What does the future of fashion look like? Vogue Singapore and the Textile and Fashion Federation’s (TaFF) partnership aims to answer just that. Introduced as the Vogue Singapore x TaFF Innovation Prize, the initiative seeks to support and hone Asian entrepreneurial talent through mentorship, guidance and monetary support.
Being the first of its kind in Singapore, the Prize serves as a call-to-action for emerging businesses—across fashion, consumer technology and lifestyle—to realise solutions for challenges faced by the creative industry. The Prize’s application process started earlier in the year and participants from cohorts 1 to 4 of TaFF’s business incubation programme, The Bridge Fashion Incubator (TBFI), were instantly eligible to take part.
Out of the 20 businesses that applied, 10 were chosen and revealed last Friday. The finalists will next embark on a two-day intensive bootcamp, which will include knowledge and insights from global experts, as well as a subsequent four-week mentoring session. Industry figureheads participating this year include Creative Editorial Director of Vogue, Mark Guiducci, fashion designer Angel Chen, and co-founder of The Digital Fashion Group, Leslie Holden, amongst others.
The finalists will be presenting their business ideas to a VIP jury who will be judging them on the following criteria: use of innovation, design and execution, sustainability, scalability of business plan and marketing strategy. They will also be gunning for a monetary prize of $15,000 (with the runner-up receiving $5,000), media coverage on Vogue, guidance from global industry leaders, as well as links to potential investors, with a minimum seed funding of $15,000 by VentureXVentura.
While the winner will be unveiled at Vogue Singapore’s one-year celebration this October, here’s an introduction to the contestants in the race so far.
Launched in 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, eponymous luxury leather goods label Adrian Furstenburg—helmed by handbag designer Adrian Furstenburg—has now set its roots in Singapore. Known for its custom, one-off handbags and leather goods, each piece is created in a local atelier and crafted from ethically-sourced leathers. From an on-demand model that eliminates waste to trailblazing modes of customisation, the label is committed to sustainability and innovation on several fronts.
If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated at the lack of sustainable emerging labels all in one place, e-commerce site Feedelon aims to solve that problem. Set up by entrepreneur Herve Kozikila, the website offers options across fashion, beauty, lifestyle and home decor. The platform also consists of a ‘Feedelon Fingerprint’ scanner, which gives customers access to all the information they need about their purchase. Consider it sustainable shopping with everything—literally—at your fingertips.
The brainchild of husband-wife duo fashion designer Gin Lee and industrial designer Tamir Niv, GINLEE Studio is a multidisciplinary fashion label that has quickly become synonymous with its block-coloured, pleated separates. With a commitment to its longstanding purpose-driven ethos, the brand currently hosts two pillars that make up its environmentally sustainable business model. While GOOD (Get Order On Demand) limits excess production by only designing based on orders placed, _/\/\/\ake provides customers with an interactive, in-store shopping experience.
At the heart of Indonesia-based bio-technology company MYCL is the aim to produce low-impact biomaterials while empowering communities in the process. Headed up by Queensland University of Technology graduate Adi Reza Nugroho, MYCL’s methods work to lessen the negative impacts of animal leather exploitation such as carbon dioxide emission and water wastage. Their solution to this is Mylea, a mycelium-constructed leather that produces a fraction of the carbon footprint of animal leathers, with the ability to be used in garments, footwear, watchstraps and more.
Oo La Lab
Smell good and make it special—that’s the way things roll over at craft fragrance lab, Oo La Lab, run by entrepreneur Terry Jacobson. Established in 2016, the fragrance design and mixology service has found success in Dubai and on our shores. Produced in small batches and hand-poured to order, customers are able to create their very own perfume from a selection of over 1,000 olfactory combinations during in-person workshops. Complete with sustainably sourced and cruelty-free ingredients as well as mineral materials, the brand also seeks to ensure consistently eco-conscious products.
Virtual reality—but make it fashion. Founded by fashion designer and stylist James Gaubert, Republiqe is the world’s first fully digital luxury fast fashion brand. Launched in August of last year, the platform allows for customers to browse through garments, do virtual fittings and even get items digitally tailored. The result is a one-0f-a-kind Republiqe piece that curbs textile wastage, promotes personalisation and addresses the undeniable boom of the gaming industry.
While trying on clothing is imperative to a successful shopping spree, the online sphere hasn’t quite presented us with this option—until now. Enter Revery.AI, a virtual dressing room solution that aims to provide a seamless digital “try on” experience and, in the process, reduce the return rate of online stores. The brainchild of secondary school friends Orion Dai Yuhui and Min Jin Chong, customers can choose from a selection of clothing combinations, skin tones, poses and body sizes to get the most accurate representation of an outfit so you can add to cart without second-guessing.
Sage and Ylang
Conceptualised by former registered nurse and professional skincare formulator, Irene Chong, Singaporean skincare brand Sage and Ylang’s main aim is to restore health and vitality through its expertise in skin microbiome diversity. With an emphasis on effective and ethical products targeted for those with sensitivities, the brand has received widespread acclaim for its brightening Radiance Series. It has also made notable strides in the technology space by introducing the world’s first customisable and certified microbiome-friendly skincare range that reflects a “less is more” sensibility with only 3 easy steps.
Sans Faff: simple and without hassle. As its name suggests, the Singapore-based minimalist womenswear label provides easy-to-wear, stylish staples in the form of dresses, T-shirts and blouses made from eco-friendly bamboo viscose. Helmed by Canadian founder and creative director, Brandy Dallas, the label is Singapore’s first waste-neutral fashion brand. In the age of fast fashion, Sans Faff champions enduring essentials, with all items produced primarily by a local family-run business.
At the forefront of Singaporean adaptive fashion design label Werable is a mission to empower the lives of real people through clothing. Brought to life by Parsons School of Design graduate Claudia Poh, Werable shifts the focus from ready-to-wear to easy-to-wear, providing an array of stylish pieces for individuals of all abilities. Specifically, the label consists of options for those with limited motion, minimised dexterity as well as for those who require assisted dressing. Offering items such as button-free shirts and modular sleeves, Werable brings its message home: “style, on your own terms.”