Robb’s Runway: Desmond Lim shares his definition of style

In Robb’s Runway, we spotlight fashion personalities and their unparalleled style. Today, we talk to Desmond Lim, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Singapore and veteran fashion maven

Despite its minuscule size, Singapore boasts a myriad of fashion mavens. In the heart of Southeast Asia, the little red dot we call home emerges as a burgeoning nexus of fashion innovation. At the forefront of this vibrant landscape stands Desmond Lim, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Singapore. His tenure marks a transformative period in the magazine’s history, distinguished by a fervent dedication to pushing the boundaries of fashion journalism.

With a rich tapestry of experiences spanning various creative domains—from fashion direction to graphic design—Lim brings to the table a holistic and nuanced understanding of the fashion ecosystem. His leadership is characterised by a pioneering spirit, evident in the magazine’s adoption of avant-garde initiatives such as the inclusion of AI-generated avatars on its cover, setting a precedent for the fusion of technology and aesthetic innovation. Under Lim’s editorial stewardship, Vogue Singapore has become a pivotal platform for the exploration of future-forward narratives, celebrating diversity and the intricate interplay between tradition and digital innovation.

Desmond Lim. Photo by Zantz Han

What have your years of experience working in fashion media taught you about fashion and style?

It taught me about understanding one’s proportions and working with a specific set of rules that suits your specific body type. For instance, high-waisted pants are great for shorter guys while having your t-shirt tucked into your jeans can give you the illusion of a shorter torso and longer legs.

Describe your style and influences.

I appreciate being open and exploratory with my fashion. If there’s one brand that epitomises that spirit, it has to be Magliano—an Italian menswear label founded by Luca Magliano in 2017. He has the ability to transform classic menswear staples into something quite subversive and eccentric, which I find truly alluring.

Please share your wardrobe staples.

It changes from season to season but for Spring/Summer 2024, my staples are definitely baggy Bermuda shorts, white ripped tank tops, and an oversized jacket paired with cute ankle socks and loafers.

What is your most recent purchase.

Prada Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 Collection. Photo by Prada

A Prada jacket that boasts an exaggerated shoulder and a nibbed-in waist. It totally switches up one’s proportion when tucked into a pair of shorts fashioned in a similar fabric.

Do you have a favourite styling work?

I fondly recall a story from two Octobers ago in which we paid homage to the CenterPoint kids. It captured a moment from the late 1980s to early 1990s when local teens would gather at specific malls, predominantly CenterPoint and Far East Plaza. There, they showcased a fascinating perspective on fashion, characterised by rock tees, coloured berets, leg warmers, fluorescent items, white Bata sneakers, and boxy blazers.

What are your favourite menswear looks from SS24?

Loewe Menswear Spring/Summer 2024. Photo by Loewe

Loewe’s ultra-high waisted jeans, Prada’s oversized jackets with a nibbed-in waist, Magliano’s belted roll-down trousers, and Martin Rose x Clarks’s puffy python oxfords.

What comes to mind when we say “power dressing”? How can we achieve that in Singapore?

I believe that what truly matters is internal; real power comes from within. A confident individual can make a vintage tee and a pair of selvedge denim seem extraordinary. Corporate attire requires a level of formal dressing, yet our climate can be quite challenging. How can we find a balance? Considering that most offices in Singapore keep their air conditioning on full blast for around 14 hours a day, it seems that the only times one is exposed to the humidity and heat are when walking to a building or grabbing lunch. Therefore, the key to navigating this is knowing when to remove the jacket and, occasionally, the tie.

How can one suit up for the boardroom with a touch of flamboyance while staying classy?

I particularly believe that flamboyance is linked to a certain personality type and may not appeal to everyone. However, if this form of self-expression proves to uplift and inspire, then I’d recommend opting for a well-tailored navy suit with the correct cuff length (which should be one finger’s width from your wrist). The colour navy does lend a contemporary feel, especially when paired with, for example, a chambray shirt for casual Fridays or a simple mocha-coloured turtleneck that can transition from a boardroom meeting straight to a dinner date.

List your must-have accessories for modern C-suite personnel.

A great personality and a hobby.

Finally, what is one eternal piece of fashion advice you have for our readers?

Martine Rose Burgundy Clarks Edition Down Oxfords. Photo by

Instead of guessing if the oversized everything Balenciaga works for you, try understanding your body proportions because that knowledge will take you to places. Also, a good pair of shoes does complete your outfit, so never, ever skimp on them.