13th October 2016 / Insiders Share / by Chia Sihan

Fashion Hero – Sabrina Goh

The future looks infinitely brighter for Singapore fashion lovers who embrace the tactile nature of discovering a new shop and all it has to offer, as fashion brand owners evolve from designers to curators of holistic customer experiences,  merging fashion with other elements of stylish living from beauty, decor, stationery and aromatherapy.

As the founder and designer behind her eponymous brand, Sabrina Goh remains a step ahead of the curve by changing up her approach to create a more holistic and pleasant retail experience in a hurried world. Humble and ambitious with a knack for knowing what works in the high-speed world of fashion, we’re proud of this homegrown rocket talent who’s making waves wherever she’s heading. Recently showcasing at the Shanghai Fashion Week, the innovative designer and retailer was also nominated under the Design & Style category of the 2016 Great Women of Our Time Awards, organised by The Singapore Women’s Weekly.

With Melinda Looi, Veteran Fashion Designer from Malaysia also showcasing at EDIT @dfo_fashion #dfo #ss17 #shanghaifashionweek

A photo posted by SABRINAGOH Official Instagram (@bysabrinagoh) on

Life has only gotten more exciting for the former stylist intern, since she was selected for the Fashion Futures program at last year’s Singapore Fashion Week by the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), along with two other designers Chelsea Scott-Blackhall and Priscilla Shunmugam. The program highlights for the three designers were meetings with high-profile international buyers at their shows, meeting established designers like Diane von Fürstenberg, Prabal Gurung and Carolina Herrera and visiting different showrooms in New York.

Showing no signs of slowing down, she was also the sole Singapore representative to be invited by Adventure Japan to do a showcase for Sakura Collection 2016 in Japan using premium kimono fabrics. In between her jet-setting adventures, we manage to catch up with her on what keeps her inspired

TFCS: Minimalist, conceptual and modern are qualities that you ascribe to your design philosophy. Has it always been so, and how has this vision been translated to your designs?

Sabrina: We want to showcase and create designs with an inspired view; it has always been so ever since we started the label in 2009. Every season has a different theme – a voice that we want to convey, like the recent Spring Summer 2016 collection which is inspired by Binary Code, reminding us that everything in life can be simplified to a series of straightforward commands.

In other words, the Elohim woman’s outlook is on making sense of this complex, difficult and yet wonderful world. To be who she is and not conform to the arbitrary external codes of society, but to remain true in the struggle between breaking and staying true to norms.

TFCS: You’ve shifted your shop from Orchard Central to Capitol Piazza. What other things can we look forward to from you?

Sabrina: 2016 is a busier year for us as we are currently working on a few collaborations and our regular season collection showcase in New York and Singapore, as well as our expansion to departmental stores. Currently we are working with a US sales showroom “In Support Of”, and they represent us in the US market for Spring Summer 2016 Collection and the upcoming Fall 16/17 Collection.

TFCS: If you could pick any designer (living or otherwise) to work with, who would it be and why?

Sabrina: I would love to collaborate with Disney. When you think of Disney, you think of kids, wonderland, colours, fun etc. So I feel if there is a chance to work with Disney, it will be exciting to see how the two different brands’ identities and ideas collide.

Happening right now #onitsukatigersg #ofdifferentstripes #m66 #mexico66 #50thanniversary

A photo posted by SABRINAGOH Official Instagram (@bysabrinagoh) on

TFCS: In the battle between artisan and fast fashion, there is tension between the creative process and productivity, among other factors such as market demand and product cost. How do you strike that fine balance between designer and brand owner?

Sabrina: It is very hard to strike that balance to be honest because the market has changed (on an international level, not just in Singapore). But it is very important for us to remember why and how we started the brand: to create designs with an inspired view. We try to do on a level which we can balance production and design volume, and not force ourselves to do otherwise.

TFCS: You started your career as a stylist intern at a media conglomerate, before working for various labels as an in-house designer. As someone who has walked the path, what you would recommended to aspiring designers who want to get a foot in the door?

Sabrina: Gain your experiences and knowledge in the industry and make your connections. When you start your business, you work alone and it is difficult without any help. Friends and industry partners provide the wind under your wings that will help you along the way when you build your business.



About the Writer

Chia Sihan

A story junkie by nature, this TFCS scribe thrives on uncovering the backstories of her interview subjects, whether they are heads of corporations or a working Mum caring for a child with a developmental disorder. She finds it a privilege to be privy to these personal experiences. Some of the publications she has written for include the Singapore Women’s Weekly, L’Officiel Singapore, and Harper’s Bazaar Junior. It is this genuine love for storytelling and collaboration that led her to kickstart her journey as a co-founder of The Fashion Collective Singapore. Now the chief storyteller at TFCS, she is particularly inspired by the personal journeys of TFCS Mentors, not to mention their dedication towards the refinement of their craft.

Head over to The Editor’s Journal to read articles contributed by Sihan.

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