Hello There, Honey
Burberry’s star in Indonesia, Elvina Liauw (or Vina), invites us to sink into a sofa in the luxurious surrounds of the Burberry flagship store at Senayan City to talk about life in Jakarta and what it is like to work for one of the world’s most iconic brands.
Thanks for having us Vina! You look amazing today. Talk us through your outfit.
I’m wearing Burberry Brit Westbourne Skinny Fit Jeans (in mid-grey). The finish on the jeans is achieved by coating them in acrylic and the seams are engineered to make the leg appear longer. My (open back, pale lilac) sweater is cotton and cashmere and comes from our Prorsum range. My shoes are the Leicester Pump from our last Prorsum range. My necklace is a gift from a friend.
Fill us in on your background?
I’m a Jakarta girl from way back! In 1997 I was lucky enough to move to Sydney to study hospitality management. While I was there, I accidently fell in love with fashion and I have worked in the industry ever since.
Tell us about your typical day at the office.
I’m lucky that I get to hangout in our beautiful flagship store here in Senayan City, Jakarta. We have a head-office elsewhere but I spend a lot of time in the stores overseeing the daily activities. My favourite range is the Prorsum which occupies a room of its own. It’s quite a thrill being surrounded by all these amazing pieces.
I am primarily responsible for maintaining a consistent brand image across all platforms.
Burberry operates under three distinct brands: Burberry Prorsum – the luxury line, Burberry London – outerwear and business-wear, and Burberry Brit – the more casual, most accessible of the Burberry brands.
We keep strange hours! We spend a lot of time in the store at night, styling our garments and accessories to best display our key looks. This means no disruption to shoppers during our opening hours. We work closely with our PR and marketing team to prepare projects, such as store openings. A huge amount of thought and planning goes into what you see here in our stores.
We encourage our staff to try on a range of our garments so that they are better able to advise our clients on fabrics and fit.
Your shopping trips to Europe for Burberry Indonesia must be fabulous. Is this the best part of your job? What do you find the most challenging?
Buying trips are exciting yes, but also challenging. From the entire worldwide range, we focus on just twelve key looks in Indonesia. This means we have to select very wisely. Every single buy has to be a step forward, something new. We have to stay on top of trends in the wider market, as well as be mindful of the desires of our local customers.
What is Indonesia’s/South East Asia’s best-selling Burberry product?
The Burberry check, in all its forms, is as popular as ever in South East Asia.
It is interesting to note: from 2006 Burberry removed its iconic check-pattern from all but 10% of the company’s products.
Having said that, we have quite a few customers who like an edgier look and go for our stand-out pieces.
There is an amazing array of textures in the Prorsum range: a silk-lined nude rubber vest, a gold-studded pencil skirt and many pieces with various animal skin treatments, including a classic trench with a storm patch of faux leopard skin.
Burberry began in England as a producer of outdoor attire for cold weather climates. 160 years later the brand has over 500 stores in 50 countries including the tropical countries of South East Asia.
How do you ensure your products remain relevant to people on both sides of the globe?
We do our homework on the fabrics! The Burberry range is vast and not all our garments are suitable for our climate. We do still however sell a good range of winter stock and outer-wear as many of our Indonesian-based clients like to travel. Our classic trench is a staple in the wardrobe of every stylish traveller.
How would you describe your personal style? How has your role at Burberry influenced your style?
I love the simple, classic pieces. The typical Burberry look is very classic, which is why the brand suits me so well. You’ll never be a victim of fashion if you stick with versions of the classics.
We know you love Burberry and have been loyal to the brand for more than 8 years. Are there any other brands you particularly admire?
From the local designers I love the young and talented Tex Saverio. But I can’t go past the classic pieces at Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. My favourites’ list would also include Diane Von Furstenburg and many of the labels at the multi-brand store Jade.
Where do you shop in Indonesia, Singapore and Bali?
I like to go to Plaza Indonesia and Senayan City for the best high-end options in women’s wear. In Bali, I always seek out local brands in Seminyak and Petitenget.
How do you spend your weekends in Jakarta?
On Saturdays I like to chill with my friends at FJs on 7 in Kemang, at Skye or at the cinema. Sundays are usually spent visiting my lovely Dad for a family lunch. Sunday evening is me-time.
What is Jakarta’s best kept secret?
Definitely the nightlife. Its crazy! How many cities party from Wednesday through to Sunday?
Would you share a beauty tip with us?
Leopard Hair Couture at Kota Kasablanka for great hair!