Cover Valerie Ding

When it comes to fashion, it’s only natural that comfort comes first for the Singaporean fitness entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean style is compromised

One-third of the Singaporean siblings behind the successful CruCycle and CruBox fitness concepts in Singapore and Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that Valerie Ding is constantly on the go, shuttling between both cities. So when it comes to her fashion choices, comfort is key. “I move around so much that I have to be in comfortable threads,” shares the CEO of CruBox, an indoor boxing gym at Duxton Road, which opened earlier this year. (The first CruBox studio opened in 2017 on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.)

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Since their first foray into the fitness industry in 2014 with indoor cycling studio CruCycle, Valerie and her younger siblings Calvin and Beatrice have seen the global fitness scene grow by leaps and bounds. “There’s greater awareness of heath and wellness around the world,” Valerie says, using the proliferation of the athleisure trend in fashion as an example. “People regard activewear as part of their lifestyle and it’s not considered sloppy to be walking around in it anymore.”

Nowadays, her go‑to outfits mostly consist of modern sports gear from Canadian athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica—she particularly likes its black Align pants—and American activewear label Alo Yoga. But when the occasion arises, Valerie still makes the effort to dress up, sticking to oversized or classic silhouettes from brands such as Balenciaga and Thom Browne. Chanel sweaters are also a must-have in her wardrobe, she adds. “I’d wear those over and over again because they are so timeless.” Confident in knowing what fits and works for her, she is unafraid to venture into the men’s department, often pairing her looks with gold statement accessories. Her most recent purchase is an oversized Thom Browne sweater, which she admits has become a travel essential—other than the lip balm—these days.

Valerie’s most treasured fashion item has got to be the rare Hermès Kelly Doll bag her mum bought for her in Paris when she was 12 years old. “It was a limited edition back then, and I was lucky to receive it at such a young age. It has a cute face on it, making it different from many bags nowadays.”

 

Besides running her fitness studios, the animal lover spends a large part of her free time with her six dogs, one of which is Bandit, her first husky that inspired the logo and slogan of her fitness brand. Her love for dogs and passion for entrepreneurship has led her to recently launch Pups by Cru, which stocks healthy dog treats. Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey thus far, Valerie says, “When it comes to my businesses, it makes me feel good that I’m trying to promote an experience that improves the lives of other people!” 

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the items in Valerie's closet

  • PhotographyDebbie Yew/Moonrise Studio
  • HairAndrea Claire/Judy Inc, using Keune
  • Make-UpAndrea Claire/Judy Inc, using Skin Inc and Charlotte Tilbury