When one ponders on the many personalities currently shaping the world of fashion and beauty, Havana Tan easily comes to mind. The bright young talent, much like her favorite canvases—Instagram and TikTok—demonstrates an unwavering commitment to authenticity and originality. The Melbourne-based influencer’s flair for pairing outfits, balancing between the chic minimalism of daily wear and bold experimentation for special events, has not only charmed her followers but also gained the attention of industry giants like SKIMS, Rimmel London, and Jurlique, among others.
While her unerring sense of style has endeared her to many, it’s Havana’s journey of transition—from the precision of legal practice to the uncharted waters of entrepreneurship—that truly sets her apart. Embracing her innate creative passion, the content creator left her career as a lawyer to build a life in an industry she was truly passionate about. Fraught with challenges and uncertainties, such a leap showcased her admirable sense of self-belief.
Beyond the curated frames of stylish outfits and striking poses, Havana remains a voice of reason and candor in an industry often characterized by façades. In a world where public personas can feel detached, she engages with her audience about her struggles and triumphs and many of the not-so-glamorous moments behind the scenes. Whether she’s offering advice on personal style, sharing snippets of her European vacation, or discussing her transition into self-employment, the creative never shies away from sharing the highs and lows of her journey.
In our Q&A, Havana Tan dives deeper into her evolution, from a young girl fascinated with YouTube beauty tutorials to an influential fashion figure. She shares insights on finding personal style, her beauty favorites, and the lessons learned in the transition to running her own business.
To start off, can you share a bit about your journey? When did your love for fashion really begin, and what made you want to share it with the world?
I’ve loved fashion and beauty for as long as I can remember! In my teens I would spend hours watching make-up tutorials and clothing hauls on YouTube (in the early “Beauty Guru” days before titles like Influencer or Content Creator existed). I always dreamt of having my own platform but never felt like it was a realistic goal for me so I focused on becoming a lawyer and really suppressed my creative dreams and passions for a few years!
Fast forward to last year, I went on holiday to Italy and shared some snippets of the trip on TikTok just for fun. My videos started gaining traction and I would get lots of questions about my vacation outfits. I knew immediately that this was my time to go all in and finally start sharing the fashion and beauty content I’d always wanted to share. I haven’t looked back since!
How would you describe your style?
I definitely dress according to my mood and the occasion so my style varies! On a day to day basis I tend to gravitate towards more minimal, chic pieces (oversized structured blazers, classic tailored pants, neutral color palates). However I absolutely love experimenting and pushing boundaries with fashion, so anytime I’m attending an event I jump on the opportunity to get creative with bold colors and textures, statement pieces and playful accessories!
Whether it be the recent video of your Barbie pre-screening outfit or the several clips of you on TikTok showing your viewers how to dress for date night or the islands, your outfits are always incredible. Where do you usually turn for inspiration?
Thank you so much, this means a lot! I love to match my outfits to my surroundings so say I’m choosing a nice outfit for a dinner date, I’ll draw inspiration from the color palate, vibe and aesthetic of the restaurant that I’m heading to. If I’m packing outfits for a trip to Paris, I’ll be influenced by Parisian style and will reach for the more chic, sophisticated items in my wardrobe. Pinterest is also a great resource!
Not to mention, you’ve got this amazing confidence that shines through in your photos and videos. What advice would you give to someone struggling to find their personal style?
It’s all about experimenting! Play around with different garments and combinations and take note whenever you feel good in an outfit. Try to pinpoint exactly what it is that you like about each item — e.g. if you love a pair of pants, do you love the style of the pants or do you actually just love the fit of pants? Do you love the cut of the dress or is it the material? Over time you’ll develop a clear understanding of what you like/dislike and what makes you feel most confident. From there it will become so much easier to refine your personal style!
Previously, I watched a video where you spoke about leaving your job as a lawyer to become a business owner—can you talk to us about the transition into working for yourself and how things have been coming along?
It is by far the best thing I have ever done! Whilst I loved aspects of working as a lawyer, I’m a creative at heart and always knew I wanted to work for myself and build a life I was truly passionate about. Being self-employed definitely comes with its challenges however I’m extremely driven and love to push myself out of my comfort zone and test my limits. It’s incredibly rewarding to build something from the ground up and I have so many things I want to achieve over the next few years!
Australia is a bit cut off from the rest of the world, but there are still plenty of brands and designers based in Melbourne and Sydney among other places. In your opinion, who should be on our radar?
PRIMI is a Melbourne-based label that I adore. It’s female founded and they have so many high quality staple pieces perfect for building a capsule wardrobe! Yousef Akbar is an incredible evening wear designer based in Sydney. I had the pleasure of attending his show at Australian Fashion Week in May earlier this year and I was blown away by the gowns in his SS24 Collection – he really thinks outside the box when it comes to textures and layering!
What are five beauty products you can’t live without?
My Jurlique Rare Rose Face Oil, it’s so hydrating and gives most skin the most beautiful glow! My Dior Lip Glow Oil. I love a slick bun or ponytail so a Slick Stick to tame any loose and fly away hairs. A good under eye concealer — I love NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer or YSL Beauty Touche Eclat Concealer. Smashbox Brow Tech To Go for my eyebrows.
Lastly, you’ve worked with an array of brands and partners already this year, but who are some of your dream collaborations at the moment?
I actually collaborated with YSL Beauty last month which was a big pinch me moment and I would absolutely love to work with them again! Dior Beauty, Mecca, and Henne are a few other dream brands on the bucket list!