Jade Seah is a woman of many talents. After bursting onto everyone’s radar at the Miss Singapore Universe 2006 pageant (where she was crowned first runner-up), the bubbly beauty kept all eyes on her with a flurry of modelling, acting and hosting gigs, followed by the launch of her fashion label maryjulian and most recently, her turn as a DJ on 98.7FM with her very own show – ‘Off The Record’. How does she do it all, you ask? Simply by sacrificing sleep. ‘I can sleep when I’m dead,’ she brushes it off nonchalantly, ‘that’s what I always say.’
The 29-year-old is of Chinese and Eurasian heritage, and at a towering 1.72m, she easily stands out in a crowd with her affable, outspoken manner. Ever the sociable one, she was already venturing into any and all areas of interest in school – from theatre to journalism to sports – and it reflects in her no-holds-barred radio show where she talks about, well, anything and everything. Seah is quite the open book – celebrity (international and local) news, fashion advice, current affairs, tidbits from her personal life (like her clumsy manner and aversion to leafy greens)… you bring it up, she’ll go for it. Chatty by nature, the gregarious lass injects a sassy dose of spunk into her show, candidly interacting with listeners over social media and taking the reins to shape it the way she wants.
‘Off The Record’ might be aired in the afternoon, but Seah counts tunes like Sunrise by Norah Jones, Follow the Sun by Madonna and Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen among her favourite ‘good morning’ songs. You know she’s not afraid to speak her mind when asked which chart-topper annoys her at the moment, as she replies without hesitation: ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ by Taylor Swift and the Biebs’ ‘As Long As You Love Me.’
Besides radio, the other love of Seah’s life is maryjulian – her two-year-old fashion label named after her Peranakan grandparents. Inspired by their endearing love for one another and detailed attention to appearance (even a trip downstairs to the shops warrants dressing up), she founded the online shop about two years after her grandfather passed away. For her, it was a natural progression, having nursed a passion for fashion ever since her experimental stages back in primary school. After emerging from cringe-worthy fashion faux pas like the five-sizes-too-big Cross Colours jeans, baby tees from the kids’ department, bell bottoms and babydoll dresses (they made her look like a giraffe), Seah wanted to go for a modern yet vintage vibe for her label, which reflected her current personal style – a mishmash of modern meets vintage, tomboy meets girly and traditional meets unconventional.
Amazingly, she’s stayed at the exact same height and size since the age of 14, which explains why her massive walk-in closet is filled to the brim with clothes and shoes accumulated over the years. As a testament to her style being a huge influence on the label, Seah says her friends call it her ‘online wardrobe,’ as her closet is stocked with maryjulian pieces. In line with her adventurous spirit, Seah’s philosophy is never to shy away from trends and to try them at least once. Her favourite Fall/Winter ’12 ones? Smoking slippers, peplum pieces and anything in the shade of oxblood.
If you’re wondering whether the multi-talented entrepreneur designs her own clothes for maryjulian, the answer is (partly) yes. Whenever Seah spots a sartorial piece she adores, she imports and includes it in her shop. Otherwise, she garners inspiration from people-watching on the street, interpreting trends from the runway and jotting down anything that catches her eye. Together with her team, she launches new collections every Monday (goodbye, Monday blues!) and takes note of customers’ preferences to adjust accordingly. Click on the site this coming Christmas Eve (24 Dec) and you’ll find maryjulian’s spanking new 25th collection all launched and ready to be the next target of your shopping spree.
With fashion being such a huge part of Seah’s life, we ask the style guru for her best tip. The answer is simple: look in the mirror before you leave the house – from all angles. ‘Fit is so important. If something looks wrong, do something about it,’ she explains. ‘It’s like finding a man – don’t settle – if you can’t find something that suits you, don’t get it.’