The Reluctant Stylista is a fashion and lifestyle blog written by Alex Lapa--the tomboy who suddenly discovered the joys and perks of dressing up. Original illustrations by Paolo Lazatin.
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Hennessy Artistry Manila Halo this year was held at Opus (Resorts World) last October 13, 2012. In the same way that Hennessy is a definite crowd-favorite when it comes to mixing drinks, “The Global Art of Mixing” event gathered the best of international and local acts to celebrate mixing different styles. There was world-renowned superstar DJ – Jermaine Dupree, local hotshots UP Dharma Down, vocalist Frencheska Farr, and performers Champ and Robin Nievera. There were also Dash Calzado, Sinyma, Artstrong, Mark Escueta, Mr. Marcus and DJs Joey Santos, Nix Pernia and Ace Ramos whose mixes kept the crowd partying at high energy. What really made it a stand-out party was how each act had their own chance in the spotlight but later on, they all jammed together to create a fusion of their music styles and it was fantastic to witness.
Vern (of A Shoe Tale) and I were lucky to have a quiet sit-down chat with Jane Dee, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy’s (LVMH) Asia-Pacific Regional Brand Manager prior to the party. And I must say, while it didn’t quite turn out as I had imagined it to be, it was the most interesting part of our night (and that’s saying a lot!). Through her background and the experiences she shared, we got to know a bit more about the wine and spirits industry, LVMH…and then some.
A perfect mix: LVMH + Jane Dee
Jane didn’t know that there was a job out there that would get her traveling, meeting new people every day and planning events—until it fell onto her lap. A fresh graduate from De La Salle University when she hopped aboard a plane to Beijing to enroll herself in Beijing Language and Culture University, she didn’t really know what to expect. Except maybe that it was something new to learn and experience. She had reservations at first—but she was young, and there was a wealth of opportunities to explore out there so curiosity won over. “My dad would have called it being ‘rebellious’. I’d say I’m curious. I ended up spending 4 years in Beijing – 1 year in school and 3 years working.”
Jane Dee with Vern and I
One thing about Jane Dee is that she’s not afraid of failure. “It’s better to try and fail than not try at all,” she shares, when we asked about her go-getter attitude (that obviously hasn’t hurt her career!). “Some people might be afraid to fail. It all depends on how you think about it. How you define failure.” In fact, Jane got fired on her first job in Beijing just after 7 months! But she knew that she wanted to work in Hong Kong before she was 30, and she wanted to work in LVMH. People asked of course, how she was going to do that—to which she could only reply back then, “I don’t know how to get there but I’ll find a way.” And get there she did. Jane Dee has been working for Moet Hennessy for 4 years now and has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Influential People in Hong Kong by Liberatum. I wouldn’t be surprised later on if she ends up living in New York next as she seems keen on that. You just get this vibe from Jane that she’ll always be on the lookout for what’s next.
How Asian markets differentiate from one another
Another interesting piece of information that came up during the interview was how Asian markets, when it comes to consuming spirits, are different from one another. Australia was mostly about cocktails, or had what they call a “Cocktail Culture” market. Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines are pretty similar in that the larger the bottles, the better. In Mongolia, shots are popular.
More than just the high heels
At quick glance, Miss Jane Dee also personifies her brand—edgy yet still luxury. Naturally, the discussion took a turn to the more fashionable aspects of the job. Handling her workload keeps her always on the go—from the office to various outside meetings and events in the evenings. She’s constantly traveling! And while I envy this certain perk of the job, I couldn’t help but be curious about how she keeps with all of it. “The trick is to always pack your high heels. And live closer to your work place so you can change whenever you need to get yourself prepared for an evening of socializing.” I love how this is still considered work. Another perk. And yet, when asked what she likes to do during her free time, R&R is priority: A hot bath, DVD movies, a good massage and a lot of good reads (she can go through 2-3 in week!).
While I myself travel for work sometimes, I notice I don’t seem to enjoy the places I go to as much as I should because it’s not really vacation. Jane shared something that I ought to try next time: she tries to arrive earlier than a scheduled meeting/event so she can explore the new place on her own terms. (Now why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah, I don’t book my own tickets so I don’t have much choice in the matter haha!)
Another useful tip I got from her is to keep a lot of chic black and white pieces in your closet—this helps when you still need to look fab without having to think about too much about what you should wear in the mornings. It’s interesting though, that she prefers to wear black in the mornings and white in the evenings. We asked her about her favorite designers and it was a long, girly discussion as we dissected our favorites. Hers were Zadig & Voltaire, Mango (which she likes over Zara—something we disagree on!), Diesel (for jeans), Christian Louboutin, YSL for suits, Balmain jackets, Marc Jacobs, Rhett Eala and Boom Sason. Locally, people have been telling her to check out Charina Sarte. I suggested Veejay Floresca and Jerome Ang, seeing as she’s got that glam rock down pat.
Asian to the core
I find it a bit funny and fascinating that Jane enjoys some cheap thrills of her own, especially when it comes to food. And she’s unabashedly Asian in taste. Asian food is her favorite—to her, Japanese makes you feel healthy (I agree), Chinese makes you feel full (I agree) and Pinoy food makes you comfy (totally agree!). Ever since she got back in Manila, she’d been craving for Bulalo, Sinigang and Sisig. She didn’t even have to think about her answer when we asked about her favorite food.
Taking all these in, Jane is right in her element at the “The Art of Mixing”. I just think it’s interesting how she enjoys all these different things and balances her responsibilities while keeping cool and looking chic.
Isn’t that what all women should aspire for? :)
Final snapshots with the amazing Jane Dee
Thank you Medium.asia Ltd. for this opportunity. Medium.asia Ltd. is one of Asia’s leading boutique public relations company for hospitality, fashion & lifestyle industries.Related posts: