5/21/2013


It will be a celebration of Asian beauty when the seventh Singapore Fashion Festival opens on Friday, organisers say.

Japanese supermodel Ai Tominaga and rising star Anne Watanabe, the daughter of actor Ken Watanabe, will take to the catwalk for the opening and closing shows of the 10-day gathering of designers, retailers and shoppers.

"We want the Singapore Fashion Festival to epitomise the face of Asian beauty... Asian faces are more accepted in fashion campaigns nowadays and we want to continue to promote that," festival director Simon Lock said.

Organisers said the show will feature 16 Singapore designers, up from seven last year, and has added others from India and China.

"Small shop" by Anshu and Jason in Bangalore will display their latest collections along with Savio Jon and Priyadarshini Rao, organisers said.

Shanghainese designer Lu Kun will be showing his fall-winter 2007 ready-to-wear and haute couture collections for the first time in Asia.

He told AFP he is confident the festival can give his designs greater exposure.

"In the past, outsiders considered Asia as a place with no quality designs. It has changed. We have luxury brands and good designers now."

He said designers "can use this opportunity to show that we are ready and reached the international standards."

The festival, taking place on Singapore's Orchard Road tourist and shopping strip, will also feature shows by international designers Vivienne Tam, Matthew Williamson and Jean Luc Amsler, and luxury brands Aigner and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Shoppers are able to purchase pieces straight off the festival's catwalks, while also getting a preview of fall-winter collections.

"The strategic aim is to position Singapore as a fashion hub... we aim to provide an inspirational lifestyle event to attract fashionistas, consumers and the media," said Larissa Hazel, the festival project director.

Shoppers from Indonesia and Malaysia remain a key target of the event, along with tourists from Taiwan and Australia.

Visitors from China and India, which are emerging tourist markets for Singapore, are also being courted by festival organisers. To encourage consumers to attend the event, launches were held in Mumbai and Shanghai, Lock said.

Last year's Singapore Fashion Festival attracted 100,000 people. Tourism officials said there was an increase in fashion retail receipts during the festival period. (AFP)

SINGAPORE, March 21, 2007

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