SINGAPORE (Aug 6): Singapore fashion need not take a back seat to her counterparts in Europe or the US. Take a look at how these brands are carving a niche for themselves in this very competitive industry called style.
Armed with a BA Honours in Fashion Design Womenswear from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2000, Gin Lee (pictured, right) started her career in London and Shanghai. But it was only in 2011 that she created her own label, and with it her timeless signature style. Lee’s creations are for women who want a fuss-free everyday look and can be worn anytime and anywhere. Her inspiration is drawn from the different surroundings and cultures that she has been exposed to. Lee’s collections have become an avenue for her to document her life journey.
Goh Ling Ling (pictured, right) has her mother to thank for when it comes to her great taste for handbags. Her mother, a successful entrepreneur, would reward herself with a beautiful wardrobe and a collection of beautiful handbags. It is no wonder that this alumnus of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London is now the brains behind her own label of luxurious handbags. Her collection of handbags and accessories uses only the finest leather and hand-polished exotic skins. As a mother of three, Goh understands the need to have a bag that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. But, above all, she believes a great bag should never live within the confines of the latest trend, but should live with purpose as a close and honest friend to whoever owns it.
When Josh Leong and Winston Liang got together, they realised the need for the younger generation to see the tailoring and shoemaking industries as viable career options. With an aim to mentor the young ones in these areas, Seamless Bespoke was born. To the duo, it is no secret that most of the cutters and makers in the tailoring and shoemaking industries in Singapore are well into their retirement years. If steps are not taken to impart their knowledge and experience to the next generation, Singapore faces the risk of these industries disappearing when the current generation retires. At Seamless Bespoke, customers are attended to by a team of knowledgeable and experienced staff, who are able to give advice about fit, style or construction methods.
At the age of eight, Nida Tahir Shaheryar (pictured, left) already had a keen interest in art, especially in hand embroidery and textiles. Despite having a strong inclination towards designing and painting, Nida had to apply to the University of Manchester to pursue her undergraduate degree in economics due to the lack of support for art at school. This led to a career in banking. However, the pull towards fashion was too strong to ignore and Nida went on to study at Parsons School of Design in Paris. The rest is history, as her designs are now well known for her signature fine embroidery work, which has garnered her praise from magazine editors, influencers and peers.
Since 1997, Franson Group, founded by the Hew family, has been making shoes for men and women right here in Singapore. Two of their signature collections are Black Hammer and Anna Black. The brand has grown in the past 20 years and now comprises seven boutiques (and counting). This local company is definitely one to watch. Their shoes are comfortable enough to take you from the office to dinner, while the classic designs will rival that of any European-made footwear.
This article appeared in Issue 842 (Aug 6) of The Edge Singapore.