Lifestyle / Interview interview ’From zero to hero’ is an ideal phrase to describe the career path of Rinaldy A. Yunardi, the well-known Indonesian accessory designer. The 48-year-old admits that he never dreamed of joining the fashion industry, let alone becoming a famous designer. As a teenager, even going to fashion school did not occur to him. Born in Medan to parents from Aceh, upon finishing high school Rinaldy turned down an offer from his brother to sponsor him to go to university. “At that time, my brother already had his own family. My parents were retired. So, I didn’t want to burden them,” he explains. The designer, known for his fondness for wearing black, began his working life as a marketing officer for a car company. His job was to answer phones and take care of orders, but he was often assigned to another division, which taught him a lot about company management. After resigning from the car company, Rinaldy’s career took a different turn when he met Kim Thong, a famous wedding dress designer. Rinaldy was assigned to sell Thong’s imported tiaras; coincidentally, it was the first time he had set eyes on a tiara. “It was 1994, and the fashion industry in Indonesia was not as developed as it is today. People at that time preferred to buy tiaras from abroad. Since it was rather difficult for me to sell them, I finally resigned,” he says. 80 From answering phones for a car company, Rinaldy A. Yunardi has risen to become an international accessory designer sought out by the likes of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Madonna.