Every year, The Singapore Women’s Weekly gives prominence to 18 distinguished and powerful women who are successful in their own right, as part of the Great Women Of Our Time awards. Meet 2020’s Design & Style nominee, Lin Ruiyin.
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Meet Lin Ruiyin – Great Women of Our Time Awards 2020 Design & Style Nominee
An award-winning jeweller trained in Central St Martins in London, Lin Ruiyin’s work is subtle yet bold, with strong architectural silhouettes and graphic shapes. Ruiyin quotes industry heavyweights such as Caroline Broadhead, Naomi Filmer, and Ling Chen as her inspirations, having trained under their tutelage throughout her studies at Central St Martins. “I’ve always been interested in fine art – but more so in creating art that is wearable,” she shares, explaining her approach to “the human body as the platform that gives different context to the sculpture, as it moves around in its environment”.
Ruiyin, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Jewellery Design, and whose personal works are part of gallery collections in London, co-founded State Property Fine Jewellery in 2015 with her creative partner and (now) husband, Afzal Imran.
Since its inception, the homegrown label has been consistently making statement pieces and producing ripples beyond Singapore’s shores, with the likes of celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and Nicole Kidman wearing its creations.
“Last year, we decided to expand into the American market, and we were very lucky to have met the right people to bring us in,” she reveals. “They had connections to some celebrity stylists and, I mean, to have Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama wear our work! I still cannot get over it at this point. It’s like a dream that hasn’t sunk in yet – it’s crazy, and beyond anything I could ever have imagined happening. We’ve been very lucky.”
Ruiyin, who handles the product design at her label, shares, “We approach designing our collections as most designers do, with research and by setting a design brief, but we also rely a lot on our instinct and emotional connection to ideas or designs, to determine if they actually make the cut. Every piece we design needs to be able to capture a little bit of the wearer’s heart – we believe in the idea of sustainable design through emotional durability.”
And therein lies the aspiration behind State Property’s bespoke service, where clients’ heirlooms and existing pieces are reimagined and updated. “We use previous materials that retain value and can be reworked if needed. In the designing process, we also look to create a style that is both timeless, yet reflective of its time,” she explains, reminiscing, “I myself have a gold necklace that is very meaningful to me. My mum first passed it to my nanny, who brought me up. She held onto it for a good 10 years and gave it to me before she passed on. I kept it in a sacred place since, and brought it out only during my wedding last year. I wore it on my special day so that it would be like I had the blessings of both the most important women in my life.”
Reiterating the need for sustainable design, Ruiyin says emphatically, “We live in such a throwaway society and the lifespan of things we consume now is so short. So this is an aspect of sustainability that we feel we can tackle through our creations. Be it reworking inherited heirlooms, or designing pieces that we hope would eventually end up as heirlooms for the next generation, we try to put ourselves in the shoes of the wearer and create something that we would personally take on, as if it were our own. We hope that in doing so, we can offer our clients pieces that they would want to wear for a long time, and even pass down to the next generation.”
The Great Women Of Our Time Awards 2020 is brought to you by the presenter, Lancôme.