What exactly is a “fashion show producer”? Basically this is the person in charge of making sure the show that comes down the runway does so smoothly with the right models in the right looks, with the right styling, moving to the right music, with the right lighting and all matching the desires of the designer.
They also seem to be the people who make sure designers don’t have melt-downs, models turn up on time, the clothes are pressed, the media don’t trip over cords backstage, that any celeb friends of designers aren’t hounded by said media, that the roof of the venue doesn’t fall in and that there are enough seats for all the very important VIPs who need to sit on the front row; all while keeping a smile on their face and surviving on no sleep for days on end.
Basically, a show producer has to be a magician blessed with the personality of a saint and the constitution of a bull.
Luckily for Singapore’s fashion industry, Bryan Gamboa appears to be just such a miracle of an individual.
A man of many talents: Fashion show producer, musician, singer, actor & host, Bryan Gamboa
“My job suits my personality and my personality suits my job,” says Bryan with a charming smile. Another thing which has probably helped him become one of the most sought-after show producers in the region is his ability to charm the birds from the trees.
While he will admit that his experience as a host, actor and as lead-singer of iconic Singapore band West Grand Boulevard, help out with his understanding of show production – especially when it comes to the musical and technical aspects – Bryan is less forthcoming in admitting to his own charms.
“Curiosity, wanting to know how things work, finding out what other things can [help] make a show work,” explains Bryan when asked why he’s managed to be so successful in the industry in such a relatively short time.
Rock ‘n’ roll: Bryan Gamboa at work in the producer’s booth
Starting part-time with Singapore’s “godfather of fashion” Daniel Boey, Bryan is now single-handedly running shows for major designers like Alexis Mabile, Anne Valerie Hash, Maxime Simoens, Christophe Josse, Yumi Katsura, Guo Pei, YiQing Yin, Julian Fournie and On Aura Tout Vu after just five years; and only three of them full-time.
So far Bryan has produced shows and designed events in Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok, Bali and Hanoi, and has worked with high-profile labels like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Tiffany, Paloma Picasso, Herve Leger, Maria Grachvogel, DSquared, Paul&Joe, Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Brothers as well as department stores Takashimaya, Robinsons and Tangs.
His favourite event so far was the extravagant Yumi Katsura show held as part of Asian Couture Fashion Week 2012.
Behind the scenes: Bryan Gamboa working on the recent Yumi Katsura show at Asian Couture Fashion Week in Singapore
“I was so emotionally attached to it [the Yumi Katsura show] that I almost cried when it got a standing ovation,” says Bryan with a grin. “There were so many details that had to be taken into consideration. They [Katsura’s team] were worried, but I said to them, ‘trust me, I’ll give you the best show I can’ … and they did, and I did.”
“There are things you should, and shouldn’t, do for a show … taping shoes, styling, making sure the music tempo is right, it all has to be done really skillfully … but you should just look at the show and enjoy it for what it is.
“I love working with other really skilled people; stylists, lighting … when it all comes together it’s a flawless experience. Practice makes perfect.”
At only 27-years-old it seems as though Bryan has pretty much reached the top of the industry in the region, but he says there are lots more things to do.
“My long-term goal is to expand the business. I don’t want to just do fashion; I’d like to look into other areas where we can produce events. The recent Wisma opening event I did for example is something new.” In July 2012, Bryan produced the re-opening events for Wisma Atria after its facelift that included fashion shows, music events and other entertainment.
As for the downsides of the job, Bryan laughingly says there’s nothing he dislikes: “I enjoy it all, it’s fun. It’s never the same … different people, different designers. I suppose the one negative can sometimes be other people; you need to manage people’s expectations.
“Calm, chill … people should be treated as people. And don’t dwell on the problem, just look for the solution. I love solving problems.”
To book Bryan Gamboa for an event or fashion show, email firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information about Daniel Boey Pte Ltd, to go www.danielboey.com. For more information about, and to listen to, Bryan Gamboa’s band West Grand Boulevard go to www.myspace.com/westgrandboulevard. To book Bryan Gamboa for hosting or acting, contact Fly Entertainment at www.fly.com.sg.