Homegrown label PEDRO is embarking on a new journey this Fall with Yaya Zahir, Jon Max Goh, Lina Osman and Lucas Lau. Dubbed “the PEDRO Icon”, its focus is empowering individuals to celebrate and express their identities. The Fall/Winter ‘21 collection of accessories displays bags and shoes focused on utilitarianism and versatility — comfortable, sleek sling-back heels for women, tonal slip-on shoes for men and non-gendered, roomy sling bags. It accompanies individuals across every moment in life and provides one with a wardrobe lasting from day to night.
A celebration of people and individual tastes; a symbol of boldness and effortlessness, the PEDRO Icon builds on the brand’s very foundation of embracing differences. Championing the spirit of PEDRO Icon are creatives Jon Max Goh and Lina Osman from Singapore alongside Yaya Zahir and Lucas Lau from Malaysia — bright beacons for generations of creatives seeking to leave their mark across communities, countries and beyond.
Lucas Lau, Content Creator
PEDRO Icon leather shoulder bag, leather penny loafer shoes
What is your profession? I’m a fashion and beauty content creator and I’m also into creative photography. How do you define individuality? Individuality is unique. It is how you celebrate yourself as who you are. People might think of me as a serious guy but I’m actually really friendly and dorky, and I love that side of me. Speaking of individuality, who do you look up to? Lady Gaga! I feel that she is true to herself and sincerely respects others for being who they are. As a social media personality who always has to be in front of the camera, how do you maintain your true self and not get lost in the sea of others? I try my best to stay away from cameras – just kidding! [Laughs] I have a really strong sense of focus, and try my best to do things my way and my way only. Be original and slay. How would you describe the identity you have forged for yourself? I’m an introvert 100% but as a social personality, I have to be this friendly, talkative and approachable guy which I’m still trying to perfect. [Laughs] What is your definition of success? Being happy. It might be a cliché, but it can be difficult to be truly happy. To be with your loved ones especially during this pandemic and to feel genuinely happy, that’s success to me. How do you keep yourself engaged with your followers, fans and audience? I keep myself active on my social media platforms and make time to reply to the comments and DMs. It can be overwhelming at times but it makes me feel connected to them. How do you keep yourself motivated to create daily content? I love doing what I’m doing. To be able to dress up and take photos of myself without any help from other people, I feel a great sense of achievement and that drives me. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I’m not really worried about that. I’m just enjoying living in the present and making the most of it.
Lina Osman, Fashion Designer
PEDRO Icon leather shoulder bag, Icon leather slingback heels; LINAOTH Nylon jacket, wool pants; 2 Moncler 1952 Nylon and down feather coat
What is your profession? I design custom occasion-wear pieces at LINAOTH. I also teach at a sewing studio on the side and lead a team with the prototyping of bags. How do you define individuality? I think individuality is the ability to exist as yourself or whatever you want to be. What is the identity you have forged for yourself? The things that I create are a part of my identity. To me, this idea of identity is fluid — in the future, I might explore other things. As of now, I want to make clothes that make women feel good. Who are some individuals you look up to that blazed their paths? South Korean music artistes IU and Hwasa. Do you agree that your generation of creatives is rethinking success and its traditional archetypes? I think this generation of creatives are not afraid to speak their mind and put their works out there. I like how we don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to us. We do things differently. We don’t wait for grants before producing a collection and we don’t wait for a studio space before accepting clients. Above all, I think many of us prioritise mental health and happiness. I would think that is where the journey to success starts. What is your definition of success? I don’t have a single definition because it’s made up of many, many smaller wins. Has age or a lack of it been an obstacle in your career thus far? I used to think I’m too young to do what I do, but not anymore. I think it’s all in the mindset. Just keep practising. What is the legacy you want to live behind for others? Beyond materialistic and craft values, I would want to leave an impact on how people of tomorrow value things. From thoughtfully designed clothes to the value of emotional and mental health to life in general. Share a piece of advice to inspire your fellow creatives and anyone who is reading this. Don’t worry about what people think and focus on doing you. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses; work hard and have fun.
Jon Max Goh, Fashion Designer
PEDRO Icon leather penny loafer shoes; Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Wool jacket, wool pants; Livingwear Organic Cotton Mock Neck T-shirt
What is your profession? I am a fashion designer. I currently run Livingwear with my co-founder Desmond and I’m birthing my eponymous label JONMAXGOH. How do you define individuality? I think individuality cannot be defined! How do your culture and upbringing influence your perspective on individuality? I have a bit of a strange relationship with my facial hair. I think growing up — whether it was school, army or interactions with relatives in Singapore — there is always a strange hang-up about needing to keep completely clean-shaven. My skin hated it — I used to get bad breakouts and in-grown hair trying to keep my face silky smooth. It wasn’t until I left to study in New York, where the rules of “how I should look” were thrown out the window completely, and I could grow my facial hair out. Ever since then, I’ve felt so much more comfortable in my skin. My parents have always been cool with self-expression. When I was a teen growing up, I remembered spray painting my hair orange, stitching my jeans with different colours or wearing mismatched shoes. I’d go out like that, even to Chinese New Year family gatherings, and they’d let me be who I needed to be. If relatives had anything to say, they’d always come to my defence. Do you agree that your generation of creatives is rethinking success and its traditional archetypes? I do, and it’s not an easy thing! I am heartened that there are so many talented and visionary creatives back home in Singapore now, compared to 12/13 years ago when I was figuring out what to study at University. What is your definition of success? Of course, there’s a baseline level of success where we’re all trying to make sure that what we’re passionate about is creatively, mentally, emotionally and financially sustainable. Right now, for me, success is seeing the seeds I’ve sown in my businesses bear fruit — hopefully in the next three to five years and making an impact in people’s lives with the work that we do. Has age or a lack of it been an obstacle in your career thus far? [Laughs] I think age (or the lack of it) is a double-edged sword. It allows us to be bold or sets us back and could be our greatest downfall. So many things come with experience and making mistakes, and as much as we hate it, it is inevitable and there is no fast track. Have appropriate support around you — family or friends — and know that failures don’t define us; it’s how we choose to move on from them that really shape who we will become. What is the legacy you want to leave behind for others? Be a good human. What is a piece of advice you have for other creatives? Don’t be so quick to define who you are. Individuality is something I’m still learning to do better myself.
Yaya Zahir, TV Host and Entrepreneur
PEDRO Icon leather shoulder bag, Icon leather penny loafer shoes
What is your profession? I do a few things that I love — I run my own streetwear and dessert brand; I’m a TV host by day and I’m also a content creator. How do you define individuality? Individuality is an extension of yourself — what you share, what you wear, what you choose to say. It all represents who you are as a person, it’s like a mirror that reflects you. For me, I choose to be different because I love the excitement of it. As a social media personality, how do you maintain your true self and not get lost in the sea of others? As a content creator and social media personality, I need to inspire and be inspired. However, we must know our style and not replicate others. I guess we have to have fun and experiment with different styles to eventually find our own. In that regard, who inspires you? I’m obsessed with Kendall Jenner, Emili Sindlev, Maxine Wylde and Dua Lipa. I love how expressive they are in their style and they sure aren’t afraid to show it to the world! How would you describe the identity you have forged for yourself? I would say I’m minimalist with a touch of edginess. What is the definition of success to you? To me, success is being contented. To be contented and happy with your own self, style and thoughts. How do you keep yourself engaged with your followers, fans and audience? It gets tougher and tougher to be honest but I make sure I have fun creating all my content. I want to share content that I genuinely love. I guess when you’re happy and sincere in what you do, your followers will feel the same sort of happiness. How do you keep yourself motivated to create daily content? Before the pandemic, all my travels inspired me — the smell of the city, the beach, etc — but since we’re not able to travel, I get inspired by anything that I experience. I also stay away from my phone so that I can spend quality time with my family, my husband and my cats. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? To be doing the same things as now — hosting, content creating, but hopefully with my own kids.
For Jon Max Goh and Lina Osman
Art Direction Izwan Abdullah
Photography Jeff Chang
Styling Manfred Lu
Grooming & Hair Priscelia Wong
Grooming Assistant Su Ching
Lucas Lau and Yaya Zahir’s shoots were carried out in their own homes and in accordance with the Malaysian Movement Control Order.
This story about PEDRO Icon with Yaya Zahir, Jon Max Goh, Lina Osman and Lucas Lau first appeared in the September ’21 issue!