Born out a personal need for an “it” bag that is fashionable, durable and affordable for the modern woman, founder Coral Chung aimed to fill a gap in the market. Back in 2016, the duo established the Senreve brand, and their first carryall, the Maestra bag. Using premium quality Italian leather in a timeless design that is both stylish and incredibly functional, the Maestra became an instant hit.
Handmade in Europe by craftsmen who have worked in the luxury industry for over 50 years, Senreve’s designs are 100% calf leather that is strain-, scratch-, and water-resistant. Hollywood’s A-listers and fashion insiders like Lady Gaga, Priyanka Chopra, Emma Roberts and Jessica Alba have all been seen with a Senreve. In 2019, the company closed a US$16.7M Series A fundraiser — another clear proof of its success as a female-founded business.
You can now shop its cult bags in real life at its first pop-up at Takashimaya Shopping Centre (until 10 November 2021), which offers the full range of its bestsellers – from the highly successful Maestra and Aria Belt Bags to the more recent Alunna and Amica Misto collections. You’ll be able to choose from a myriad of colours and different types of leather finishes, such as pebbled, smooth and dragon, Senreve’s take on crocodile skin. There are also two vegan leather collections that are made without any animal by-products. If the bag you want is (unsuprisingly) sold out, the pop-up also accepts pre-orders, with a delivery lead-time of five to seven business days. To celebrate the launch of its Singapore pop-up, the popular Alunna and Mini Alunna bags are available in Pebbled Cream, available only in selected stores across Asia.
Names: Coral Chung
Profession: CEO and COO
Industry: Luxury Fashion
Start up since: November 2016
Company size: Team of 30+ globally, have raised over US$23M in capital to date
Tell us about your business. What do you do?
Senreve is a global luxury fashion brand known for our iconic handbag styles. We have grown tremendously over the past three years because women around the world love and appreciate the authentic beauty, luxury quality and unique versatility of our products.
Tell me about your best and worst day at work?
The best days are when I’m feeling incredibly creative and generating new ideas that are revolutionising luxury and fashion. For example, we are very focused on sustainability and have created a 100% vegan luxury bag recently. I love the importance of creating something that is truly new in the world. Worsts days are usually when I feel like there are a million different fires to fight in all the different time zones that we operate in.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I have a 7-year-old daughter who is very demanding of my attention, so I try to be 100% present when I’m hanging out with her. Also, work and life blend together, for example last year going to the Met Gala was work, but was it really?
Looking back now, what would you have done differently?
There are too many littles things we could have done differently, but we made all the right big decisions.
What is a normal work day like?
My day starts usually with me meeting with our team in Italy and ends with meeting with our team in Hong Kong. In between, I also have a ton of meetings internally and externally. Prior to COVID-19 I used to travel all the time to Florence, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and all over, but now I’m doing everything virtually.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start up?
Pursue it with passion and determination and be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices along the way, but it will all be worth it.
As a child, what did you aspire to be?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial household so I really admired strong female entrepreneurs and leaders. I remember really looking up to Andrea Jung, former CEO of Avon, because she was the first Chinese female CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. I also had a creative side and thought about pursuing a professional dance or acting career (which my parents highly discouraged me from doing!).
Why is Hong Kong an important market for you?
Hong Kong is near and dear to me personally because it was where I first started my career after university. I always loved how vibrant, dynamic and international Hong Kong is. Women in Hong Kong are definitely savvy and stylish, but also intense, highly intelligent, appreciate quality and are global trendsetters. In fact, Hong Kong was the first market outside of the U.S. we shipped to since our launch because so many women made requests. We’re also so thrilled for Hong Kong to be the first place for us to have a standalone pop-up store at the iconic Pacific Place.
If you were to invest in another start up, which would it be?
I’m very passionate about women’s health and fertility, so would be excited to invest in companies in these areas.
How hands-on are you?
We’re both extremely hands-on and involved daily with all the details ranging from our social media posts to our operational processes. We’re both very protective, sensitive and representative of our Senreve core brand values of wit, innovation, freedom, empowerment, and elegance in everything we do.
How did you feel when you first found out international celebrities were fans of Senreve?
C I was so thrilled when Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie wore our bags. I think it’s rewarding to have inspiring women who wear our products around the world as Senreve ambassadors.
How do you define success? Do you consider yourself being successful?
Personally, I define success as always growing and learning. I love challenges and solving problems. I also love what I’m doing everyday, so that makes me feel successful.
What’s next for Senreve?
Senreve has been growing rapidly since our launch, and we’re really excited about our recent initiatives in Asia. We plan on doing more pop-ups like our Pacific Place pop-up store. We’re also introducing new styles and shapes including in our 100% vegan materials. Finally, we’ve always envisioned becoming a multi-category lifestyle brand, so we’re starting to introduce cashmere, silks, and other products over the next few months as well.
Senreve is located at#B1-41, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, Singapore 238872.
This story first appeared in Prestige Hong Kong.
(Main and featured image: Prestige Hong Kong)