You’re shopping around and want to go local when it comes to buying your next wardrobe addition. Not totally up-to-date on brands you should be looking for when it comes to Singapore designers? We play style match-maker – here’s the hit-list that’ll tell you which designer best suits.
The look: Modern Girl Next Door
Self-taught designer Danelle Woo conceived Aijek in 2010 when she was living in Shanghai. Using mostly natural and sustainable fibers such as silk, cotton, tencel and viscose, Woo’s Aijek designs are tailored, but keep a thoroughly feminine aesthetic. Fans include influencers like Landsi Lane, as well as South Korean star Kim Jung Eun, while international names like Asos and Revolve Clothing are stockists.
Ying the Label
The look: Minimalistic romance
Phuay Li Ying spied a gap in the clothing market (that clever girl) and married her passion for watercolour paintings and an eye for fashion to start up her fashion label. Sourcing fabrics from Japan, Korea and Indonesia, Phuay imprints her original whimsical, abstract prints onto contemporary silhouettes. After three years in the fashion business, and garnering lots of attention along the way, Phuay has recently opened her first retail store.
The look: Hipster heritage
Eight thriving years as a womenswear brand in Singapore is no easy feat, but designer Priscilla Shunmugam doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon. Known for putting a modern spin on traditional outfits such as the cheongsam and the sari, Ong Shunmugam has gone from strength to strength and Shunmugam is making the next logical step — trying to break into the international market. She recently hosted trunk shows in cities such as Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei.
The look: Andro-cool
Ex-accountant Kolin Chong left his high-flying corporate career to go back to school to study fashion in Dubai and Paris and subsequently interned for Veronica Leroy and Balmain until 2014. Chong then returned to Singapore, found the fashion scene more vibrant than he remembered, and decided it was timely to launch Styl.Myl. (pronounced as “stylo-mylo”). His brand employs the use of classic androgynous silhouettes but with standout detailing such as oversized pockets or mixed fabrics. We particularly love the skirt-pants and shirt dresses.
The look: Rebellious sophisticate
One of the most established womenswear designers in Singapore, max.tan by 2006 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Fashion Design graduate Max Tan is known for its dramatic take on minimalism. Tan’s works often play on dualities— masculinity and femininity; deconstruction and reconstruction; undersized and oversized; and black and white. The label has been featured by Vogue and is also internationally distributed with stockists in Italy, Norway, Kuwait, Egypt, San Francisco, Macau and Sweden.
In Good Company
The look: Contemporary elegance
When In Good Company launched in 2012, it filled a gap that Singaporean women didn’t realise existed. Edgy cuts, contemporary forms, quality fabrics and clean colour palettes — combined with the brand’s affordable price points — speak to young working professionals, giving them a middle-ground option between high-end and fast fashion. We love In Good Company for their classic wardrobe essentials and it seems like multiple department stores around Southeast Asia such as Sogo Jakarta and SM in Manila agree, too.
The look: Girly grunge
The four-year-old label — founded by director Widelia Liu and designed by Valerie Chan — has mastered feminine flounces, girlie tulles and sexy cutouts, styled with a deconstructed, grungy attitude.
The look: Unisex glam
Myanmar-born Wai Yang moved to Singapore when she was 12, then headed to London’s College of Fashion, and spent time interning for 7 big names, including Giles Deacon. She returned to launch her label two years ago to critical acclaim, thanks to her penchant for experimenting with new fabrications — she famously used Tyvek, a paper-like material, in her spring/summer 2018 collection, and often creates her own fabrics using digital and traditional screen printing methods.
If you have yet to hear of Dawn Bey, you heard it here first. The young designer graduated with a Business Administration degree from National University of Singapore before heading to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Hong Kong to pursue her passion for fashion design. There, she discovered her love for bold colours, eye-popping prints and architecture and graduated from SCAD Hong Kong as the valedictorian. Her graduate collection, Acid Bloom, was shown at London’s Graduate Fashion Week. We love that her Instagram shows us how her original fabrics are created.