Beauty and boldness are not mutually exclusive. When these outstanding qualities come together, they create an audacious alchemy of mettle and mystique in multi-hyphenate Renaissance woman Tan Min-Li, who encapsulates the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove’s empowered, feminine style.
Going into unchartered territory, doing something despite it being scary, or perhaps because it is risky, just so one does not stagnate, has always paid off intrinsically for Tan Min-Li. Pre-pandemic, the fearless Min-Li made one of her boldest career moves. “Knowing full well that it would be tough coming back to full-time corporate legal work, once I’d lost touch with the business and my network, I still went ahead to practise part-time, so as to allow myself to travel and pursue other passions,” she says.
Min-Li acknowledged beforehand that the road back to full-time legal work, and staying strong as a professional in the industry, would be arduous and riddled with sacrifices.
The biggest lessons I gleaned from getting back on track at work is the knowledge that you are really only as good as your last deal, and that the pace at which business is done today, and at which developments occur, mean that you really do need to be at the top of your game all the time; there’s no resting on your laurels!
“As expected, it was an uphill task, and this was just before the pandemic hit. But it did feel amazing when I achieved results,” she remembers.
Her best friend, Rasina Rubin calls her remarkable and unstoppable, and admires her positive energy and infectious enthusiasm for all her ventures. Min-Li may be a legal-eagle corporate partner at a law firm by day, but her all-consuming day job at CNPLaw LLP has never stopped her from pursuing other equally notable passions, such as dabbling in the glamorous movie and fashion industries. “Off-work, I have many passions and enjoy exploring my creative side. I have variously been a film producer and an art entrepreneur; I’ve even designed a capsule fashion collection in collaboration with a local label.
“I was an executive producer for both The Man Who Knew Infinity, which starred Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons, and Hotel Mumba, starring Armie Hammer and Dev Patel. Although I was not on the ground, nor involved in the actual filming, I did get a ringside seat to the entire process, including learning about the production process, financing, casting, and, of course I also got to meet the cast.”
A few years ago, Min-Li designed a capsule collection for local label, Mad About Hue, “mainly because I yearned to experience fashion from a different perspective and ran with the idea of designing a small capsule collection for the It girl. The collection was made up of pieces that a girl-about-town would wear, and could mix and match for different occasions.
My biggest takeaway from my entrepreneurial ventures is that having the right partners is critical – this not only means finding people who are on the same wavelength as you, but whom you can also trust to have the business’ best interests at heart.
The exuberant adventuress, who calls Margaret Thatcher her boldness icon, is never not prepared to take the path less travelled, as long as it is guided by her personal moral compass. “Margaret Thatcher blazed a trail in her time as Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Her willingness to stand up for what she believed in often meant standing alone. That’s what inspires me. She is oft-quoted as saying, ‘Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.’”
It may seem like the charming, multi-talented Min-Li, enviable by any standard, has the world at her feet, but behind the beauty and success are stories of tenaciousness, resilience and self-belief.
I have been shaped more by challenges, hurdles and failure, than by my successes, as I always try to learn something from every negative situation. In so doing, I’m able to make a negative situation positive. I believe that positive action can only result from positive intention and motivation, not in provocation for the sake of achieving a positive result – it doesn’t work that way.
What will be her next bold, fearless move?
“I am still figuring that one out,” she shares honestly, “although I know that it will involve going into the unknown in a big way (again!).”
Sisterhood & Friendship Goals
Behind every strong woman is often another powerful female advocate. Min-Li’s happens to be Rasina Rubin, art aficionado and Director at Galerie Belvedere.
“I met Rasina at an event about 11 years ago. We had always known of each other, but were never formally introduced before that. We were immediately drawn to each other when we met. Initially, we bonded over our mutual love for art, but this quickly expanded to include other passions in our lives too.”
Min-Li cites a significant memory involving the two fearless friends and a night of fun and fashion: “Walking a fashion show together in 2019 at Jeweluxe! But our relationship has not been defined so much by bold moments as by being there for each other over the years. Rasina has always been a sounding board and the voice of reason for me. I value her point of view so much. She is clear about who she is and what she stands for, and is unafraid to go for it every time.”
Min-Li describes Rasina as being beautiful inside and out. “She is one of the kindest people I know; she never judges and does not sweat the small stuff. She is also effortlessly stylish and always well put together, with nary a hair out of place!
“I admire Rasina’s ability to juggle a successful career in the art world, with being the best mother to Sienna, whom I adore, all the while looking absolutely amazing. Her ability to rise above it all inspires me to be a calmer, more centred person.”
Style with Substance
Min-Li’s effortless aesthetic may inform her penchant for easy, wearable outfits, but she also keeps an eye out for punchy details like a cut-out, a tassel or a bank of studs – wearable art, with a cutting-edge twist and an X-factor, not unlike the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bags.
The Alcove is such a statement bag that it would instantly be the focal point of any outfit. I would wear it with something simple, so the bag itself stands out – probably high-waisted baggy jeans, a knit bralette and my roman stud sandals.
To shop the Fall 2021 Roman Palazzo and Valentino Garavani Rockstud Alcove bag collections, contact a Valentino fashion expert at ION Orchard (T: 6509 8062) or Marina Bay Sands (T: 6688 7186).
Or experience a new innovative digital shopping experience at My VXP (ION Orchard or Marina Bay Sands) where all pieces from the brand’s boutiques can be viewed with a touch of a button and delivered to your home at your convenience. Adding a personal touch to this virtual experience, a client advisor is also available to assist you (via chat or direct call) on your styling needs and preferences.
This feature is produced in collaboration with Valentino. Artwork by Curatedition, all rights reserved.
From the Editor:
The production of this shoot is in full compliance with updated IMDA Advisory and Mandatory Safety Rules for Resumption of Content Production. For more information visit the following website: https://www.imda.gov.sg/for-industry/sectors/Media/Film/Filming-in-Singapore