Having studied fashion yourself and getting involved in so many different parts of the business, how would you say that the scene has changed over the years for someone interested to join the industry?
“There are definitely more opportunities for jobs in bigger companies now than when I was a student, thanks to the digital revolution. Only after I graduated in 2009 did e-commerce become big with the likes of Zalora entering the Singapore market. There is also greater opportunity for exposure today with social media and more independent or online publications that are supportive of young, independent designers. Having said that, the retail scene was quite different about a decade ago. Then brick-and-mortar was still an important part of the shopping experience. There were many independent multi-label stores such as Blackmarket, Threadbare & Squirrel, Actually and Superspace (now Super Freak) with only the last two still standing. As a student, there were initiatives like Parco Next Next that was supported by the Textile and Fashion Federation and Spring Singapore and encouraged young designers to start their own businesses. That’s how I co-founded Mash-Up with Nat Ng and Shaf Amis’aabudin in 2012. Now young designers don’t have as many avenues to do the same and have to fund themselves. Many of the independent designers from the time – Baylee, Woods & Woods, Nicholas – are no longer around and while students have the opportunity to work at larger companies such as Zalora and Love, Bonito, they are more commercial in nature.”
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