Scaling Fashion’s Heights

Fashion | Written By, NOW!Singapore | August 24th, 2016

Local fashion designer Sabrina Goh, who graduated from LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, is set to take her brand to the next level with the launch of her flagship store SABRINAGOH at Capitol Piazza.Designer Hi Res Pic-edit

Since its inception in 2009, local fashion brand ELOHIM by Sabrina Goh has always been synonymous with innovation, creativity and originality. It is these qualities that have earned owner-designer Sabrina several opportunities to showcase her designs on both local and international platforms – some of her credentials include showcasing at Capsule in New York, Singapore Fashion Week, Asia Men’s Fashion Week, Audi Fashion Festival and Singapore’s Blueprint Trade Show.

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Despite her impressive credentials, Sabrina is not one to rest on her laurels; she is constantly innovating and thinking of ways to bring her brand to the next level, as well as to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of consumers.

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In fact, Sabrina made a bold move to launch her new flagship store – SABRINAGOH – at Capitol Piazza earlier this year despite a tough environment – the local fashion industry has been dealt a slew of challenges in recent years such as rising rents, a bleak economic outlook, and stiff competition from fast fashion brands. So while several well-known labels including Hansel by Jo Soh, M)phosis and Inhabit were exiting the scene, Sabrina was determined to strengthen her presence in the market and to take her brand to greater heights.

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Not just a regular fashion boutique selling apparel, her new flagship store boasts a new retail concept that aims to bring about a completely new experience through its diverse offerings and warm and inviting retail environment. Apart from Sabrina’s designs, customers can look forward to apparel from other independent Singaporean and Asian labels, as well as other offerings such as skincare (from FrankSkincare and Rough Beauty), handcrafted accessories, hand bags (from Woodview), stationary (from local brand The Paper Bunny) and even homemade cookies (from Spatula & Whisk).

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In this interview, Sabrina speaks about her two labels – Light and ELOHIM, the inspiration behind her designs, her plans for the future and her thoughts on the local fashion scene.

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Who was the biggest influence in your decision to become a fashion designer?
My father. He was an architectural draughtsman and I used to follow him to work when I was younger, helping him with drawing and colouring whenever he needed to rush to meet tight deadlines. I vividly remember him asking me once during my secondary school days if I wanted to be a fashion designer in the future, and I guess that piqued my interest in fashion. From then on, I started reading a lot of fashion magazines and studied renowned designers’ works.

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How would you describe your design style?
Minimal and structural.

Can you tell us about your two labels, ELOHIM and Light
Elohim By Sabrina Goh is driven by creativity. Our vision is to create designs with an inspired view. We showcase two seasons per year in New York City at Capsule, and the line is currently stocked in the USA, Japan and Singapore. Light by Sabrina Goh (the sister brand to Elohim), on the other hand, was launched to achieve our commercial objectives and is currently available exclusively in Singapore.

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Which designers do you look up to?
My fashion hero has always been Alexander McQueen. His creations always inspire me to think out of the box and to always design a collection that is true to myself.

Could you share some advice with aspiring fashion designers who hope to succeed in this highly competitive fashion industry?
Always be true to yourself, and listen to people whom you respect and look up to. But in the end, the secret to success is yourself – there is no point in looking to the left and right, worrying about what your competitors are designing and doing. Stay focused and stay true to your vision. Lastly, always be humble and have good courage.

Could you share with us your thoughts on the local fashion scene?
I think Singapore has many good fashion labels offering very unique designs. However, our market is too small and the demand for local designs is hampered by the influx of fast fashion. That said, Singapore designers definitely have to put in a lot of effort in order for them to stand out from the crowd, as well as to be sustainable in this highly competitive market.

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What more do you think can be done to help local designers raise their profile in Singapore and overseas?
I would say, help yourself. Don’t always depend on others for opportunities. I think there are already many platforms in Singapore to promote designs and entrepreneurship – designers just need to take the initiative to knock on doors and plan out their own direction.

Where do you get inspiration when you have to come up with ideas for your new collection?
Inspiration is everywhere, for example, from pictures, movies, exhibitions, current affairs, daily life and more. But personally, I think my collection usually reflects my state of mind. Every collection speaks of a different concept and message.

Where do you hope to see SABRINAGOH five years from now?
I hope SABRINAGOH will continue to grow and that we’ll have more opportunities to collaborate with more local and international designers.

Your clothes are now available in several stores around the globe, which other markets do you hope to break into?
Markets I’d like to break into in the near future would include China and Denmark.

Can you tell us about your upcoming collection?
Besides our regular showcase in New York this coming September, we will be showcasing two very interesting collaborations with Disney at the end of this year. Keep an eye on our website for more details!

SABRINAGOH Flagship Store
02-14, Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road,
Tel: 6385 2185,
sabrinagoh.com

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