Photo: Ashley Mak

Kelly Vallerie hails from Indonesia and was crowned the winner of Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award in 2019 for her collection which was geared towards maximum versatility, with pieces that can be adapted and worn in multiple ways. A bag can be snapped off into four pouches; a top can be transformed into a tote, and a skirt, into trousers. She cut generous shapes that made allowances for an extensive range of sizes, and constructed complex patterns with clever hidden details and rich textures. “Kelly is a standout. Her vision of multi-functionality and her translation of themes into details-like her atypical application of Swarovski crystals sets her apart,” says Ria Lirungan, Editor-in-Chief at Harper’s BAZAAR Indonesia, who guided her growth over the last several months.

Here, we caught up with Kelly to find out how things have been after the competition.

1) Tell us how you felt about being the winner in the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award? How has the experience been for you?

I felt extremely happy and blessed, it was one of the best moments and the biggest achievement in my life. The experience I gathered from this competition was very valuable for me. The preparation and process to take part in the competition from the start was difficult and challenging, but at the same time very rewarding.

It all started from my desire to participate in Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Awards Indonesia 2019. At that time, I was working as a full time fashion designer at a textile company that’s located outside Jakarta. Because of that situation, I had very little time to prepare for everything, but I didn’t give up… I started preparing my collection theme, concept, design and business plan in detail four months before the deadline. After being chosen as one of the top 10, I finally won the competition and became one of the representatives from Indonesia. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to meet the senior judges, and to receive valuable feedback and advice from them during the competition.

It made me even more excited to prepare a new collection and my business plan for the next competition in Singapore. With the help and guidance from the judges, support from Harper’s BAZAAR Indonesia, and additional support from the office where I work and from my family and friends, I finally managed to complete my second collection called “FREAKS” Spring/Summer 2020 on time.

I was very grateful to be able to interact with, present my work to and receive valuable feedback from the international judges in Singapore. I’m very thankful that my creativity and ideas were recognised and well received by them. Being chosen as the Winner of Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2019 and to be given the opportunity to attend a master degree scholarship at Istituto Marangoni was really unexpected and it’s something that I’m really proud of. I felt that all my hard work has paid off.

Thank you very much to Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore and Indonesia and all the amazing judges. I am truly honored that my vision and passion are being appreciated and acknowledged.

Related article: Kelly Vallerie Crowned Winner Of Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award

2) Has your life changed in any way after taking part in the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award? How has it changed?

Yes, my life has changed much. A lot of great things happened, I received a lot of promotions from some parties, and got the chance to appear in several media. Because of this, my brand is increasingly getting a lot more exposure in the industry and I also received some offers for collaborations.

3) Can you share what are some of your plans for 2020?

I have made some plans for this year. Firstly, I’ll prepare new collections for some upcoming shows. Secondly, I’ll set up my new studio and continue to receive custom orders for my collection. I also plan to produce my multifunctional collection in limited quantities, but in commercial versions which are simpler and more affordable. And lastly, I’ll prepare to take the master’s degree scholarship at Istituto Marangoni.

4) We are gearing up for the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2020. What advice would you give participants?

For all participants, please prepare everything in detail and plan a proper schedule in order to finish your work on time. Find strong design characteristics and be as creative as possible. Do not give up quickly, because great success requires great sacrifice. Talent, big goals, passion and hard work are the main keys to success.

Related article: Fashion Forces: The BAZAAR Asia NewGen 2019 Finalists Take Modern Design To New Heights

5) What’s your hope for Asian/South-east Asian fashion in the future?

I hope that people can pay more attention to the creativity of young Asian fashion designers, and how their clothes are being designed and ethically produced in detail. I also hope that through supporting and purchasing our products, more people can appreciate our efforts. I hope to see more talented Asian fashion designers who can compete with the other amazing designers from around the world in the future.

Related article: NewGen 2020: You Could Be The Next Big Fashion Designer

Think you could be the next big fashion designer? Take part in Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2020!

For details on competition process and full terms & conditions, please refer to the application form found here.

For further enquiries about the competition, please email: