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by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

Fashion Designer Danica Zheng on Fave Summer Moisturiser & Mood-Boosting Scents

Born in China, raised in Singapore and now based in New York City, Danica Zheng is the perfect combination of East meets West. Developing an appreciation and talent for art growing up, she was selected for a prestigious art scholarship program at just the age of thirteen. With a passion for art and design, she attended architecture school in California at USC, then decided to move to New York City to attend Parsons for fashion design. While in the Big Apple, Zheng’s designs were selected for the Parson’s Benefit Show, displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue’s window, and nominated for the Neiman Marcus Innovative Project.

Formerly the designer of a flirty contemporary label Pamplemousse, Danica is now a creative consultant, and the designer and founder of an edgy womenswear brand named Danz.

We caught up with Danica virtually as she shares fashion tips and beauty picks, including her favourite moisturiser for summer and her current go-to mood-boosting perfume.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I usually start off my morning preparing lunch for my 3-year-old and sending her to school before settling down with a morning cup of coffee and breakfast. After breakfast, I usually have my morning meetings with the team in Asia and try to answer all my emails. Afternoons are more dedicated to design work or things where I need to get my thoughts organised. Early evenings are for family time and then I usually work a little more later at night when the Asia team is back in the office. Otherwise, I’d probably be relaxing with a glass of wine and watching a movie on the calmer nights.

How did your passion for fashion begin? Were there women in your life who had a deep impact on you discovering your love for fashion?

Growing up, I’ve never even thought about the possibility of myself working in fashion but always remembered wrapping my bath towel into different ‘dresses’ on myself as a kid. The women in my family have always had a love for clothes, beauty and fashion but I was always pointed to a more traditional path of career like architecture. I became exposed to art in middle school when I entered the art program offered by my school. When we had to choose a topic for our A’ Levels, it all just suddenly seemed to make sense when I started exploring in the direction of fashion and I have not looked back since.

How does the city where you live, in addition to your cultural heritage, influence your personal style?

I grew up living in metropolitan cities with rich cultures all my life and I’ve learnt that there’s always warmth in the human touch behind layers of the concrete jungle. I believe that it’s something that has influenced and shaped my style and designs, always striving for a balance between sleek tailoring and softer drapes.

What’s your go-to look for the day ahead? Do you plan your outfits ahead or pick randomly?

These days I tend to stick with something comfortable but amp it up with a statement piece such as a well-tailored jacket with sweatpants, or a comfy t-shirt with a beautifully draped skirt. After being under lockdown for the past year, I’m ready for more fashion but also have gotten too used to dressing comfortably at this point to let that go (laughs). My outfits are picked quite spontaneously, but usually, there’s a piece that I feel strongly towards for the day and I try to work my outfit around it.

What is a typical beauty routine for you?

I’ve been using the Fresh cleanser since my college days, it’s a simple product that does all the tricks to cleanse the skin really well without stripping it. Then it’s followed by toner, serum and moisturiser.

For daytime makeup, I usually go for sunscreen or a tinted moisturiser with SPF, sometimes a little concealer, a little of Glossier’s Boy Brow and a tinted lip balm from Chantecaille.

My nighttime routine is pretty much the same as my morning routine, except I would put on eye cream, use a face oil after the moisturiser, and try to do a facial massage or gua sha.

What is the most exciting beauty purchase you’ve made recently and why?

I’m loving the Augustine Bader cream lately—it’s lightweight and perfect for the warmer summer days.

How has your perception of beauty changed through the years?

It used to be more about makeup than skincare but it has shifted the opposite way as I get older.

Most of us feel most confident when our skin is healthy. What else helps you feel your best?

I think it’s a combination of skin, hair and scent! A lot of times my mood is instantaneously shaped by the scent in my surroundings. Lately, I am obsessing over Frederic Malle Rose & Cuir.

What are your goals in the future? What are you working towards?

I think I’m just always striving to become a better version of myself and being a positive influence on the people around me; growing a company that could influence women to find their better selves, as well as shaping a better industry at the end of the day.

Danica’s Beauty Picks

FRESH Soy Face Cleanser, SGD75
Glossier Cleanser Concentrate, SGD40
Augustinus Bader The Cream PPC Cellular Renewal Cream, SGD330
Susanne Kaufman Face Oil Line F
Biologique Recherche Creme Contour des Yeux VIP 02, SGD125
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W, SGD195
Glossier Boy Brow, SGD31
Chantecaille Lip Tint Hydrating Balm, SGD58
Frederic Malle Rose & Cuir Eau de Parfum, SGD350

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