It was a night of many firsts. Previously organised as a key event within Singapore Fashion Week’s roster of shows, the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2018 (in collaboration with Swarovski and supported by Zalora) became a standalone programme that saw important figures and industry players descend on the historic Capitol Theatre to fête the best of emerging Asian talents. Held on 25 October, the regional competition also welcomed participants from India, who brought fresh points-of-view to the competition. It’s also the first time a country clinched top honours three times since the award was introduced five years ago— Singapore’s Andrew Low followed the footsteps of NewGen alumni Silvia Teh and Phua Chun Huen, and was crowned the night’s champion. He walked away with a cash prize of $10,000 and a year long scholarship at Istituto Marangoni.
“It’s so surreal that this is happening,” Low exclaimed backstage, surrounded by well-wishers who congratulated him on his feat. “It has been a journey and I learnt so much along the way, such as balancing creativity with the commercial aspects of fashion.” Low’s win didn’t come easy; it was another hard-fought battle, with Indonesia’s Andandika Surasetja and India’s Gaurav placed first and second-runner up respectively. From honouring a woman’s pregnant form to fashioning luxurious accoutrements from bedding materials, the eight designers displayed an engaging range of perspectives that thrilled the audience. Ultimately, it was Low’s contemporary mix, and eye for tailoring and detail, that propelled him to the front of the league. “Andrew showed great winning potential right from the start,” explained Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore, Kenneth Goh. “The judges picked him to win in the end because he showed honesty, integrity and incredible tailoring in his collection.”