In collaboration with Culture Cartel, we put the spotlight on 5 alternative individuals that have taken the road less traveled. We chat with them on their passion and journey, and hear out on what inspires them.
Photos by Dju-lian Chng
Furqan Saini helms the realm of Fashion with many hats – a director, consultant and educator.
Find out more on his journey within the industry, and what he finds exciting about today’s garments after such a storied career.
I’m a 38 year old creative based in Singapore. I style and art direct images, come up with concepts and creative solutions for clients, I call myself a visual storyteller. I’m also an adjunct lecturer teaching at a local Arts University where I teach image-making.
What drew and held you to a career in fashion?
I’ve always been attracted to the spectacle of the show when I was growing up. I thought that I could be a designer but realized it wasn’t so much the garments that I was interested in but in the image itself. I love that in creating the visual a person sees, I get to explore the relationship between image and viewer and everything that goes on in between.
What has been the most challenging aspects of your role?
Whether it be taking on a new class and moulding the minds of a new generation of creatives or dealing with clients, new challenges are what I thrive on.
Who are your top 3 style icons?
French actor Alain Delon for his effortless style; @lynn_ban for being a collector of out there runway pieces and just people. Ordinary people off the street inspire me. I think of what they wear as representations of who they are and what stories they have.
What’s your current favourite item in your wardrobe?
Prada Monolith boots with attached pockets.
Any discoveries in fashion that has excited you lately?
Not much, fashion is an applied art that is very cyclical. I’m very excited beyond the materiality of the garment but by the story-telling aspect of a collection, or its historical, artistic references.
Listen to Furqan's Spotify playlist here:
Les Cerfs Volants - Benjamin Biolay
I love this song. It reminds me of the period I was living in Paris. The lush orchestration, the lyrics and Biolay’s voice will always bring me back to the storied arrondissements of Paris. Biolay has been called the new Serge Gainsbourg and the mix of heartfelt lyrics and masterful melodies makes this a personal favourite.
That’s The Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson
Was there ever a song that was written as sexy as this? Janet’s breathy voice over a sensual late ‘90s beat. This is the perfect song to f__k to.
The Jump Off - Lil’ Kim
The OG Queen of Rap - Lil Kim’s early ‘2000s smut filled song has always been in my music library. Great lyrics and a sick beat. Don’t play this around your parents.
Bulletproof...I Wish I Was As - Radiohead
Music for days that you just want to indulge in some pain. From 1995, Thom Yorke’s voice, plaintive lyrics this is a song that fuels inspiration during the witching hours. Painful and so beautiful.
I Want Your Love - Chic
A disco barn-burner from 1978, this song is the quintessential disco classic. Great beat and even now in 2020, i’ve heard this song at the end (pre-covid durh), of many a club night. Shimmy away.
Heaven is A Place on Earth - Belinda Carlisle
This is a great piece of pop, its fueled many a night out on the dance floor during the heydays of (the institution called) Mambo Jambo. This was also the soundtrack of one of my favourite episodes of Black Mirror -San Junipero.
No Ordinary Love - Sade
Seriously underrated. I love her voice, the slowburn beats and just how sensual it sounds.
Never Let Me Go - Florence & The Machine
I guess by now you’d know that I have a sensitive soul by my favourite song choices. Florence Welch’s song has poetry as lyrics. Moving. Simple. Heart wrenching.
Warwick Avenue - Duffy
I love that the UK produces so much white soul and this song by Duffy is the perfect example of that. This song accompanies me on many late night rides home.
A House is Not A Home - Luther Vandross
The late great Luther Vandross had a voice as smooth as silk, thick as velvet and sounds like honey. So much honesty in his voice and this is one of my favourite versions of this song.
All is Full of Love - Bjork
The accompanying video to this song shows two robot lesbians doing the deed. Wonderful song.
Wake Up - Arcade Fire
The song of a generation. What an athem.