Asia Fashion Exchange Blueprint Tradeshow;; Great Singapore Sale

Thinking About the Ex
Another year, another fashion festival in the (shopping) bag. This year’s edition of Asia Fashion Exchange was teeming with a series of high-profile runway shows (Missoni, Ungaro, Antonio Berardi and Greyhound, among many others) packing in the crowds at the Audi Fashion Festival. Never mind that they were all for Autumn/ Winter pieces (not much use in a tropical city like ours, unless you’re planning a trip to Europe or the Alps sometime soon); all presentations were fuss-free, competent and smooth (if a little unsurprising). Less predictable was its tradeshow under the Blueprint banner, where local and international labels were showcasing next season’s collection for bulk sales to potential retailers. Spotted were the OTT clothes of London-based KTZ; our local Sifr boys with their casual, minimal menswear; and local distributor Amnesty and its hip collections for Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair and Commune de Paris—among at least a hundred more brands. Nothing wrong with these collections—the range was at least eclectic and diverse—but the lack of international buyers for tradeshows like these means that these sellers have to swallow up the massive rent even if they don’t make a dime (rent is $3,000-6,000 for four days). I won’t name names (surprise, surprise), but a local jeweler was extremely bewildered by the lack of positive response from buyers (he had yet to make any sales by day two), while another was quoted saying, “Thankfully, we managed to secure subsidies for the rent, otherwise we’re f**ked!” Hopefully, these folks will garner more sales during the retail period when doors are open to consumers eager to get their hands on marked-down Cruise collections—although the point of having Blueprint ultimately is to reach out to overseas buyers, not the average local fashion victim.
Click Chic
If you’re quite the shopaholic but too lazy to leave the house, check out the new Singapore-based fashion website I haven’t tried my hands at this yet (they carry mostly womenswear, natch), but it’s apparently Singapore’s answer to Net-a-Porter, that famous website known for carrying high fashion brands like Dior, Dries Van Noten, Mulberry and Maison Martin Margiela. We wouldn’t go that far, but it’s an interesting site to look through to find out more about emerging regional brands like Japan’s Akira Nara and Malaysia’s Khoon Hooi. After all, these labels weren’t stocked in any of our local boutiques previously, so what do you have to lose?
Sales Galore
With the Great Singapore Sale just around the corner, I’ll definitely be saving up for some coveted pieces that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. Hint: Most cool boutiques that I frequent will be rolling out 40-50 percent discounts on their staple labels by the third week of June. Find out what I’m eyeing in next week’s issue (but bitch please, no copycats).