As a teenager, Cherin Sim fell in love with Comme des Garcons after a friend introduced her to the label, sparking a fascination with Japanese streetwear and designers. This marked the beginning of a journey centered around design and fashion.
When Cherin noticed the negative effects consumerism, she addressed the issue through her clever use of fine art as a medium to critique the industry’s contradictions. Cherin, who was still pursuing her degree in Painting at the Lasalle College of the Arts, used branded bags as the centrepiece for her art, most pivotally with “A Birkin For You”, 2008.
She’s since turned her passion for art and fashion into a career as a bag maker and designer working with international brands and individuals seeking bespoke pieces. In 2009, Cherin won the Design-A-Bag Competition, where she was invited to Hong Kong Fashion Access to receive the prize. That same year, she received the Winston Oh Undergraduate Practice Award.
Cherin, who cites Andy Warhol as her favourite artist of all-time, mixes pop-art characters and premium materials to produce bespoke, one-of-a-kind pieces for her clients.
She notes that while achieving excellent craftsmanship means being judged on the quality and aesthetics of her work, her focus on customization means she is free to impart her style on every piece.
“I provide my services to those who appreciate my art and myself, and to those who understand and believe in the idea of being a unique individual,” Cherin adds.
Her focus on craftsmanship soon extended to leatherworking, where she devoured books on the topic, and eventually her passion culminated in a leatherworking course at Scuola del Cuoio, one of the world’s most iconic leather schools in Florence, Italy.
Cherin has since received a Masters in Art (Fine Art) from Goldsmiths London. In 2013, she received the Winston Oh Postgraduate Research Scholarship and had her first relational art exhibition, “Bringing Back Tradition: The Leather Workshop”, in Singapore after being trained in leatherworking in Italy.