During our shoot with Kim Raymond, the one thing that came across very clearly is her strong sense of identity when it comes to style. Sure, she replies, when presented with the mood board for the shoot but quickly adds that she didn’t bring any “colour”. Her edgy approach to fashion has garnered an ardent following who peruse her social media to take inspiration from the unique way in which she puts things together.
Indeed, a quick Google of her name and you will find many labels that the media have come up to describe her. Among them – are fashion influencer, fashion stylist and perhaps, most apt, fashion rebel. Based on her Instagram, it is clear that the last description is the most suitable as Kim, 37, is not one to stick to convention when it comes to fashion.
Kim’s distinctive approach to selecting her wardrobe has led to her being much sought after by fashion brands who are keen to collaborate with her and leverage her unique perspective.
“I don’t really have any rules per se because as I have grown up I realised that fashion is really anything and everything,” she says. “Just because you don’t like a certain thing does not make it less fashionable.”
From an early age, Kim realised that she was an individual in terms of her look. She recalls sporting a pixie cut with pink streaks at just 13.
“I used to have a very funky style,” she reflects. “It was definitely not a style that everyone around me would wear.”
One of the first influences on her was the Olsen twins who inspired a kind of “bag lady chic”. Now Kim describes her style as “casual chic”. But being labelled in terms of her style, isn’t really her thing. Instead, the greatest influence on Kim’s sense of style is her fearless attitude with regard to fashion.
“I am not afraid to wear anything,” she declares.
This was evident as she transitioned from one persona into another with different looks during the shoot. That she has the innate ability to mix and match was also something that clearly came across.
“I was very into mixing and matching,” she says, something that has continued till today. Throughout the shoot, there was quite a bit of discussion over the outfits she brought and the crew was pretty taken at how she managed to combine them.
“I can’t really say exactly what it is but I sometimes go into this mindset where I mentally start thinking of what matches what,” she says, when asked to explain her thought process. “It just comes to me and I go into this zone.”
In a previous interview, Kim has talked about improvising on what she wears – even using ribbons and bra straps as belts. Now, however, she is a bit more “grounded” when it comes to fashion, particularly since becoming a mother. Perhaps that is reflected in her preference for monotones. However, she does like to throw in “a bit of excitement here and there”.
You can’t deny that Kim has a great eye which makes styling something that comes naturally to her. She doesn’t do it professionally but shares this piece of advice for those who are still searching for what suits them best.
“I say try everything and see what you are most comfortable in,” she explains. “If we don’t experiment, we will never know. I can safely say that I am still trying and discovering different things at my age.”
For Kim, inspiration comes from “everything and everyone” around her. Aside from fashion, she also has a passion for art and architecture, which she believes also influence her fashion choices.
The mother of Skylar Raymond Foo – who just turned five and was also at the shoot, giving her mummy the seal of approval for some of the looks – says she sees her daughter is also developing the same interest in fashion that she has.
“I am not sure if it is normal for her age but she is really into dressing up and ‘being stylish’ as she calls it,” says Kim with amusement.
Often fashion is seen as frivolous but for Kim, fashion is about identity and that we should indulge ourselves where possible.
“You can tell a lot about a person from their style,” she says. “And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I feel it makes people more interesting when you see how they put together an outfit. Sometimes you can just imagine what his or her character is like. I think it’s fun. We don’t always have to look at things in a negative way. Fashion may not be an important part of life but it can make your life just a little bit more interesting if you allow it.”