Photo: Straits Times

Jewellery designer Carolyn Kan of homegrown brand Carrie K took triple honours at the Singapore Fashion Awards (SFA) 2017, held on Friday (Nov 24) to recognise contributions to the local fashion industry.

Besides winning the inaugural Bespoke Award, created this year in a nod to the growing popularity of bespoke services, Carrie K also bagged the Best Collaboration of the Year prize for its Beauty and the Beast Collection in partnership with Disney.

Additionally, Ms Kan, the founder of pro-local designers retail initiative Keepers, received the Champion for Creatives and Designers Award for contributing to the industry with events such as Multiply: A Majestic Playground in which more than 50 artists produced works at the New Majestic Hotel just before its closure.

“I am a dreamer but I could never have dreamt that this would happen – getting three awards that are very, very different, for projects I’m super proud of,” said Ms Kan, who presented the Designer of the Year (Accessories) Award, a category she won in last year.

The win that means the most to the 44-year-old is the Champion award because “I really do it out of love for the community, and I get back as much as I put in.”

For her efforts, Ms Kan took home a trophy for each prize, $3,000 cash for the Bespoke Award and staycation vouchers at the W Singapore Sentosa Cove, at which the awards ceremony was held.

To celebrate, she is thinking of having a cookout session with her team. 

A total of 13 awards were given out in three areas: Design, in which local designers are honoured; Marketing, which recognises the popularity and prominence of brands; and Contributor, in which makeup artists, photographers and stylists are celebrated.

Photo: Straits Times

In the Design category, winner of the Designer of the Year Award (Fashion) was Chelsea Scott-Blackhall of four-year-old streetwear label Dzojchen, who beat Aijek’s Danelle Woo and Nuboaix’s Jessica Lee and Yong Siyuan.

The award, said Ms Scott-Blackhall, 35, is “that little bit of fuel. It’s affirmation. It’s pride”. 

“It means the world to me. Designers have to be tenacious but also humble. Singapore’s such a small country but we drive design hard.”
Ms Marilyn Tan of luxury label Marilyn Tan Jewellery won the other Designer of the year award, for accessories.

 

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Designers of the Year each received prizes including $5,000 in cash, a trophy, a staycation at the W Singapore Sentosa Cove and beauty products. 

In the Contributor category, Elain Lim was named Make-Up Artist of the Year, Marc Teng was Hairstylist of the Year, Stefan Khoo was Photographer of the Year and Jeremy Tan was Fashion Stylist of the Year. 

In the Marketing category, menswear label Benjamin Barker garnered the Best Marketing Award. And the Top 3 Most Popular Brands of the Year, determined by public voting, remained the same as last year: Love, Bonito, By Invite Only and Beyond the Vines. 

Photo: Straits Times

Winners were chosen by a panel of 12 judges based on factors such as the strength of their local market presence, the consistency of their performance and how well they communicated their brands.

The event, organised by the Textile & Fashion Federation, was attended by more than 360 guests including guest of honour Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ms Sim Ann

The hour-and-a-half long event also took a moment to remember couture and bridal gown designer Tan Yoong, who died in January. After he was conferred the Honorary Award, guests watched a photo montage of his works and host Radio DJ Yasminne Cheng shared an emotional story about how trying on one of his wedding gowns sparked her interest in fashion. 

Both Ms Kan and Ms Scott-Blackhall said that the awards were integral to keeping the fashion scene vibrant. 

Awards such as these, said Ms Kan, are “not only important but inspiring” for designers. 

She added: “When there’s an event like this that honours the industry and I get to see the work other designers are doing, it spurs me on to push myself further.”

This article was first published on Straits Times

 

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