The Company you keep
Text by Jennifer Denbitz
Homegrown label In Good Company keeps Singaporeans of all generations fashionable in infinitely wearable everyday pieces.
Co-founded by four friends in December 2012, In Good Company (IGC) designs modern classics with a twist, redefining everyday essentials. IGC’s aesthetic features clean silhouettes with a blend of relaxed tailoring and surprising details. Signature structuring and draping form the character of all IGC collections, modernising classic pieces so they can be worn again and again, interchangeably with your existing wardrobe.
The good company behind this clever fashion brand is Designer Sven Tan, 35; Designer Kane Tan, 32; Managing Director of Operations Julene Aw, 37; and Managing Director of Sales &Marketing Jaclyn Teo, 36.
The spirit of IGC is about being in excellent companionship with like-minded people; whether at work, at home or on the go. The IGC team enjoys collaborating with creative businesses and artists who have unique and uncommon visions, the likes of which include pattern artist / designer Kuanth, beauty apothecary Mmerci Encore, artisanal perfumer Code Deco, leather crafters Hoiming and jeweler Argentum.
NOW! Singapore caught up with the IGC team to ask them a few questions about good fashion and good friendship.
How did the four of you meet and come together to form IGC?
The four of us worked together for several years. We left the company at different points in our lives, each to pursue different interests, but met up often after. Over one of our many casual coffee sessions, the idea of creating a line together popped up and we jumped on it.
Talk to us a bit about the trench as an inspiration for Capsule 5. It’s such an iconic piece in other markets but rarely seen in rainy Singapore.
Modernising classic pieces has always been a big influence in our design process. The idea for the Trench was to add a utilitarian vibe to tailored pieces for this capsule, while still retaining its practicality for Singapore’s climate and sartorial culture. We tend not to layer a lot even when it rains. We decided to introduce a water-resistant cotton garbardine and rework some classic trench details into this – details like inverted vents, double lapels, pocket details – these were also adapted onto shirtings, shorts and light-weight jackets, pieces that people find easier to incorporate into their everyday wardrobe.
What would you say are some tips for women interested in wearing boxier styles and layering items yet still hoping to maintain a sexy, feminine silhouette?
Getting the right proportion and fit is important when experimenting with boxier styles. Our basic rule of thumb is if it’s boxy on top, balance it with a streamlined fitted bottom, and vice versa. The trick is to keep layering simple, playing with lines and lengths, not bulk. We don’t believe the hourglass silhouette is the only “sexy” shape, nor do we believe one has to be “sexy” in order to be feminine or the other way around. Strength and confidence are much sexier than a particular silhouette.
Your Mini Me colors are so fresh yet sophisticated. What has been the inspiration behind the colour used for Mini Me?
Our customers are key in determining the colour palette, fabric and make of every capsule. Our goal is to capture the eye of our audience and help them dress effortlessly through considered design. We don’t follow trends or international seasons – we follow our customers. The trick is to give them what they want but also to surprise them with certain new details, unique colours or a refreshed style.
We consider each piece of the collection as a group, how it fits with individual styles and how it looks on the body. This rule holds true for both the adult ready-to-wear and our Mini Me collections. That’s the idea of Mini Me – it’s miniature versions of the adult line – to be seen as complimentary pieces rather than a separate collection.
How did you decide to move into boyswear as part of Mini Me and what are some of the hallmarks of those pieces?
The idea came after working together on two successful collections with multi-label store Kids21 for girls aged 3-10. Kids21 told us we were limiting ourselves – that their customers were requesting IGC for boys, too. We designed a new collection for boys, exclusively sold at Kids21 Paragon and through their webstore. The boys’ collection offers perennial modern staples for boys aged 3-10 features original prints designed by our oft collaborator Kuanth.
What’s been the most unexpected part of your journey / business so far?
It’s been watching our customer profile evolve across the generations. IGC is defined as an accessible brand by its design rather than its price point. We wanted to be the label that people could wear easily but stylishly, without falling into the trap of fast fashion price wars or inaccessible luxury labels. This ideal was largely achieved by reaching out to all types of women of different age groups. Our customers range from women in their 20s to their 60s. We have a customer who shops with us regularly for herself, her seven-year-old daughter and her mum in her 60s. It’s so heartening to see IGC dressing three generations of women in one go!
What are some of the factors that help you nail the concept of everyday wearability?
For us, it’s most important that IGC is accessible to everyone in terms of style, quality and affordability. From the beginning we wanted IGC to create everyday essentials: interchangeable pieces that supply a variety of fresh yet timeless looks. As a team, our diverse personalities and strengths bring different insights to the creative process. We are two men with different but complementary design sensibilities; two women who like fussfree but stylish clothes; four people who want to make well-designed pieces that go the extra mile to generate 10 different looks from one piece; and one parent of two who understands the importance of speed dressing and easy-laundry in keeping a sane household. All of us believe the modern wardrobe shouldn’t be complicated to wear. It should be easy to care for, affordable and honest, of good quality materials different from those found in fast fashion.
If you could pick a city in the world where your designs would feel most at home — fit most organically into the style and scene — what would it be?
It will always be Singapore, where home truly is.
There’s a lot of talk these days about there being