The shock of an unexpected victory quickly turned into tears of jubilation for William Utama, who walked away with top honours at last evening’s Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award. His outpouring of emotions on the catwalk brought the evening’s proceedings to a poignant close.
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The eight finalists from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand put up an impressive, closely-contended show that proved there’s no shortage of talent this side of the world. But ultimately, it was Utama’s street-infused collection and bold use of materials that convinced the judges that he was the designer most worthy of being crowned champion. “I’m at a loss of words,” Utama said backstage after the show, still shaking from his win, “but I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
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“Utama was the only one that had a proper business plan that outlined the cost of his materials and the eventual price sheet for retail,” explained Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore. “In terms of design, he displayed talent and there was an energy in his works. With careful mentoring, nurturing and experience gleaned from living and studying at the Istituto Marangoni, his eye for design can be finessed into an aesthetic that’s truly global.”
By Gerald Tan