Jamie Chua

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Jamie Chua
Jamie Chua profile.jpg
Born1975
Alma materCHIJ Toa Payoh (Secondary)
ChildrenCleveland Cuaca, Calista Cuaca

Jamie Chua (born 1975) is a Singaporean socialite and online personality. As of 2020, she has over a million followers on Instagram and close to 450,000 subscribers on YouTube. Jamie Chua first made headlines in 2011 because of her public and protracted divorce case with her then-husband, Nurdian Cuaca; with whom she has two children, Calista (b. 1998) and Cleveland (b. 1995).

Background

Jamie Chua's outfit at the 2019 Icon Ball. Photo from The Peak Magazine.

As a socialite, Jamie Chua has attended numerous fashionable social gatherings like the annual ICON Ball.[1] In 2019, she was awarded for being one of the best dressed attendees at the event.[2] Jamie Chua is also a familiar face at international fashion conventions like the Paris Fashion Week.[3] Jamie Chua has built up a following on her various social media platforms over the years. Of all her platforms, she has the biggest following on Instagram with 1.1 million followers as of February 2020.

Early life

Jamie Chua is the oldest of three siblings.[4] Her father was a travel agent and her mother a housewife. Growing up, her family struggled with their finances. Her high life, which she is now known for, only came about much later. Jamie Chua studied at CHIJ (Toa Payoh) and it was during this time that she started modelling.[5]

Modelling

Jamie Chua started modelling at 15 years old. She chose to model over other jobs as “it was the best-paying part-time job [she] could get as a secondary school student”.[6] To be a certified professional model, she had to attend classes at Mannequin Studio requiring payments that added up to about S$800. Her parents initially disapproved, seeing it as a waste of money but they eventually lent her the sum.[7] For the next two years, Jamie Chua spent most of her after-school time auditioning and modelling for advertisements and photoshoots. She eventually made enough to not just pay her parents back but to also acquire her first designer item - a $2,000 Chanel bag.[8]

Singapore Airlines air stewardess

At 17 years old, Jamie Chua joined Singapore Airlines (SIA) as an air stewardess.[9] She flew the skies for three years and it was on one of these flights that she met her future husband Nurdian Cuaca.[10] Her career as a flight stewardess ended when she married Nurdian Cuaca, an Indonesian businessman who would later become a multi-millionaire.[11]

Personal life

Jamie Chua met Nurdian Cuaca while working as a flight attendant in the business class cabin of a Singapore Airlines flight.[12] At the time of marriage, Cuaca was not yet a tycoon but just an employee at a company.[13] Jamie Chua told an interviewer that the newly-wed couple struggled for ten years before her husband struck it rich.[14][15] Jamie Chua and Cuaca became parents after the birth of their son Cleveland in 1995.[16] Their daughter, Calista, was born in 1998.[17]

Jamie Chua pictured with Calista and Cleveland in 2018. Photo from Instagram.

Divorce (2011)

In February 2010, Jamie Chua filed for divorce after being married for over 15 years. She cited “unreasonable behaviour” as the reason for divorce.[18] In response, Cuaca opposed her divorce grounds and countersued for divorce on his grounds (also “unreasonable behaviour”).[19] The proceedings were thrust into the public spotlight following revelations that Jamie Chua was asking for S$450,000 monthly alimony from Cuaca.[20]

Nurdian Cuaca pictured with Jamie Chua. Photo from Just Richest.

During the divorce, Cuaca had allegedly cancelled his ex-wife's supplementary credit card and reduced her monthly maintenance fee.[21] Cuaca had also transferred $3.2 million over two days from a Singapore bank account to an Indonesian account.[22] As such, Jamie Chua applied to freeze her ex-husband’s $93 million worth of assets in addition to an interim maintenance order.[23] Cuaca alleged that the money belonged to his sister but Jamie Chua’s lawyers argued that it was a calculated move to reduce the assets that would be divided upon their divorce. As such, her application for the injunction was successful.[24] The protracted dispute finally ceased on 15 November 2011 and the freeze on Cuaca’s assets was also lifted. However, the final terms of the arrangement were ultimately undisclosed. In a 2018 interview, Jamie Chua shared that she and her ex-husband are on amicable terms. However, she also admitted that the divorce was one of the lowest points in her life.[25]

Financial status

In 2016, Jamie Chua's wardrobe tour video went viral on social media. As of 2020, it has over six million views on YouTube.[26] On Instagram and YouTube, Jamie Chua regularly creates content that gives her followers a look into her lifestyle as a socialite. Her content includes haul and unboxing videos[27] of branded items and luxury travel vlogs.[28] According to recent reports from 2018 and 2019, Jamie Chua lives in a 10,000 square-feet house with her family and three dogs.[29][30] In 2015, it was reported that she has bird’s nest for breakfast daily, and has two maids in her house to serve her family.[31]

Walk-in wardrobe

Jamie Chua stores her purchases in a 700 square-feet walk-in closet that is also protected by fingerprint access.[32] According to her, when she sees an item that she likes, she purchases it in every colour available.[33][34] Aside from her collection of handbags, Jamie Chua owns over 300 pairs of shoes. On average, the shoes cost about $1,500 each.[35] Her cheapest pair of shoes are priced at $795.[36] Other expensive clothing she owns include a $19,000 Gucci Fox Fur Coat, a $27,000 Rami Kadi gown and numerous Chanel jacket dresses that cost $8,899 each.[37]

Handbag collection

Jamie Chua posing with her handbag collection. Photo from Instagram.

According to South China Morning Post, Jamie Chua is recognised to have one of the largest collections of Hermès bags in the world.[38] In 2014, it was reported that she owns more than 200 Birkin and Kelly bags that are worth over S$2 million in total.[39][40] The most expensive handbag that she owns is a Himalayan Crocodile Birkin with white gold detailing and 245 diamonds encrusted on it.[41] The bag retails for $432,000.[42]

Businesses

Luminous1 by Jamie Chua (2015)

Luminous1 Luxe Cream. Photo from source.

Luminous1 was a skincare company founded by Jamie Chua and Sharon Tang in 2015.[43] The company was created to provide high-quality beauty care products at affordable prices.[44][45] The brand launched five products with price points ranging from $79[46] to $439.[47] Its official launch was on 8 April at 10.38 am.[48][49] As of February 2020, Luminous1’s official website is no longer accessible and their social media pages are all inactive.[50][51][52]

The Closet Raider (2014)

Jamie Chua co-founded The Closet Raider with her friend, Sharon Tang in 2014.[53] The Closet Raider was created to help people find new homes for their designer items.[54] Thus, the company created an accessible online platform to fulfil that goal.[55] The business rapidly gained popularity in Singapore despite being a new entrant to the already competitive market. A month after setting up the business, they amassed over 13,000 followers on the business’s Instagram page.[56] As of January 2020, the company has been struck off.[57]

Cloud 9 Lifestyle - Manolo Blahnik Distributor (2006 - 2011)

Jamie Chua’s love for Manolo Blahnik shoes inspired her to establish Cloud 9 Lifestyle in 2006. The company was a subsidiary of D’League, of which her then-husband Nurdian Cuaca owned a substantial portion of the company’s shares.[58] Since D’League was the parent company, Cloud 9 Lifestyle could exclusively sell Manolo Blahnik shoes using D’League’s franchise rights. Jamie Chua explained in an interview that it took her nearly two years to secure rights from the master franchise based in Hong Kong.[59]

Retail stores

Jamie Chua opened her first retail shop in 2007 at the Hilton Hotel Shopping Gallery.[60] Cloud 9 Lifestyle was the first to sell Manolo Blahnik shoes in both Singapore and Southeast Asia. In the first three weeks, the shop sold 480 pairs of shoes.[61] The good sales prompted her to open another outlet at Marina Bay Sands. The second shop was opened in 2010.[62]

Closure

Jamie Chua filed for provisional liquidation in 2011, citing potential cash-flow problems for the firm.[63] This was a result of D’League’s decision to stop funding Cloud 9 Lifestyle, of which she was notified on 19 January 2011.[64] Eventually, both stores were shut down in 2011 following the closure of the company.[65]

References / Citations

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  2. Heng, Melissa. “Belles of the Icon Ball”. The Straits Times. April 13, 2019. Accessed on 3 February 2020.
  3. Heart Evangelista, Jamie Chua reunite in Paris Fashion Week”. Heart Evangelista. January 27, 2020. Accessed on 3 February 2020.
  4. Nanda, Akshita. “Queen of Instagram”. Asia One. August 27, 2013. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  5. Why socialite Jamie Chua needed S$450,000/mth in maintenance”. Yahoo! Singapore. August 30, 2013. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  6. Zhu, Michelle. “Living a charmed life”. The Edge. September 3, 2018. Accessed on 29 January 2020.
  7. Zhu, Michelle. “Living a charmed life”. The Edge. September 3, 2018. Accessed on 29 January 2020.
  8. Nanda, Akshita. “Queen of Instagram”. The Star Online. September 1, 2013. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  9. Yeo, Melissa. “10 Jamie Chua Facts That Will Make You Green With Envy”. MustShare News. November 26, 2015. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  10. How a Flight Attendant Hustled Her Way to Become Singapore’s ‘Queen of Instagram’”. Next Shark. April 5, 2016. Accessed on 31 January 2020.
  11. Rebecca. “Singapore socialite Jamie Chua: A person with no work has no goal in life”. The Independent. March 12, 2019. Accessed on 29 January 2020.
  12. R. Hernandez, Chino. “13 Of Singapore’s Real Crazy Rich Asians”. Lifestyle Asia. August 10, 2018. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  13. The Real Crazy Rich Asians: We Take A Look At Asia’s Affluent Elite”. Weekender. September 4, 2018. Accessed on 31 January 2020.
  14. Lim, Atika. “10 Things You Should Know About Jamie Chua”. Women’s Weekly. August 2, 2018. Accessed on 30 January 2020.
  15. Azliah, Nurul. “Singapore socialite Jamie Chua cried during interview with Indonesian media”. Yahoo! Lifestyle. November 8, 2017. Accessed on 29 January 2020.
  16. Ann, Danielle. “Jamie Chua’s son, Cleveland, just got a 24th birthday present to end all gifts”. Alvinology. April 8, 2019. Accessed on 31 January 2020.
  17. Jamie Chua. “TWINNING W/ CALISTA FOR HER BIRTHDAY! | JAMIE CHUA”. December 19, 2019. Accessed on 31 January 2020. YouTube.
  18. Jamie Chua Opulent Home in Singapore : 700-Square-Foot Multimillion Dollar Luxury Wardrobe”. Blue Brickz. Accessed on 29 January 2020.
  19. Vijayan, K.C.. “Businessman in divorce suit on Interpol list”. The Straits Times. January 13, 2011. Accessed on 31 January 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
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  28. Jamie Chua. "MY PARIS EXPERIENCE WITH CHAUMET | JAMIE CHUA". YouTube. March 19, 2020. Accessed on 30 July 2020.
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