In a town like Johor Bahru, being an individual takes gumption, and that’s something that Beverly Bee has in spades, along with an inimitable style. Her previous shop, The Girl Next Door, was the stopping point for the city’s budding fashionistas. Now, with her own label and boutique shop, Bev C, she’s upped her style ante tenfold. We find out what makes her fashion metronome tick.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Gentlewoman style. I don’t like perfect definitions of male and female. I’m much more interested in everything that happens in between. For me, a woman should be handsome. Handsome is the new sexy.
What are your fashion inspirations?
I love vintage. Classics will never die! I get my fashion inspiration from history – all kinds of history – music and movies. I collect vintage clothing and accessories that can mix and match with new trendy fashion, and I wear this combination every day. I will not be comfortable in just wearing new clothes.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
Coco Chanel said, ‘Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway’. I opened The Girl Next Door ten years ago because of this sentence. For me, this slogan is lansi*! I think she is brave. I was 14 at that time, a girl with no idea what she wanted out of life but with this slogan, I suddenly had a lot of curiosity about many things.
I found out that many things are not taught in school. I wanted to change, I wanted to break free and feel that everything has infinite possibilities. So, at the age of 23, I opened my first shop called Little Red House, a small shop selling vintage clothing with a hair salon, which went on to become TGND.
*Malaysian-Chinese slang for acting cocky/arrogant.
Tell us about your label, Bev C, why did your start your own label?
Bev C is a clothing label with original designs that was founded in 2013. Bev C is involved in all aspects of production, be it sketching the designs, curating and finalising material selection to the completion of a design piece. Bev C ensures that every detail is carefully put together into a masterpiece.
Rather than just being a fashion label, the Bev C shop doubles up as a cafe to provide a space for creativity. We believe in the philosophy of seeking your own style rather than cultivating a culture of following trends blindly. Our motto is: Own your style or stay naked. We are driven to inspire and grow style communities to shape their own fashion sense.
Who is your favourite designer?
It’s hard for me to decide on just one. I am a very greedy person haha. There are many designers who catch my heart. If I had to choose just one though, it’d be Dame Vivienne Westwood. I love women who are characters and who are not afraid to be themselves, and she has a lot of soul and passion. I hope to be like her.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to develop his or her own style?
All good things have style but they might not be fashionable. To me, different styles suit different people. I believe that fashion should be used to create a suitable style, and not just follow a trend blindly. Show people your soul, not only your outfit.
Follow Beverly on Instagram @beverlyb and pop by the Bev C boutique/cafe (@bevccafe) if you’re around the Jalan Dhoby area of JB. You can also view/purchase the Bev C clothing collection at their online store.
TEXT: Summer Tan
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jules @ Streething