Love, Bonito

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The logo for Love, Bonito. Photo from NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates.

Love, Bonito (official website) is a popular fashion brand and retailer that has its origins in Singapore. Love, Bonito specialises in women’s wear. As of 2019, Love, Bonito retails in 17 stores across 4 South-East Asian countries and ships internationally.[1]

Origins

Love, Bonito started off as BonitoChico, a blogshop hosted on the social networking site Livejournal. The online venture had been launched by childhood friends Rachel Lim, Velda Tan and Viola Tan in 2006.[2] As the blogshop grew in popularity, BonitoChico eventually rebranded as Love, Bonito in 2010. The 3 founders all left school to manage Love, Bonito full-time. The company evolved from a blogshop merely re-selling clothes from Thailand and South Korea to an online retailer which produces its own in-house designs.[3]

Founders

Rachel Lim (left) and Viola Tan (right), the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Love, Bonito respectively. Photo from Women Entrepreneur Awards.

Rachel Lim

Rachel Lim (@ms_rach) is one of the co-founders of Love, Bonito. As of May 2019, she is the current Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Brand Officer of Love, Bonito.[4] Rachel Lim was featured in the 2016 Prestige Singapore’s '40 Under 40' list of upcoming movers and shakers as well as the 2016 Forbes Asia '30 Under 30'.[5] She studied at Meridian Junior College at the tertiary level and subsequently broke her MOE teaching bond to pursue Love, Bonito full-time in 2010.[6] In 2016, she got married to Leonard Lee at a destination wedding in Bali where all her bridesmaids wore Love, Bonito gowns during her wedding ceremony.[7] In 2017, she was awarded the 'Pulsar Category Overall Winner' title at the Women Entrepreneur Awards.[8]

Viola Tan

Viola Tan (@violaerin) is one of the co-founders of Love, Bonito. As of May 2019, she is the Executive Director of the Love, Bonito group and heads investment relations for the company.[9] Viola Tan previously studied at Nanyang Girls High School, Raffles Junior College and Nanyang Technological University. While in university, she won the Hall 13 Pageant Queen title.[10] Viola Tan completed her 4-year teaching bond with the Ministry of Education before she left her teaching job to pursue Love, Bonito full time.[11] She is the sister of Velda Tan, another co-founder of Love, Bonito who left the company in 2013. In 2017, Viola was awarded the 'Pulsar Category Overall Winner' title at the Women Entrepreneur Awards.[12]

Velda Tan

Velda Tan (@belluspuera) was one of the co-founders of Love, Bonito. Her sister is Viola Tan, the current Executive Director of the company. At 18 years old, Velda Tan dropped out of her business and finance course at the Singapore Institute of Management to focus her time on managing Love, Bonito. In 2013, she left Love, Bonito, where she was the Creative Director. In 2014, she founded the lobster restaurant and bar Pince and Pints together with her husband.[13] In May 2015, she founded another fashion label, Collate the Label.[14] In 2017, she launched another clothing brand called Our Second Nature.[15]

Growth in Singapore

From left to right: Rachel Lim, Julien Fournié and Viola Tan on the runway of the Julien Fournié x Love, Bonito show at Singapore Fashion Week 2013. Photo from Her World.

Love, Bonito started as an online fashion label in 2010 with the brand motto of “Empowering Confidence Through Style”. The first collection launched by the label was overwhelmingly popular to the extent that the website had crashed due to the high traffic.[16]

Pink Dolphin ‘Pretty in Pink’ Charity Fashion Show

In 2012, Love, Bonito collaborated with Pink Dolphin to organise a fashion show in support of the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF).[17] The event was sponsored by YHS Pte Ltd, the company who owns the Yeo’s brand and other drinks such as Pink Dolphin. 10 models, which included breast cancer survivors and a BCF supporter, walked down the runway in 30 exclusive pieces from Love, Bonito. The runway pieces were only able to be purchased via the charity auction which followed after the fashion show. These pieces did not retail in stores or online.[18] Through the event ticket sales and the auctioning of the pieces, the whole show raised a total of S$6,000.[19] All proceeds were donated to the BCF.

Collections and designer collaborations

Over the years, Love, Bonito has expanded its range of apparel to include new collections such as:

  • 'LYLAS', a collection catered to provide dresses for bridesmaids.
  • 'Essentials', a collection catered to provide basic pieces for S$35 and under.
  • 'Embrace', a collection catered to provide maternity clothing for expecting mothers.

Love, Bonito also had two designer collaborations in 2013 and 2015. The 'Julien Fournié x Love, Bonito' collection was launched at Singapore Fashion Week 2013. Love, Bonito had collaborated with French designer Julien Fournié to create a capsule collection.[20] The 'Tex Saverio x Love, Bonito' line was launched at Singapore Fashion Week 2015. The collaboration with Indonesian designer Tex Saverio featured 20 pieces that were priced from S$90 to S$200.[21] Tex Saverio is also the designer of the bridal dress worn by Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie.[22]

The Pink Room in Love, Bonito’s flagship store. Photo from Love, Bonito.

Physical stores

On 4 November 2017, Love, Bonito officially opened its flagship store in Singapore to the public. Located at [email protected], the flagship store spans 4,603 square feet.[23] Besides the usual collections, the Love, Bonito flagship store also features the flagship store exclusive collection, a capsule collection that is updated monthly. 'The Pink Room' is a room located in the store that acts as an event space for styling workshops and lifestyle pop-up events.[24] The store also has a modular fitting room which enables two fitting rooms to be combined into one larger fitting room.[25]


On 1 February 2018, it was revealed that Love, Bonito had obtained S$17,000,000 in a Series B funding round spearheaded by Japanese company Kakaku.com with their existing investor NSI Ventures.[26] According to Love, Bonito’s Chief Commercial Officer Dione Song, the funds will go towards the areas of technology, manpower and regional expansion.


On 8 December 2018, Love, Bonito’s second physical store was officially opened to the public.[27] Located at Jem, the store spans 3,555 square feet. Services such as alteration and personal styling sessions are also provided at the store.[28]

Expansion overseas

Malaysia

In June 2015, Love, Bonito opened their first ever physical store in Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[29] This marked the start of Love, Bonito’s venture into overseas markets. Currently, Love, Bonito has a total of 5 physical stores in Malaysia, with 2 in Kuala Lumpur, 2 in Selangor and 1 in Penang.[30]

Indonesia

On 4 September 2016, Love, Bonito set up a pop-up store at Grand Indonesia West Mall, Jakarta, Indonesia.[31] This store eventually became one of their physical stores, despite the fact that it was initially intended to be temporary. Love, Bonito is also carried by departmental stores in 5 other locations in Jakarta, 1 location in Bali and 1 location in Surabaya.[32]

Cambodia

Love, Bonito is carried by AEON malls in 2 locations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.[33]

Awards

Year Title
2016 Best Marketing Award at the Singapore Fashion Awards
2016 Best Collaboration Award at the Singapore Fashion Awards (for the Tex Saverio x Love, Bonito collection)
2016 Top 3 Most Popular Brands of the Year
2013/2014 SME Asia Award 2013/2014 by The Asian Business Journal and The Trade and Industry Association
2011 'Best Online Shop' by M:Idea
2009 'Best Blog Shop' at the Asia-Pacific Blog Awards (Under BonitoChico)

References / Citations

  1. "Come hang with us". Love, Bonito. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.lovebonito.com/stores
  2. "Forbes 30 Asia Under 30". Forbes. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/30-under-30-asia-2016/retail-ecommerce/#6c44dc6972d4
  3. "Forbes 30 Asia Under 30". Forbes. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/30-under-30-asia-2016/retail-ecommerce/#6c44dc6972d4
  4. Tong, Elizabeth. “Online retailer Love, Bonito opens first flagship store”. Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore. November 3, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://sg.style.yahoo.com/online-retailer-love-bonito-opens-first-flagship-store-022255522.html
  5. Chong, Seow Wei. “A Drink With... Rachel Lim, Co-Founder Of Love, Bonito”. Asian Tatler. May 24, 2018. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://sg.asiatatler.com/society/a-drink-with-rachel-lim
  6. Zachariah, Natasha Ann. “Making the leap from blogshop to fashion store”. The Straits Times. June 8, 2015. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/making-the-leap-from-blogshop-to-fashion-store
  7. “Love Bonito's Rachel Lim and Leonard Lee's Bali Wedding at Alila Villas Uluwatu”. The Wedding Scoop.com. February 21, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.theweddingscoop.com/features/Love_Bonitos_Rachel_Lim_and_Leonard_Lees_Bali_Wedding_at_Alila_Villas_Uluwatu
  8. "INSPIRATION TASTEMAKERS". Women Entrepreneur Awards. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://wea-sg.com/rachel-lim-n-viola-tan/
  9. "Viola Tan". Linkedin. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/viola-tan-6ba72592
  10. Jane, Ng. “Voila! I wear, I shoot, I sell”. Hey! NTU. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: http://www.hey.ntu.edu.sg/issue16/features_06.html#.XMatJugzaUl
  11. Zachariah, Natasha Ann. “Making the leap from blogshop to fashion store”. The Straits Times. June 8, 2015. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/making-the-leap-from-blogshop-to-fashion-store
  12. "INSPIRATION TASTEMAKERS". Women Entrepreneur Awards. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://wea-sg.com/rachel-lim-n-viola-tan/
  13. Yong, Debbie. “Fresh F&B Faces”. The Business Times. July 5, 2014. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://pinceandpints.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/fresh_fb_faces.pdf
  14. Foo, Sean. “Social Media Superstar Velda Tan And Her Mum Are Mother-Daughter Goals. Here’s Why”. The Smart Local. April 16, 2016. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://thesmartlocal.com/read/velda-tan-interview
  15. Shiya. “Our Second Home: Visit This Local Brand’s Beautiful Retail Space & In-House Cafe In Holland Village”. Hype & Stuff. April 8, 2018. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.hypeandstuff.com/our-second-nature-clothing-brand-singapore/
  16. Zachariah, Natasha Ann. “Making the leap from blogshop to fashion store”. The Straits Times. June 8, 2015. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/making-the-leap-from-blogshop-to-fashion-store
  17. "BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION Annual Report 2012". Breast Cancer Foundation. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.bcf.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/BCF_AR11_12.pdf
  18. "BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION Annual Report 2012". Breast Cancer Foundation. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.bcf.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/BCF_AR11_12.pdf
  19. "BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION Annual Report 2012". Breast Cancer Foundation. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.bcf.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/BCF_AR11_12.pdf
  20. Hong, Xin Ying. “JULIEN FOURNIÉ FOR LOVE BONITO ATTRACTS SINGAPORE CELEBS AND NEW FANS”. Her World. October 21, 2013. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.herworld.com/fashion/julien-fourni%C3%A9-love-bonito-attracts-singapore-celebs-and-new-fans
  21. Cheng, Jee Yan. "BUY YOUR FAVOURITE TEX SAVERIO FOR LOVE BONITO PIECES ONLINE". Her World. May 20, 2015. Accessed on 15 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.herworld.com/fashion/buy-your-favourite-tex-saverio-love-bonito-pieces-online
  22. Hong, Xin Ying. “LOVE BONITO CO-FOUNDERS VIOLA TAN, RACHEL LIM DISCUSS NEW COLLAB LINE”. Her World. May 4, 2015. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.herworld.com/fashion/love-bonito-co-founders-viola-tan-rachel-lim-discuss-new-collab-line
  23. Woo, Alyssa. “Love, Bonito's first flagship store in Singapore”. The Straits Times. July 20, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/fashion/love-bonitos-first-flagship-store-in-singapore
  24. Tong, Elizabeth. “Online retailer Love, Bonito opens first flagship store”. Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore. November 3, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://sg.style.yahoo.com/online-retailer-love-bonito-opens-first-flagship-store-022255522.html
  25. Hoe, I Yune. “EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 4 COOL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LOVE, BONITO'S FLAGSHIP STORE”. Her World. November 4, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.herworld.com//love-bonito-flagship-store-opening-rachel-lim
  26. Lin, Jessica. “Love, Bonito aims for omni-channel, further regional expansion with latest $13 million funding”. Business Insider. February 1, 2018. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.sg/love-bonito-aims-for-omni-channel-further-regional-expansion-with-latest-13-million-funding/
  27. Tan, Celine. “Love, Bonito’s Jem Store Opens On Dec 8, And Here’s What To Expect”. 8days. November 3, 2018. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/liveandlearn/style/love-bonito-s-jem-store-opens-on-dec-8-and-here-s-what-to-expect-10894748
  28. Tan, Celine. “Love, Bonito’s Jem Store Opens On Dec 8, And Here’s What To Expect”. 8days. November 3, 2018. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.8days.sg/liveandlearn/style/love-bonito-s-jem-store-opens-on-dec-8-and-here-s-what-to-expect-10894748
  29. “Love, Bonito: Student blogshop becomes international retail business”. Enterprise Singapore. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://ie.enterprisesg.gov.sg/Venture-Overseas/SgGoesGlobal/LoveBonito
  30. "Come hang with us". Love, Bonito. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.lovebonito.com/stores
  31. “Love, Bonito Pop Up Store at Grand Indonesia”. Whats New Jakarta Feed. September 6, 2017. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: http://whatsnewjakarta-feed.blogspot.com/2017/09/love-bonito-pop-up-store-at-grand.html
  32. "Come hang with us". Love, Bonito. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.lovebonito.com/stores
  33. "Come hang with us". Love, Bonito. Accessed on 30 April 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.lovebonito.com/stores