After months of intense competition, 24-year-old Phua Chun Huen is crowned the winner of Singapore’s edition of the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award.
“It’s such a surprise! Everything just feels so surreal. Everyone put in so much effort for this and I think we’re all winners. I actually stopped fashion design for four years, so to have this win means a lot to me,” said Huen.
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The graduate of Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design beat out fellow contestants Joanna Lim and Esther Choy by displaying a solid combination of talent and business acumen.
“He had a very thoughtful collection that played on interesting textures. His clothes had a sophistication and precision that belies his young age,” observed Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore. He added: “It’s very modern, urban and easily translatable to our climate and region.” Phua secured his win by cleverly manipulating denim—he felted merino wool on denim and laminated the indigo fabric with plastic—and proposed chic silhouettes for the city slicker.
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Now into its fourth year and organised in conjunction with Swarovski, the competition is gearing up towards the regional finale, which will be held in October during Singapore Fashion Week.
Meanwhile, Goh is excited about what’s to come for the finals: “Every country has such a specific look and feel, be it the artisanal perfection of Thailand or the textural intricacies of Indonesia. This will be a tougher year for everyone and I can’t wait to see the final results!”