Beachroad meet style icon Esther Quek Editor-in-Chief of Citizen K Arabia Magazine. Hailing from Singapore Esther is a firm favourite within fashion circles in Dubai and beyond.
NAME? // Esther Quek.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Fashion Assistant.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Editor-in-Chief of Citizen K Arabia.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF WORKING WITH MAJOR PUBLICATIONS? // Pros: International titles add credit to your work and you always have great support from the network of other international editions’ editors and markets. Cons: Bureaucracy and resistance to change.
THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED MAGAZINE PUBLISHING, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THIS CHANGE? // Print is here to stay. However, it needs to support the digital vehicles as we grow with our audience. I believe in creating beautifully printed magazines while optimizing publications’ websites to support their readership and daily relevance to the community.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DUBAI AS A CITY AND ITS EVER CHANGING SKYLINE? // There is always something new in this city, new people, new joints, new collaborations – I love its vibrancy. If one can have the 'American Dream,' you definitely can have the ‘Dubai Dream’. Anything can happen here!
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO EAT, DRINK AND SOCIALIZE IN DUBAI? // The MAINE Oyster Bar Grill, Miss Lily’s, Little Black Door, Socialista Dubai, Peyote Dubai, Katsuya by Starck Madinat Jumeirah, INKED, El Chiringuito Dubai, Coya Dubai, Nola Eatery and Social House, Mythos Kouzina & Grill, Din Tai Fung, Long Teng Seafood Restaurant and Toro+Ko.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN DUBAI AND HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU WILL STAY? // 5 years and counting!
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // Style.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Heights.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A MEAL WITH ANYONE ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // My maternal grandmother, she was a diva and a gangster. She passed away when I was 10. I’ve missed her. Alternatively, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, she intrigues me.
WHO IS YOUR FASHION DESIGN HERO? // Alexander McQueen (dead) and Miuccia Prada (living).
WHO IS YOUR FURNITURE DESIGNER HERO? // Ernö Goldfinger.
WHAT PIECE OF CLOTHING COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? // High-waisted black trousers.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST / PAINTER? // Illustrator Richard Haines
WHAT DOES DUBAI MEAN TO YOU? // Dubai is my second home, I love this city.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // At 5 years old, hiding behind my grandmother’s legs, running away from my tigress Asian mum (who was holding the cane). I must have done something wrong!
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // No one, I create my path.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // An air ticket to Dubai
IF YOU WERE 80 YEARS OLD WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // Live your life, don’t settle down too early. Listen to your wife after you are married.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Obsession.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Sloppiness.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR PART IN A MOVIE? // Cate Blanchett.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Everyday life.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Not yet.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // I hit the gym six days a week and do rock climbing indoors on the weekend. I cook very often. These activities are non-work related and divert my attention from the constant email checking.
WHY DUBAI? // Money.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // Yes.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach, always!.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Urban, I am a city lady.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs, we have a beagle and Scottish Terrier, back in Singapore.
COFFEE OR TEA? // It used to be coffee. I’ve stopped drinking coffee as advised by my nutritionist as I get insomnia. All kinds of tea now.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Good jokes.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // Family tragedies.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Don’t settle, be bold, be independent, live your own life. Fight for what you want, and work extremely hard because there will always be someone smarter and younger than you.
Check out Esther on Ounass.ae