There is little Yoyo Cao can’t do. Aside from being one of the Eastern world’s biggest street style stars (with a casual 312k Instagram followers), the empire associated with the social influencer knows little about barriers. With her own personal brand, Exhibit making waves across the world her personal wesbite, Yoyo Kulala has become one stop destination for the fashion obsessed.
As the professional ‘slasher’ teams up with Max Mara to launch their COATS! exhibition (opening in Seoul, South Korea) we talk to the one-woman machine from Singapore about everything from culture clashes to where to visit in Seoul, after the Max Mara exhibition of course…
How do you think eastern bloggers operate in comparison to western bloggers? Do you think your practices differ?
"I don’t run a blog per say, so it’s a little hard to make a direct comparison, but ultimately both markets are quite different. At the core, however, the concept of creating content in a way that is different from traditional media remains the same. Moreover most digital entrepreneurs have an audience that goes beyond local borders, so I think we all have a mix of east and west in our audience"
What do you think makes you unique as a social media influencer?
"I enjoy and want to enjoy the process of content creation, so in some sense, I do strive to make sure that I’m completely satisfied before I release a certain piece of content. I think this is the same for many digital content creators. My Instagram is my portfolio, in a way. I also constantly put myself in the shoes of my audience. Would they enjoy this photo or video? Would they feel good from it? If it’s a no, it’s back to the drawing board."
How do you think the industry’s dealings with influencers have changed?
"I think more and more brands are starting to recognise what digital influencers can bring to the table and how they are able to connect with the audience on a more personal level."
The Max Mara project is Seoul-centric. Where are your favourite places in the city?
"I enjoy shopping the beauty scene each time I’m in Seoul. I never leave Myeongdong or Garosu-gil empty-handed. The city’s cafes also make really great ice chocolate, so I’m always searching for a Seoul-only cafe for my chocolate fix - no international franchises! Haneul Garden is an absolutely beautiful spot to forget the city noise and pace. As for restaurants, I love the clean-eating concept of Dadam."
What makes Seoul such a style-obsessed city?
"I think it’s a city that’s always on the pulse, that’s always working towards figuring out the next thing. You really get a sense of youth out of the city."
What’s always been on your shopping list but eluded you?
"Nothing specific comes to mind at the moment, but I’m someone who is always on the hunt for the next favourite of my current favourite thing. Say, a pair of vintage-cut jeans or a micro luggage bag. I’ll never ever say no to browsing through 80s and 90s vintage, either."
What’s your greatest pinch-yourself fashion moment?
"I want to say my first ever fashion week in Paris, because I felt that I was finally there, but there are still so many pinch-me moments in my life, like watching collections for my own labe, Exhibit come to life on the runway. Also just having the privilege to be able to do what I do and call it work – so many!"
What are the three ways you would style up the classic Max Mara camel coat?
"I wear the coat all the time and I mean ALL the time! It is my ultimate go-to coat when I travel. I just grab it without even thinking twice. It’s just so comfortable yet practical and so versatile. It has that right colour and fit. I’ve worn it with sweatpants to the airport, I’ve worn it with vintage denims, I’ve worn it alone as a dress and I’ve worn it with a suit. The possibilities are really endless with this classic piece."
You teamed up with Max Mara in occasion of Max Mara COATS! Seoul exhibition. How was it? Which decade did you like most?
"It was such a passage through Max Mara's history where you see how their coats have evolved over the decades. Each decade is so beautifully done. My favourite will definitely have to be the 1970s room. Not only does it look great but the selection of coats in there have a sportswear feel which is something I really enjoy. The 1960s room has a really good vibe to it too, makes you feel a sense of nostalgic even though I wasn't around in the sixties."
Max Mara’s 'COATS!' Exhibition is now open at Seoul, South Korea’s DDP