Singapore Olympian, actor and overall #cutie Timothee Yap talks about style

Olympian Yap is juggling athletics, law school and a fledgling showbiz career

Photo: TNP

Although Joseph Schooling dominated local sports headlines last year, another Singaporean had his share of the Olympic limelight.

Sprinter Timothee Yap, 22, went to Rio de Janeiro as a wild-card pick and eventually raced against Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt in the 100m heats.

Yap didn't progress from the heat but when the post-race pat on the head from Bolt was captured in a photo, everyone started paying attention.

Yap explained: "It caught me by surprise, too.

"Before the race began, we talked a little and I told him that he was an inspiration to so many around the world. I guess the pat on my head was his way of telling me to not give up and to keep fighting for my dreams."

Today, the dream has evolved beyond sprinting.

Yap has signed on with NoonTalk Media - TV host Dasmond Koh's hunk-heavy talent agency featuring Xu Bin and Aloysius Pang - and is currently filming the lead role in a Toggle original drama called 2589 Days Apart, co-starring Felicia Chin.

All while still in school. He is currently studying law at the National University of Singapore.

Despite recent developments, things have not changed dramatically for Yap. He said: "My friends still treat me the same. (But) I have been a lot busier recently, juggling training, law school and acting."

Perhaps because he is always busy, Yap doesn't shop much. And he is not a big spender.

"I actually spend most of my money on food and petrol. I have a huge appetite and actually travel to eat good food."

That doesn't mean he is not into fashion. He said: "I've always been in touch with the latest fashion trends and try to follow them to the extent of the depths of my pockets."

He has even tried his hand at some bespoke styling.

"I tried ripping my own jeans recently and I cut the holes too big. I ended up throwing away that pair because the jeans started to fall apart."


The outfit most special to Yap is an obvious choice.

"This was the attire that I wore during the Rio Olympics, which is the pinnacle of sporting excellence and representing Singapore is the proudest moment of my life thus far."


Photo: TNP

Yap is most comfortable in "T-shirt and jeans". But he is always prepared.

"I always have a jacket around in case there is a need to be more formal."

Yap's jacket, jeans and T-shirt are all from Uniqlo, and his shoes from Puma.

He added: "I always have the habit of dressing nicely and appropriately for each event and when going out because you will never know who you will meet."


Photo: TNP

Yap picked a suit from local tailor Amos Marcus, and paired it with a Uniqlo T-shirt, shoes from G-Star and a watch from Tudor.

He said: "When dressing up, my style is more semi-formal. I prefer not to wear a shirt underneath a blazer or jacket as it resembles what lawyers would wear in court or at work."


Photo: TNP

Chinese New Year shopping for Yap happens all year round.

He said: "Throughout the year, if I manage to find something suitable, I will specially reserve it for CNY.

"I try to wear brighter colours and more vibrant designs."

He picked a shirt from Thai brand Paul B and throusers from Uniqlo. 


The original version of this story was published in The New Paper on Jan 6, 2017.

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