10th October 2016 / Style / by Chia Sihan

For the Love of Fashion in Singapore

In the face of rapid digitalisation of the global fashion industry and a growing appetite for experimentation and collaboration, these Singapore-based fashion players are changing up their game and bringing style-conscious consumers fresh and curated experiences.

Ying The Label (YTL)

Images: Ying The Label

From self-concocted prints, patterns inspired by origami folding to hand embroidery, this local designer mixes art into everyday wearable pieces to reflect the personality of the woman she is designing for – fun-loving, bubbly and optimistic.

“Creating designs, and being inspired by everyday life have always been what I love doing. I’m always thinking of doing something fun, so it brings an additional human element to every piece. I keep the silhouettes very simple, but yet with a classy touch, so it never gets too boring!”

After a pop-up launch of her Spring/Summer 16 “Art On A Clean Slate” collection at Robinsons The Heeren, Ying started exploring various forms of collaboration and sees 2017 an excitement-filled year ahead. With her collection available at major boutiques and retailers, the designer has collaborated with homegrown artisanal brands such as Bynd Artisan.

On how she pushes herself through challenging times, the designer shares a personal belief that has kept her going since she started the label.

“Confidence is something that you exude naturally when you have the passion for something. Someone once told me that when they hear me talk about my label and what I do, they get absorbed by the way I share my story. I believe this passion in designing keeps me going. It’s important to remember why you started. It always reminds me of why I am in it!”

Ying The Label is available at and SocietyA.

Sabrina Goh

Sabrina’s foray into fashion started when she decided to pursue fashion studies at Lasalle College of the Arts. In 2009, she founded her own label, Elohim By Sabrina Goh, after gaining experience from other local brands. The label has since evolved from its 1st concept store at Orchard Central to its current flagship at Capitol Piazza, providing a more holistic retail experience with accessories, stationery and even tea.

Known for her minimalist and structural design aesthetics, her 2015/16 collection was inspired by the majestic Danxia sedimentary rock formations in China, which symbolises the natural instability and constant change brought about by the environment.

Her recent partnership with Sakura Collection in Japan, where she used artisanal kimono fabric woven in Kyoto for the showcase, is testimony that this local brand is making steady footprints across the global fashion map. Sabrina has also garnered industry accolades such as the 2010 ELLE Awards Designer of the Year, being selected for the 2015 Fashion Futures programme in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and showcasing her collections at Singapore Fashion Week, the ASEAN+3 Thai Textiles showcase in Thailand and Coterie TMRW in New York.

In an earlier interview with TFCS, the designer expresses her frustration with the industry’s demands on designers versus consumers’ appetite for fast fashion. “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.”

Sabrina Goh is at #02-14 Capitol Piazza and available at

Ong Shunmugam

As part of beauty brand SKII’s Change Destiny campaign, Priscilla Shunmugam, the founder of homegrown womenswear label Ong Shunmugam, tells her story of defining identity and taking risks in an industry that has yet to have a solid framework and climate of supporting it.

Over the seven collections she has created since starting the label, the designer stuck by her design ethos of re-inventing the traditional Asian silhouette with her unique lens and research into its rich and diverse heritage. An invitation into the prestigious fashion circuit further affirms her efforts: Ong Shunmugam has appeared on the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week, Audi Fashion Festival and Singapore Fashion Week.

From then on, it seems there’s no stopping the designer’s fashion domination. Her creations have been spotted on notable personalities, from Crystal Wagar, the wife of US Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar at the White House State Dinner to the who’s who of Singapore’s fashion community.

Her creative influence extends beyond fashion’s fringes into lifestyle and accessories: the designer recently debuted her first international brand collaboration, “Women on A Misson”, an exclusive capsule collection with European premium luggage brand Rimowa. She also collaborated with book binding and leathercraft retailer Bynd Artisan on a limited edition series of clutches. Along the way, she’s garnered industry recognition such as the Grand Award at the 2013 Design for Asia Awards in Hong Kong and the 2015 Her World Young Woman Achiever award.

From the humble beginnings of a rented apartment in Portsdown to its first home at Raffles Place and now with a flagship store at Chip Bee Gardens, Ong Shunmugam is poised for bigger and better things ahead. For a designer who has no formal design training, the label’s founder Priscilla Shunmugam was invited to be on the judging panel for the 2017 DFA Design for Asia Awards.

Ong Shunmugam is at 43 Jalan Merah Saga, 01-76 and

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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