A-Listers 2013 Top 12 – Tom Child
Hubert Burda Media

A-Listers 2013 Top 12 – Tom Child

Tom Child
Age: 28
Occupation: Strategist

It almost seems as though Child stumbled into Singapore by accident. His decision to immigrate here was, in his words, “an escape from all the gloom back home.” But Child is still an Englishman at heart. While he spends his days as a design strategist, he finds time to play for The Wanderers Rugby Club, and nurtures the next generation of local rugby players in his club’s academy.

 So you’ve done something like this before.

I’ve done a couple of photo shoots when I was in university. But that was more product-based than fashion or lifestyle. I actually joined a television programme in the UK. They were putting together a group of 12 up and coming designers to showcase their work. It was the designer equivalent for The Apprentice. I never made it to the live television but I’m familiar with various interview processes and photo shoots. If it taught me anything about television programmes, it would have to be that producers just want flamboyant personalities to boost ratings. I mean, I remember watching the programme later and thinking that some of their designs were rubbish.

 How did you get into design?

It was one of those things I didn’t really think about when I was younger. Working in a workshop and creating designs appealed to me much more than finance or law. When I graduated in 2008, it was the worst time to get a job anywhere. And so I decided to go travelling a little bit, went back and got a job. After a while, I managed to get enough saved up to move away and so I came here.

 Why Singapore of all places?

I just wanted something new. I just needed to get away from the UK so much that it almost didn’t matter where I went. The economy back home is bad and everyone is fighting for business and everyone, as a result, is moody. I had to get away from all that gloom. It was challenging coming to Singapore, especially with the different culture and sometimes communication problems. But it has been great so far.

 What do you do in your free time?

I play rugby for The Wanderers Rugby Club. I used to play football as well when I was a teenager. That’s perhaps one thing I quite miss about the UK, or more specifically Birmingham, which is where I’m from. Sports is such a big part of our lives. Even if you’re not that into sports, you’d still be asking others around you at 3 o’clock in the afternoon what the score is. And if your team won, everyone would be in a good mood.  

 I define personal success as…

The ability to exceed your goals. It’s always great to set yourself targets and aim to beat them. But I’m never happy just being content; I think we all strive to be better than what we do or who we are.