In conversation with Singapore’s Passion Ambassadors: the Collector

In this exciting series, we’re speaking to some of Visit Singapore’s expert Passion Ambassadors, to find out what they do, why they love it so much, and to get their insider tips on life in the Lion City. For our third edition, we spoke to Mark Ong, sneaker artist, streetwear designer and skateboarding addict. Here’s what he had to say…

Can you tell us about your role as a Passion Ambassador for Visit Singapore?

My role is to do the best I can and to contribute to the history of our young nation. 

Why is Singapore such a great city for collectors?

I see Singapore like a very young New York City: a melting pot of cultures that offers a very unique experience.

Do you remember your first pair of sneakers? What were they like?

I remember drawing metal band logos on my school shoes all the time… 

What made you decide to design sneakers as a career?

Besides being very passionate about it, I saw a void and I decided to contribute to it.  

Where should sneaker addicts go to get the best trainers and streetwear in Singapore?

I have to say 313@Somerset Mall, where you can find many Limited Edt stores, Leftfoot in Cineleisure and The Cathay and also DSM at Dempsey Hill.

Tell us about your favourite sneakers in your own collection?

I have a collection of 1985 Nike and Jordan sneakers that brings

Tell us about the first time you went skateboarding. Why did you become addicted?

I was having drill lessons in the boy’s brigade one day and saw a teenager popping up a curb as he was moving. That was a defining moment that changed my life forever: I quit the brigade and became a skateboarder. 

Where are your three favourite places to go skateboarding in Singapore?

I love cruising down Orchard Road when I’m running my errands, weekends at Marina Bay as it’s flatland heaven there, and also at a spot near Sim Lim Tower

How does your love of skateboarding and street culture influence your designs? 

The creative approach towards street skating has influenced the way that I look at things. For example, you see a flight of stairs, but in my head I would play an imaginary skate video of all the possible tricks I can do as I go down it. It has made me find ‘clues’ to approach my designs in an unexpected way.

What else influences you as a creative?

Sports and eating great food! 

Aside from skateboarding, what’s your favourite way to have fun in Singapore?

I love a good night out with my buddies having delicious food and drinks, and ending up at unexpected places. 

Can you tell us about one of your favourite places to eat and drink?

I love taking my guests to the Dragon Chamber, where they serve a very unique style of American-Chinese food! 

How would you describe the fashion scene in Singapore?

It’s laid back, island vibes and street at the same time. 

Any other tips for visitors to Singapore?

Come with an open mind. Go for a jog at the MacRitchie Reservoir! Cycle around the city! 

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