Fashion is the vehicle for these female honchos

For Rachel Lim and Dione Song, quality fashion is essential for the modern everyday woman.

The two women are included in the 2023 BoF 500, a definitive live index of influential individuals shaping the global fashion industry.

Lim and Song, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Love, Bonito, started the brand in 2005 by selling their pre-loved apparel as BonitoChico. Today, it has evolved to be one of the largest omnichannel womenswear brands in Southeast Asia, with an online and physical presence in many key markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

In 2022, Love, Bonito acquired butter, a women-led activewear brand, which has since been rebranded to cheak. The company also made a minor investment in Moom Health, a natural healthcare company that focuses on expert-formulated natural remedies.

With regards to the international expansion front, the brand saw its first pop-up outside of Asia in New York City. It also opened its largest flagship outlet in the retail heart of Hong Kong at Causeway Bay.

To date, Love, Bonito has 21 stores across Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia and ships to 20 countries worldwide.

“While my co-founders and I started out selling pre-loved clothes for pocket money, over the years, it became apparent that we are ultimately in the business of women and fashion is merely the vehicle. We do not exist merely to sell womenswear, but more than that, through the brand, the aim is for women to be empowered and to have the confidence to become the best version of themselves,” Lim said.

Song added, “We are deeply honored to be listed alongside renowned global changemakers in the fashion industry and this marks a significant milestone for us as a brand! The acknowledgment from a global industry authority gives us immense confidence to do better for Asian women worldwide as we double down on our expansion plans and omnichannel offerings to serve our growing community. I also hope that our nomination will inspire change and push for more Asian representation across major industries where we’ve been severely underrepresented.”

BoF 500 also recognized Pharell Williams, reggaeton superstar Karol G, Gucci’s new creative director Sabato de Sarno, actresses Margot Robbie and Anne Hathaway, K-pop group BTS and renowned Chinese makeup artist Valentina Li.