Singapore eyes Asian shoppers in fashion fest

Asian shoppers with an eye for glamour and a wallet for luxury are off to Singapore, where stars suc as Gaultier, Ferragamo and Calvin Klein headline the annual fashion festival that begins on Friday.

The 10-day showcase brings together international catwalk stars and local designers, and organisers say they are targeting high-end shoppers who want an up-close sneak peek at the latest designs.

“We’ve been heavily promoting it around the region,” said festival director Simon Lock, adding that he had his sights especially set on shoppers from Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“Thousands of shoppers come to Singapore during this time specially for this festival,” he said. “The basis of the festival is to highlight Singapore as a great shopping destination.”

This year’s event will feature 20 catwalk shows, including Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenburg, and an appearance by flame-haired British supermodel Lily Cole.

Spring and summer collections will be available for immediate purchase but autumn and winter designs are also to be shown, said Jodi Pritchard, international marketing director with the organiser, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific.

“We are working … to attract shoppers from the region with high disposable income to see the very best of the collections,” she said.

The festival will also feature Tuesday’s finals of the Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Award (MBAFA), which nurtures emerging Asian talent by offering the winner $10 000 and a slot in the Australian Fashion Week.

This year’s finalists come from Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

A previous winner, Sven Tan from Singapore, will showcase his collection along with local designer Ashley Isham, who is now based in London and has gone on to international success.

He said the festival will always be a balance between local designers and international labels “because it has to represent the kaleidoscope of fashion designers in Singapore”.

Tourism officials say last year’s festival recorded 100 000 visitors. — AFP

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