Fashion For All's Organisers Share Their Vision for This Year's Show, and the Importance of Inclusive Fashion

Here's to greater inclusivity and diversity.
Published: May 30, 2024
Photo: Courtesy of Fashion For All

Singapore's first inclusive fashion showcase will officially make its debut on 1 June. Centred around diversity and inclusivity, Fashion For All is a month-long fashion extravaganza that spotlights an eclectic mix of local brands and designers. Presented by Pink Fest and held in partnership with Singapore Fashion Council (SFC), head down to Design Orchard from 2 to 30 June to catch a glimpse of these new designer launches, exciting workshops, plus an insightful panel discussion about inclusivity in fashion.

Here, ELLE Singapore speaks to three pioneering figures in the Singapore fashion landscape who have made this event possible.

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"We hope that Fashion For All will start a new fashion narrative in Singapore—a narrative that champions individual expression and inclusivity for people, regardless of ages, body types, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations," says Harris Zaidi, festival director for Pink Fest.

The event opens with an invite-only runway show on 1 June—curated by none other than trailblazing fashion director Daniel Boey. "I envision a show that is a visual spectacle of beautiful clothes worn by a diverse cast, from models and celebrities or influencers, to real-world stylish folks and street-casted talents," he describes.

From ex-international supermodels to completely fresh faces, the models will also be sporting garments across an extensive array of local brands, highlighting the importance of being inclusive across at every touchpoint. "To be inclusive is a way of life and way of thinking, and it starts from an individual level. It is not a matter that lies solely within the realm of fashion or dress style," says Tina Tan-Leo, fashion entrepreneur and founder of Privato.

Related article: 5 Singapore Fashion Brands to Know and Shop At

With 18 local designers showcasing their work this year, the diverse line-up includes local veteran designers and emerging labels like In Good Company, Marilyn Tan, Graye Studios and Kanzi, among others. Beyond perusing these collections, those interested in more hands-on activities can pop by for a bracelet-making workshop or attend a styling session led by committee member Brandon Barker on 8 June.

Related article: Homegrown Designer Ethan Koh on His Womenswear Debut and Thoughts on the Latest Bag Trends


Fashion For All's Committee Discusses Their Vision for This Year's Runway, the Ethos of Inclusive Fashion and More
Photo: Courtesy of Fashion For All

Tell us more about the planning process behind Fashion for All. What spurred the idea of hosting a month-long fashion event dedicated to inclusive fashion?

Fashion is the most direct way for individuals to express themselves yet sometimes fashion can enforce stereotypes. Fashion For All aims to harness the transformative power of fashion to break stereotypes and embrace diversity. This is a shared belief with Singapore Fashion Council (SFC). In terms of the planning process, once SFC gave us their blessings to support and partner us for this fashion initiative, we reached out to a stellar line-up of local designers, homegrown powerhouses, and emerging labels to seek their interest to participate and design a new inclusive collection for Fashion For All. We wanted the models to represent a diverse range of age, body shapes, and gender identities, so in addition to using professional models, we held an open casting call on 1 May. Close to 70 people ranging from nine to 59 from different walks of life came to audition. Now we are in the final leg of preparation for the show on 1 June.

What is your idea of inclusive fashion?

Inclusive fashion, to us, transcends mere aesthetics; it embodies a holistic ethos that embraces diversity and empowers individuals to express themselves authentically, regardless of societal norms. It encompasses uplifting marginalised communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community and the ageing members of our society, by enabling them to feel good and enjoy expressing themselves in the clothes they wear. Moreover, inclusive fashion advocates for sustainability, recognising the interconnectedness between fashion and the environment, and promotes ethical practices throughout the supply chain. In essence, our idea of inclusive fashion extends beyond clothing—it fosters a culture of acceptance, celebrates individuality, and promotes responsible consumption, contributing to a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

What can attendees get out of Fashion for All?

Attendees can expect to be inspired by the rich tapestry of Singaporean fashion, which will showcase the creativity and talent of our local designers. More than just a fashion event, Fashion for All is a celebration of diversity, inviting everyone to join in the journey towards a more inclusive and accepting society.


Fashion For All's Committee Discusses Their Vision for This Year's Runway, the Ethos of Inclusive Fashion and More
Photo: Courtesy of Fashion For All

As a longtime curator, what was your vision for the Fashion for All runway show?

It has always been my dream to curate and produce a completely inclusive fashion show—something I came close to doing in 2022 when we created fashionCONNECTS. That was an inclusive Singapore designers’ mega fashion showcase at the National Museum Singapore, with close to a cast of 60 inclusive faces, showcasing more than 20 designers’ collections. This time, it is the perfect opportunity to take this concept even further, showcasing not just inclusive models on the runway, but also designers who have incorporated inclusivity into their business and design mantras. We held an open casting for anyone who wanted to try their luck at auditioning for the show, and we were pleasantly surprised to discover some very interesting faces. Some labels, like GRAYE, have gone for a cast comprising of friends and family who share their friendship and their clothes. They include Wonderland director Yee-Wei and his wife Diane, International fashion model Celine Chua and her husband Daniel, as well as thespians Hossan Leong, London-based West end actor Bright Ong (back in Singapore for a short visit and to walk in the show) and (reality show host) Tyler Wisler. It's going to be a show the likes of which Singapore has never seen before!

What does fashion mean to you, personally?

Fashion, to me, is what someone wears to tell a story about themselves in different scenarios and
situations. So my fashion aesthetics may vary in a formal environment, when I am attending a
fashion ball, in a casual setting, and even with different groups of friends. Thus, it is very important
for my fashion story to be authentic to who I am.

What are some things you wish to change about the local fashion landscape?

I wish to see a Singapore fashion industry that is more collaborative and less fractional. The more
united and collaborative we are, the stronger we will be as a collective, and the further we will grow. I’d also love to see a fashion public that is more embracing of our local designers. But things are changing, for the better.


Photo: Courtesy of Fashion For All

How do you think the brand-consumer relationship has evolved over the years?

With online shopping, social media, and easy access to many things, the brand-consumer relationship has changed greatly. Over the years, there are more shopping methods apart from purchasing items from a store, and less reasons to be loyal to a brand. This relationship will continue to evolve with AI and many various new online trends. Brand loyalty will be even less apparent moving forward.

How can we make inclusive fashion more relevant to the average Singaporean?

Much like our national pledge, “regardless of race, language or religion”, I hope that diversity and inclusivity are areas that can be learned to be accepted by all.

What are some challenges you faced running your own fashion business?

Singapore is a small city, but it’s dynamic, and people are smart. I wish we had more people who dare to express themselves in different fields, be it art, fashion, music, or even business. Now with easier access to a wider array of luxury brands—coupled with online shopping—it’s been challenging for my company Privato. We’ve had to work smart. By pivoting our business to offer a luxury shopping service, we assist clients with their shopping needs. This has given us an edge, especially since we’ve built up years of personal relationships, and gained our clients’ trust. We also have become a consultancy that can create bespoke VIC (Very Important Client) events. Reinventing our methods, staying relevant, and keeping that passion to serve—these are key to survival.

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