Singapore Fashion Week (SFW) has announced more stars in its line-up this year.
British designer Victoria Beckham and Thai-American designer Thakoon Panichgul will showcase their fall/winter 2015 collections, while Hollywood A-lister Cate Blanchett and Hallyu actress Yoon Eun Hye will also grace the event.
The details were unveiled at a press conference yesterday for the event, which runs from May 13 to 17. The two names join American designer Diane von Furstenberg, whose opening show had been announced last month.
Beckham nabbed the Brand of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards and opened her first standalone store in London last year. Her chic and streamlined read-to-wear creations have won over the industry since the brand's beginning in 2008.
Fashion favourite Panichgul, who works under the label Thakoon and has won the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund award in 2006, has dressed celebrities including American First Lady Michelle Obama and French actress Marion Cotillard.
Singapore Fashion Week chairman Tjin Lee says that Beckham's inclusion will add to the girl power aspect of the shows, along with von Furstenberg.
"They're very different but have a huge amount of respect for each other," she says of the two designers. "They're equally inspiring women."
Panichgul's South-east Asian roots made him an attractive choice, adds Lee, saying "I love that he's a Thai designer, from our part of the world".
This year's revamped edition of Singapore Fashion Week, which takes the place of Audi Fashion Festival, aims to broaden the consumer-centric scope of the event to include talent and industry development.
It will introduce a new business- focused talent development programme called Fashion Futures.
Three local labels, Ong Shunmugam, Elohim and Dzojchen have been selected as the first batch of emerging designer showcases.
The designers of the brands - Priscilla Shunmugam, Sabrina Goh and Chelsea Scott-Blackhall - will show at Singapore Fashion Week and receive feedback from the headline designers. Their labels will also be stocked at a month-long pop-up at Tangs.
Three buyers, yet to be confirmed, from international, regional and online retailers will be given seed funding of $150,000 to place orders as part of the programme.
The designers willl also be included in a special induction programme by the Council of Fashion Designers of America - of which von Furstenberg is president - to visit New York and get industry exposure there.
While Shunmugam has shown at Audi Fashion Festival before, she says that "one of the biggest challenges of previous instalments was the lack of a trade element".
She welcomes the opportunity to reach out to more buyers. "I think it's on every designer's wishlist to be part of the induction programme. I never thought I'd have the opportunity."
Other local names getting some runway time at Singapore Fashion Week include Exhibit, ALT by Curated Editions, and the debut of Collate The Label, a new line by It girl entrepreneur Velda Tan.
These designers - Yoyo Cao, Angie Lai-Tay and Tan - are also prominent on social media. Singapore Fashion Week's Lee says this was a compelling factor in their inclusion in the line-up.
In addition to the fashion shows, members can buy tickets to hear the headline designers speak at a new Fashion Talk series held alongside Singapore Fashion Week in partnership with Lasalle College of the Arts.
Details of these talks will be released at a later date.
This article was first published on Mar 14, 2015.
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