Singapore's biggest fashion event will return in May this year with a revamped format, and with designer Diane von Furstenberg showcasing her fall/winter collection.
Now named Singapore Fashion Week, it replaces the Audi Fashion Festival, which was formed in 2009 to promote Singapore as a retail hub through glitzy fashion shows for consumers.
The new Singapore Fashion Week has a greater trade focus and this includes a tie-up with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, whose president von Furstenberg will open the event with her latest collection.
Outlining the event, Singapore Fasion Week chairman Tjin Lee, who also founded Audi Fashion Festival, told Life! that the new objective is to "internationalise Singapore and regional designers".
As part of the partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, mentorship programmes with established American designers will be run for local designers, says Ms Lee, managing director of Mercury Marketing & Communications, organiser of Singapore Fashion Week and Audi Fashion Festival.
During the event this year, von Furstenberg, who popularised the wrap dress, will speak with fashion students, industry professionals and members of the public alongside Mr Steven Kolb, chief executive of Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Founded in 1962, the council promotes the American fashion industry by offering scholarships and funds to fledgling fashion designers.
This year, Ms Lee says that more international buyers from top stores will be invited to the event - reflecting the stronger trade focus.
Previously, it was attended mainly by consumers and the media.
"If I can place even one Singapore label in international stores by next year, it would be more than we have achieved in five years; I'm not talking about your small multi-label boutiques overseas, I'm thinking about the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols," says Ms Lee.