All-new Singapore Fashion Week celebrates women with a power-packed line-up

From L to R: Thakoon, Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham

SINGAPORE - International Women's Day may have passed but it looks like there is no slowing down for the people behind Singapore Fashion Week 2015 (SFW) as they show their support for women empowerment by featuring some of the world's most iconic women designers in this year's line-up.

Previously known as Audi Fashion Festival Singapore, it was also announced today during a press conference held at The St Regis Hotel that the year's highly anticipated fashion event has taken on a brand new direction by claiming the iconic name - Singapore Fashion Week.

Founder of Mercury Marketing & Communications and Chairman of SFW Ms Tjin Lee said: "Claiming the iconic name Singapore Fashion Week comes with the responsibility to push Singapore fashion even further.

"I've always believed that we can one day be the fashion capital of Asia and I'm really excited that we are taking a giant step closer to this goal this year."

As SFW celebrates women designers this year, it comes as no surprise that some of fashion's biggest names will be in attendance both on and off the runway.

Belgian-American fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg will showcase her latest collection at SFW. Celebrated for her iconic wrap dresses, the designer will open this year's fashion week on May 13.

Another star to join her is none other than one of fashion's most familiar faces, British designer Victoria Beckham. Despite being relatively new to the industry and only just opened her first flagship boutique in London last year, Beckham has already garnered a strong cult following and is easily recognised as a dominant force in fashion.

Adding on to the eight widely received editions as the country's main fashion festival, SFW is now a global partner with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), of which von Furstenberg is president.

CEO of the CFDA Mr Steven Kolb said: "The partnership with Singapore Fashion Week is another element in the CFDA's mission to strengthen the influence and success of American fashion designers in the global economy. The programme will not just bring our designers to an important market but also educate Singapore's local talent about the American industry."

Although the week of May 13 to 17 seems set to be run by fashion's most influential women designers, there is also Thakoon Panichgul, who was one of three 2006 Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award recipients, to look out for.

The Thai-American designer had quickly become one of fashion's best new talents, with US Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour personally selecting him to put out a fashion line for American clothing retailer, The Gap, back in 2007. Since then, his timeless and wearable pieces have made him one of New York's favourite designers.

Thakoon makes his debut in Singapore on May 16. He will also join von Furstenberg to be part of the SFW Fashion Talk Series, which are a series of thought-leadership and industry talks organised in partnership with LASALLE College of the Arts. They will both engage with homegrown fashion designers as well as Mr Kolb through these feedback sessions.

In support of homegrown talent, SFW has introduced Fashion Futures, a new business-focused internationalisation and talent development programme. As such, they have welcomed back three Singapore designers: Priscilla Shunmugam of Ong Shunmugum, Sabrina Goh of ELOHIM and Chelsea Scott-Blackhall of Dzojchen to present their latest collections as part of the very first edition of Fashion Futures. They will also participate in one-on-one feedback sessions with von Furstenberg, Beckham as well as Thakoon.

Some of the celebrities who will make an appearance at SFW include Oscar-winning actress and SK-II ambassador Cate Blanchett as well as South Korean media darling and L'Oreal Professionnel brand spokesperson Yoon Eun Hye.

Attendees at this year's SFW can also look forward to sipping on a new type of alcoholic beverage that is enjoyable enough to not take your attention away from the runway. For the very first time, guests will be able to tease their tastebuds with Strongbow Apple Ciders while rubbing shoulders with fashionistas and celebrities alike.

With a star-studded guest list as well as their brand new direction towards the internationalisation of homegrown fashion designers, SFW is all set to be a mega event.

SFW will be held from May 13 to 17 at the Tent @ Orchard, Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. Tickets go on sale at Sistic from April onwards.