For the third edition of the Vogue Singapore Innovation Prize, Vogue Singapore has teamed up with luxury manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, BMW. Boasting over 30 global production sites and a network that spanning more than 140 countries, the company has established itself as a resounding force to be reckoned with. BMW’s continuous efforts to champion innovation and technological solutions aligns perfectly with Vogue Singapore’s mission to uplift and empower regional creatives, providing a platform to grow the next generation of leaders within the design and fashion space.
The first iteration saw Singaporean fashion designer Claudia Poh of WEARABLE take home the grand prize with her contemporary fashion solutions for people with disabilities. Her debut collection seamlessly merged form and function, making adaptive fashion for individuals with mobility challenges beautiful. Last year’s Innovation Prize saw Adrian Furstenburg and Viknish Krishnan-Kutty—the dynamic duo behind cell-based business ProjectEx—cultivate lab-grown exotic skins in a sustainable response to the fashion industry’s unending demand for rare leathers.
This year, for the first time, the Innovation Prize expands its reach to all businesses around ASEAN, welcoming applicants from across the region. Not limited to local businesses, shortlisted applicants were invited to join an intensive two-day bootcamp with a programme curated by Vogue Singapore, which brought together global leaders lending their expertise on pillars such as digital innovation, creative direction, design, media, brand storytelling, marketing and more. The bootcamp’s speakers consisted of distinguished figures including Sohee Park, founder and creative director of South Korean brand Miss Sohee and Victoria Yustinovich, head of brand partnerships at TikTok.
At the end of the bootcamp, ten of the top businesses were shortlisted. These applicants will move on to the mentorship phase, where they will be evaluated by an international jury on the innovation, execution, design and sustainability of their business. The shortlisted businesses were: Xinterra, SPIN.FASHION, SukkhaCitta, KIKI, PAKT, Dia Guild, TOTON, Bell Living Lab, TOQA and Philip Huang.
Below, scroll through the highlights and key takeaways from the two-day bootcamp.
Kicking off the bootcamp was Cathy Hackl—chief futurist and founder of web3 jewellery label VerseLuxe—who discussed the importance of innovation surrounding consumer experience. She spotlighted the ever-changing relationship people have with one another and with technology, and how emerging tech such as the Metaverse and Web3 have formed new communities.
Following that was a crash course on innovation, conducted by none other than BMW’s own research engineer Dr. Stella Clarke. Having designed BMW’s first colour-changing car, Clarke shared her motivations and obstacles faced along the way. The bootcamp then segued to Sohee Park and Terrence Zhou, two prolific Asian designers that have made their mark in the industry. Park and Zhou respectively reflected on their journeys that led them to this point, and detailed their creative process and focus on craftsmanship.
The bootcamp wrapped up with Alexis Bonhomme, vice president of global industry partnerships & APAC commercial at luxury e-commerce site Farfetch. With the company as a case study, Bonhomme shared the power of fashion marketplaces, educating on how pivoting from performance marketing to brand marketing aided in building a loyal customer base.
Day 1 – Key Takeaways
Cathy Hackl: Create, design and innovate with the human experience at the center, innovate with cultural relevancy for the future generations.
Ginny Chien: Prioritising self-care, remaining humble and being able to part with one’s initial goals when they are not working are all keys to championing creativity.
Dr. Stella Clarke: An in-depth sharing on how embracing failure and discomfort are quintessential when conquering hurdles in the workplace.
Anabel Maldonado: Through the lens of a neuropsychologist and entrepreneur—how the psychological profile of consumers affect their spending habits and how AI can help aid in the process of personalising a shopping experience for each user.
Sohee Park: Translating creativity and passion into a business through a strong brand identity, understanding your target audience and investing in your team.
Caroline Rush: Every business or brand must learn to tell their story authentically, honing in on what sets them apart within the industry. Tapping into motivations, emotions and evidence are all key to promoting circular fashion.
Day 2 – Key Takeaways
Terrence Zhou: A creative process is about recognising valuable ideas as well as the act of solving problems through innovation. A process lacks direction if there is no specific end in mind.
Dr. Amanda Parkes: Technology works hand-in-hand with sustainability. A call-to-action on how analysing a business’s access to resources from an earth-positive perspective can boost solutions and help rebalance ecosystems.
Cristina Ventura: A guide to building a strong pitch deck and delivering an impactful presentation. Tailoring content to suit your audience along with heavy a strong core message that encapsulates the brand’s ethos goes a long way.
Leila Ismailova: A brief history on digital fashion and its impact within the fashion industry to date, along with an informative overview of several digital tools that aid modern businesses.
Victoria Yustinovich: The key aspects behind TikTok’s success with the younger generation, as well as how emerging brands can tap into this space to create content to engage with consumers.
Alexis Bonhomme: Understanding one’s target audience and pivoting from performance marketing to brand marketing are key in building a seamless customer experience.