Shout-out to five designers rocking the architecture, fashion, jewellery, lifestyle and craft scenes in Singapore.
1. Mok Wei Wei, Principal of W Architects
Recipient of the President’s Design Award, Mok Wei Wei put Singapore on the map when he was named one of the world’s top 100 architects.
He has lent his architectural expertise to many developments, from residential projects like the luxurious Victoria Park Villas in Singapore’s District 10, to national icons like the Singapore National Museum and its Glass Rotunda.
Inspired by traditional Chinese architecture, he enjoys incorporating an element of concealment in his work – so it allows him to create a different world within.
During an interview with The Edge Singapore on The Nassim, another CapitaLand development designed by Mok, he commented: "Good design is not just about looking nice on the day of the photoshoot; 10 years later, it must still look as good.”
2. Sven & Kane Tan, Co-Founders and Designers of IN GOOD COMPANY
The creative minds behind Singapore fashion label IN GOOD COMPANY, Sven Tan and Kane Tan share a common last name, the same alma mater (Raffles Design Institute), and a passion for fashion.
The power pair is flying the Singapore flag high - with their designs stocked in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand, and a collaboration with Malaysian illustrator Kuanth on a capsule collection. The duo's first standalone boutique is in ION Orchard, right in the heart of Singapore's shopping belt.
IN GOOD COMPANY took home the coveted Designer of the Year accolade at the inaugural Singapore Fashion Awards 2016.
When asked about what style means to him during an interview with BLOUIN ARTINFO, Kane said: "Style is about being unpretentious. Wearing what suits you best and not what shouts most loudly."
3. Winnie Chan and James Quan, Founders of Bynd Artisan
Winnie Chan and her husband James Quan made her grandfather’s bindery business cool again when they launched Bynd Artisan, a custom bookbinding and leather-craft atelier in 2014. The brand went on to receive the President’s Design Award last year.
Bynd Artisan stays at the cutting edge by collaborating with fellow homegrown designers including fashion label Ong Shunmugam, singer-songwriter Gentle Bones and most recently, industrial designer Olivia Lee.
Its Instagram-worthy atelier at Raffles City Singapore stocks the exclusive Olivia Lee for Bynd Artisan Books of Life collection. Head on down to the newly opened space for a look, and try your hand at some of their leather crafting workshops.
In an interview with The Business Times, co-founder James Quan said: "I think it's nice to be a flagbearer for the Singapore brand. We may not be the biggest, but we're one of the newly created Singapore brands that hope to inspire the current generation."
4. Carolyn Kan, Founder and Designer of Carrie K
A former high-flyer in the advertising world, Carolyn Kan rediscovered her love for jewellery design, which led her to launch her artisanal jewellery label Carrie K in 2009. The label will be opening a new atelier at Funan when the integrated development opens in 2019.
Carrie K has collaborated with The Walt Disney Company on numerous occasions, producing whimsical collections inspired by Beauty and The Beast, and Alice in Wonderland.
Kan also stood shoulder-to-shoulder with In Good Company’s Sven and Kane Tan as another deserving recipient of the Designer of the Year Award at the Singapore Fashion Awards 2016.
During her interview with High Net Worth, Kan commented that they take 3 to 6 months, or even a year to design a full collection. She also shed light on her design process, "I have an ‘ideas bank’, which is literally my notebook—I don’t draw well, so I call them ‘chicken scratchings’, and the moment I have an idea, I will pen it down. Sometimes, a seed of an idea can form a full collection."
5. Tan Li Ling, Founder and Designer, Wheniwasfour
Wheniwasfour is a design studio and label in Singapore where founder and designer Tan Li Ling creates quirky lifestyle products that she hopes Singaporeans can easily relate to.
The label is decidedly and unabashedly Singaporean, with items striking a chord with the locals – such as kaya toast and kopi-o cushion covers, Singlish notebooks and old-school vinyl toys.
The label is stocked at Naiise, a local retailer and curator of great design with a soft spot for designed-in-Singapore products; check them out at Westgate.
In an interview with National Arts Council's The A List, Tan commented: "I’m more interested in heritage than nostalgia. Rather than reviving the old in its exact original state, I prefer interpreting the elements associated with tradition ,heritage and culture, into something relevant and desirable in the modern-day context.”