Singapore's Hansel

At Tokyo fashion trade show Rooms I ran into Singaporean designer Jo Soh, whose brand Hansel has been called the next (err, first?) big thing to come out of the diminutive country. She had nothing but good things to say about her second visit to Japan, remarking on the scale of the fashion industry and “just huge interest in style.”

What’s hot in Singapore, then, I wanted to know… “The weather!” She replied, explaining that designing for her native market and a global one (not to mention one that runs across seasons from Japan to Australia) means always creating trans-seasonal collections.

Coming from a fine arts background, she also explained how she starts every season by creating a little character. For A/W the mascot is Robot Girl, whose image inspired the boxy silhouettes, metal buttons like bolts, and lightening motifs that define her most recent, and rather cute, collection. Though she wasn’t quite as forthcoming on the subject of buyers, which turned out to be a generally taboo subject at a number of exhibitor booths during this quieter than usual edition of Rooms.

-Rebecca Milner

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