Singapore Fashion Festival
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Singapore Fashion Festival was first launched on 16 March 2001. The annual two-week long festival is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the aim of making Singapore a fashion capital within the Southeast Asian region. Its programme highlights include showcasing international and local designers' collections, fashion shows, exhibitions and related fashion fringe events. In 2004, the event falls between 2 to 18 April.
Singapore Fashion Festival was started by the STB in 2001 to position Singapore as the region's shopping destination for designer labelled fashion products. The idea of such a festival came up in 1997 but plans were shelved when tourist arrivals dipped with the economic slowdown. However, by 2001, it was felt that the time was right to proceed with the launch of the festival. This was because, in 2000, visitors to Singapore had spent S$2.5 billion on shopping, out of which S$1.07 billion went to fashion items such as apparel, jewellery, cosmetics and perfume. A focus on the fashion industry was one way STB could tap revenue from this source of tourist spending in Singapore. With the launch of the Singapore Fashion Festival as an annual event, the aim is to attract more high-spending, fashion savvy tourists within the region, and not only the bargain hunters during annual discount shopping festivals such as the Great Singapore Sale. The STB, thus, hopes to promote Singapore as the place where one can find and buy the latest fashion.
Singapore Fashion Festival is not to be confused with Singapore Fashion Week (SFW). While the former had its first beginnings in 2001, the latter is an annual event that has taken place for more than 10 years. Singapore Fashion Week was formerly known as Fashion Connections and is normally held in September. It is strictly a trade event more for the region's, especially Singaporean, designers, media and fashion industry executives and is backed by the Trade Development Board (TDB).
The Singapore Fashion Festival however, is a consumer driven event held annually in the months of March to April. From 2001-2003, the event was organised by regional event-management company MS Twilight with the support of STB.
The inaugural Singapore Fashion Festival in 2001 (16 to 31 March) attracted global and local media attention, with big-name designer labels such as Kenzo and Christian Dior participating. The event had Zouk's carpark converted to a fashion catwalk for fashion shows featuring labels such as Armani Exchange, Boycott, OZOC and Singapore fashion label, Island Shop. Exhibitions that were held included a Francois Kollar Fashion Photography Exhibition and Motif(s), a fashion photography exhibition with an unusual slant on haute couture.
From 2002 to 2003, there was an increase in the number of international designers showcasing their designs, with famous fashion houses including Armani Exchange, Chanel, DKNY, Diesel, JeanPaul Gaultier, Kenzo, Moschino, Paul Smith and Vera Wang participating. Although the main emphasis is on showcasing international brands and designers, Asian designers were not left out. For instance, in 2002, the best of India's haute couture designers took part in the festival. In addition, Singaporean designers and fashion houses such as Allure, By Ice, Celadon, Forward Statement were also included. Various landmark sites in Singapore were chosen for the event's fashion shows including, Temasek Reflections in Millenia Walk (2001), Cavenagh Bridge (2002), St James Powerhouse (2003) and Zouk (2001-2003). Past sponsors of the event include Evian, IMG, Grand Hyatt Singapore and Mercedes-Benz Asia. Retail sales generated from the festival in 2001 and 2002 were estimated to be S$13 million in media value for each year.
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The information in this article is valid as at 2004 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.