As the ambassadors and the faces of bag brand BONIA’s ad campaigns, what could possibly top that for fellow bagaholics Carrie Wong and Romeo Tan?
Designing their own bags of course.
While at the Autumn/Winter 19 launch which featured a nostalgic, school-themed collection, we had a candid conversation with the ambassadors on how they were like in school and the weirdest bag trends they would be willing to carry.
Since Bonia’s latest collection is about Academia—be honest, what sort of students were you both like in school?
Romeo: (answers almost immediately) I was very obedient!
Can we crosscheck that with someone?
Romeo: How can we do that? Shall I give you my friend’s Tumblr account?
Carrie: I think I was the opposite of him. (To Romeo) Were you academically inclined?
Romeo: I tried to strive for good results but it didn’t turn out so good, which is why I was always so obedient. I would pay attention in class but I just didn’t do well. I was not gifted. (Laughs)
Carrie: I was more of a “play hard” sort of student, so I had a lot of fun in school but I didn’t do very well academically. I was definitely a playful student that teachers were always looking out for. I was good in sports though and made the school volleyball team.
Do you remember your very first school bag?
Romeo: I can’t remember the cartoon character as it was so long ago but I know it was a backpack with a train. Not Thomas the Train though!
Carrie: I can’t even remember—it’s been more than 10 years! I can however roughly remember the bag I carried in secondary school. When I was in Sec 3 and 4 I had a Nike bag…
Carrie: Nike was considered super branded back then and I was so proud to own one so I never changed my bag after I got that.
Romeo: Although last time I had one of those pencil cases that had a lot of compartments…
Romeo: You could press buttons and little drawers would pop out. I don’t know if it had a name but I definitely remember those pencil cases more than the bags I carried. Those were more memorable for me.
What was your inspiration behind the bags you each designed?
Carrie: I wasn’t really inspired by anything in particular, I just drew down the shapes that I liked. I’ve recently been into round and rectangular bags so I briefly drew that and picked from a list of colours and textures that I could choose from and that’s how my bag came about.
I also designed this bag with more casual outings in mind. When I go out I don’t like big bags as I don’t carry a lot out—just my essentials—so just a small one will do.
Romeo: Before that did you know they were going to make these bags for us?
Carrie: I knew!
Romeo: I didn’t at all! I just thought they wanted us to draw our dream bags—it didn’t even cross my mind that they would actually make these bags. It was quite a rushed affair for me—I drew mine in 15 minutes! But this is something that I would really carry because I love huge bags. I’m someone who has a lot of things in my bag. I love things like the army duffle bags cos I have a lot of things to carry.
Bonia had a large enough men’s collection but when it comes to backpacks they tend to be a bit smaller in size, so I thought I could do one that was twice as big as the ones they already had. This one is big enough to even fit in 20 episodes worth of scripts!
Why do you need such a big bag?
I’m too lazy to organize my bag and I can carry a lot of things—water bottles, makeup kit, hairspray etc—so sometimes my bag can weigh up to at least 5 kg. I’m also quite forgetful so I like to leave everything inside that way I won’t miss out anything.
How would you each describe your personal style?
Romeo: For me, it’s all about comfort. I need to be comfortable but at the same time ensure that I look presentable for any occasion. But at the end of the day it’s really all about how you carry yourself as opposed to what you are wearing because if you are confident enough, you’ll be able to pull off almost anything.
Carrie: I would say casual chic because I’m not the sort of person who likes to wear dresses, skirts or pumps. I like things like boots, pants and blazers, pieces that are a bit more androgynous.
A go-to outfit for me would be high-waisted baggy pants and men’s blazers. I really appreciate blazers with huge shoulder pads. Recently, I spent so much time in Korea shopping for those types of blazers.
Bonia’s Autumn/Winter’19 Campaign
As artistes who get regularly photographed, what’s the one go-to outfit you would fall back on when you have no idea what to wear?
Romeo: A white tee with a black blazer, khaki pants or jeans and sneakers. It feels like a safe option that goes with everything.
Carrie: I don’t really encounter this problem because I always end up engaging a stylist. I usually try to avoid repeating the same outfits for events. If I wear my own clothes, I tend to forget what I’ve already been photographed in so that’s when a stylist really comes in handy. But if its really too last minute, I’d still end up with a pair of high-waisted pants with boots and a nice blouse or oversized blazer.
Romeo: To be honest, that’s the reason why a lot of actors won’t buy tops with too obvious or outstanding designs.
Carrie: ‘Cos people will always remember and you can only wear it once.
Romeo: Yeah, I actually did kena once [from fans] for wearing the same outfit twice!