”, says the newly minted CEO—the first in the history of the homegrown omni‑channel fashion brand.
Song is taking on the role with much enthusiasm. “The months have flown by. We’ve always seen ourselves as being in the business of empowering women—not fashion—so we’ve been spending the recent months fleshing out this ambition and coming together as a team to brainstorm on what this truly means for us. Pretty exciting times if you ask me!”
In July 2021, Love, Bonito launched LBCreate, a social impact initiative which seeks to bring women’s issues to the forefront and create actionable steps for the future. The company recently partnered Room to Read, a non-profit organisation that supports children’s literacy and girls’ education in Asia and Africa, to fund the education of 100 girls in lower income communities. Song highlights, “Education is something I fiercely believe in, and making it accessible—especially for less privileged young girls—is something we are fortunate enough to contribute to.”
It's the latest evolution of Love, Bonito, which has come a long way since its early days as BonitoChico, one of Singapore’s first successful e-commerce blogshops selling affordable and trendy threads as well as pre-loved clothing. Founders and Gen.T honourees Rachel Lim and Velda Tan, as well as Tan’s sister Viola, spotted a gap in the market for styles and silhouettes created for Asian women. Love, Bonito has since become one of the largest direct-to-consumer women’s fashion brands in Singapore, with physical stores and garnering key investments.
“We have a crystalised ambition to evolve into a meaningful ecosystem for the everyday Asian women, beyond just fashion,” says Song. To service and create a community for the modern Asian woman is at the crux of the brand’s ethos. Song shares, “I’d imagine that while she dares to dream, she’s content and grateful; while she has to wear many hats, she’s intentional about choosing what to wear and when to wear them; if and when she chooses family over work or vice versa, she doesn’t feel compromised but uplifted and empowered. And even though she’s straddling many roles, she thinks of not just herself but how to be the voice for other women.”