Democratizing Fashion

“Am I supposed to pay you before I receive my order?”

You may wonder why this is an issue in a time when we are so used to shopping online. However, when Love, Bonito first started in the early 2000s, e-commerce was such a new domain not many knew about.

This was also life before smartphones and social media. I still remember the days when we asked customers to snail mail cash in envelopes before they received their purchases — even my mom got worried and asked if I was doing anything illegal!

It’s been more than a decade since our humble beginnings. Along with my co-founders, we started BonitoChico on a Livejournal to sell pre-loved clothes and earn extra pocket money. Unfortunately, a few years into the business, my dad went through bankruptcy and our family transferred to a one-room apartment. It was also during that period where I asked my mom for a loan to further the business.

As we began selling, we realized that customers were constantly asking for more! As such, we started importing clothes from overseas to sell, but there was always something off — whether it was the fit, color or material used for our tropical climate. That was when we decided to design our own apparels and we haven’t looked back since.

Today, we have grown to become Southeast Asia’s leading omni-channel womenswear brand with the support of our dearest #LBcommunity and have grown to establish 18 physical stores across the region, shipping to 20 international countries. My guiding philosophy is that looking and feeling good should not be limited to just a privileged few, and through Love, Bonito, we are here to democratize fashion for the everyday Asian woman. Be it a suit for her first job interview or a bridesmaid dress for her best friend’s wedding, we are here to ensure that she can own a thoughtfully designed piece of clothing fitting for the various seasons of her life.

Looking back at my journey, I’m immensely grateful for the community that has supported us through our various seasons of growth. Being in the business of women, fashion is my vehicle to own my purpose and inspire self-confidence. Moreover, I’m highly convinced by the influence we women have, because when a woman succeeds, she reaches out to those around and pulls them up with her. That’s why when we empower women, we empower an entire society.

Forging the future begins with your why, breaking norms and envisioning a tomorrow that future generations would thrive in. With Love, Bonito, we want to continue empowering our community, inspiring confidence through fashion and in parallel, evolve into a well-rounded female ecosystem so that we are able to continue serving the everyday Asian woman, regardless where she’s at in the world, across various seasons of her life.


Rachel Lim is a Singaporean entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and chief brand officer of the popular fashion label, Love, Bonito.