The public can see shows and event coverage streamed live at the next Singapore Fashion Week in October, thanks to its recent acquisition of Digital Fashion Week.
Singapore Fashion Week chairman Tjin Lee says Digital Fashion Week has the potential to build ties between the different fashion weeks and industries in Asia.
Started in 2012, Digital Fashion Week was founded by Singapore marketing agency DFW Creative.
Like Singapore Fashion Week, the annual Digital Fashion Week aims to promote young designers in Asia via events and digital plat- forms. Ms Lee says: "Our objective is to support and grow the designers' ability and market size. The shows will be seen by many more people online than just those who attend the festival."
Content for Singapore Fashion Week, she says, will be hosted on www.digitalfashionweek.com and video-sharing website YouTube.
She declines to reveal how much Digital Fashion Week was acquired for, but says its annual regional event in Bangkok will continue, alongside the Singapore Fashion Week branding.
This year's Singapore Fashion Week will be held at National Gallery Singapore from Oct 25 to 30. Tickets will be available for sale or through sponsors and promotions through event partner Tangs. Previous festivals were held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza for the past nine years in May, except in 2013 when it was held at the F1 Pit Building.
Ms Charina Widjaja, founder of Digital Fashion Week, says that both events complement each other. Singapore Fashion Week brings Singapore and international designers together, while Digital Fashion Week's forte is in online campaigns and experimental technology such as 360 livestreaming and see-and-buy website functions.
As its name suggests, 360 live- streaming is a technology that allows an immersive video experience through Web browsers, mobile apps or virtual headsets. The see-and-buy function, which Digital Fashion Week first used on its website in 2012, wil be reintroduced "in a better way" next year at Singapore Fashion Week instead, says Ms Widjaja.
Organised by Singapore marketing and communications agency Mercury M&C, in partnership with the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore, the festival will introduce Singapore Fashion Week Access, which will run concurrently with Singapore Fashion Week. It features fledgling designers who may not have the funds to stage a more costly show at Singapore Fashion Week.
The Singapore Fashion Week Access will "be more experimental and innovative" as designers can present their collections via a talk or installations, with a runway show being an option. Ms Lee declines to give details, but says one show at Singapore Fashion Week Access costs about three times less than a show at Singapore Fashion Week.
Priscilla Shunmugam, owner and designer of fashion label Ong Shunmugam, who will show at Singapore Fashion Week, supports the initiative. "Designers should approach it positively as an opportunity to be discovered, rather than consider it an inferior platform."
A six-month calendar of events will kick off next Thursday, starting with the Lasalle Graduate Fashion Show 2016, held in partnership with Tangs. Other events include the Designer Sessions, where Singapore designers give talks on their brands and businesses, and the Nars Beauty Breakfast event next Sunday at Tangs, where entrepreneurs Charmaine Seah and Jaime Lee share business and beauty tips.
Ms Seah is a co-founder of marketing agency Elementary Co and Ms Lee is the founder of stationery brand The Paper Bunny.
In June, Singapore Fashion Week will launch its first Patrons Programme, which Ms Lee is positioning as Singapore's own version of New York City's Met Gala, a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.
The programme has three tiers: Pret-a-porter ($1,000), Prive Circle ($2,500) and by-invite-only Couture Club ($10,000). Depending on the tier, paying patrons will have access to some or all Singapore Fashion Week shows, and enjoy privileges such as dinners with designers, private shopping events and backstage passes. All patrons will also have access to various VIP lounges during the festival.
Ms Lee says of the festival: "It'll be filled with international, Asian and home-grown content."