They met through prop-making circles in the local cosplay scene and bonded over a mutual love for the television anime series Kill La Kill.
Last Saturday, the trio comprising Mr Jovi Lum, 23, Ms Sindy Tay, 23, and Ms Sabrina Wong, 24, beat 10 other acts to take home the top prize at a cosplay competition organised by The Cathay as part of J-Obsession 2014, the mall's own cosplay event.
The winning trio dressed as characters from Kill La Kill, a series about a schoolgirl on the hunt for her father's murderer, and performed a five-minute comedy skit based on a script written by Mr Lum. They took home an Olympus PEN EPL-5 camera worth more than $1,000, and $1,200 worth of dining and movie vouchers. A large advertisement of them in full cosplay get-up - worth $10,000 - will also be displayed at The Cathay from July 9 to Aug 5.
The contest was one of the highlights of the fifth edition of J-Obsession, the three-day Japan-centric extravaganza accompanied by live Japanese musical performances, held at The Cathay over the weekend.
On Saturday, about 400 cosplay enthusiasts attended the event, with half of them in full costume. About 130 of them took part in a costume parade through The Cathay, going from the basement of the mall to the cinema box office on the fifth floor and back down again.
The Kill La Kill team said they did not expect to win the competition but were thrilled, as they had spent more than a month on making their costumes, coming up with the skit and rehearsing.
Mr Lum added: "It was a lot of hard work and we are quite relieved it all worked out because we were afraid that some of our costumes and props might not hold up in the end."
Each member of the team spent about $100 on the costumes. Mr Lum's costume resembled training armour used in the Japanese martial art of kendo, while Ms Tay and Ms Wong's were modelled after the school uniforms of the series' fictional Honnouji Academy.
Ms Tay, who works in customer service, and Ms Wong, who works in the property line, bought their costumes online and modified the clothes themselves. But Mr Lum, a national serviceman, made his from scratch out of foam that he painted.
One of the judges for the event was Japanese cosplay idol Naoya Kirihara of cosplay performance group VENaS.S (VENaS Sisters), known for cosplaying predominantly male characters.
She said she was impressed with the 11 cosplaying acts in the competition, adding that she "felt their dedication strongly". She said that even though she had not personally seen Kill La Kill, the winning trio were able to put across their passion for it through their performance.