Prestige 40 Under 40 2020: Sidney Yahya

Sidney Yahya

38, Design Manager for Blueplate Studio at Wilson Associates

This mother of three is responsible for some of the latest stylish interiors and furnishings in the regional hospitality and F&B scene, including the MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. While she’s currently fronting projects for top hotels in China, Vietnam and Cambodia, she only stepped into interior design less than two years ago.

Her career began at a fabric company where she learnt about textile-making. Sidney then studied computer-aided design and drafting, before joining another design firm. For almost a decade now, she has worked at Wilson Associates, where her key focus was mainly on furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). Last year, she transitioned into the firm’s speciality food and beverage design studio, Blueplate, which creates distinctive restaurant concepts worldwide.

“There has always been a divide between FF&E and interior design, and I needed to bridge the gap in my skills set. It was a huge struggle at first as my forte in FF&E was visual aesthetics, whereas interior design employed a lot of technical knowledge in terms of the functions and structure of a space. Now I have a big- picture outlook – from bare walls to completion. This resonated through the project for Café Swiss at the Swissôtel The Stamford, which I see as a personal achievement,” says Sidney, who also founded a contemporary modest-wear clothing line called Pure The Label.