The Substance Of Style
The PEAK Singapore|October 2021
How a personal wardrobe crisis led Raena Lim and Chris Halim to create a SoftBank-backed fashion start-up and discover a deeper purpose.
Kon Yuen Lin

She is wearing a breezy black maxi dress that allows her to sit cross-legged. Her hair is neatly parted in the middle and pulled into a neat ponytail. He has on a plain white crew-neck Dri-Fit shirt. Raena Lim and Chris Halim looked more like tech billionaires with one-size-fits-all wardrobes than fashion entrepreneurs in trendy designer clothes for our morning Zoom interview.

Yet between them, they manage a five-year-old fashion start-up with over 200,000 registered users across Singapore and Indonesia, who have made over 2.3 million rentals from their inventory of 50,000 clothes and over 2,000 bags. Since its inception in 2016, Style Theory has also attracted investments of around US$30 million (S$40.3 million) from the likes of SoftBank and South-east Asian venture capital firm Alpha JWC Ventures.

In his former professional life, Halim was a level-headed Bain & Company senior associate consultant who would research the best tailors and shoemakers before putting his money on bespoke Italian suits with subtle detailing, made to-measure shirts, handmade ties and hand-crafted footwear.

“We wanted to create a better way for women to dress with an infinite selection and a better price point.”

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