With a bricks-and-mortar lifestyle concept store at the luxurious Ion Orchard and recently taking home Designer of the Year for Fashion at the prestigious Singapore Fashion Awards 2016, the vibrant team at IN GOOD COMPANY has seen some major highs in just four years.
Sleek, smart and minimalist with an edge is how you’d define IN GOOD COMPANY. Touted as the definitive brand for modern classics with a twist, this Singapore-based brand is an exemplary for no-fuss women’s fashion staples.
Staying true to its moniker, IN GOOD COMPANY also enjoys collaborating with like-minded creative businesses and artists with signature quirks – probably why you’ll find an in-house café by cupcake connoisseurs Plain Vanilla Bakery and a selection of lifestyle items by independent and home-grown labels alike.
With a creative eye for local labels to a repertoire that amazes at a global level, it is no wonder the brand recently bagged Designer of the Year for Fashion at Singapore Fashion Awards 2016, organised by the TAFf. The award is presented in recognition of leading fashion designers who have shaped the Singapore brand of fashion at home and on a global stage.
Jaclyn Teo, Marketing & Sales Director, as well as one of the co-founders of IN GOOD COMPANY tells us a bit about the brand’s origins, milestone moments and nuggets of advice they’ve received along the way.
How did the brand come about?
Kidswear is actually the genesis of IN GOOD COMPANY (IGC). Julene, one of our co-founders, had a young daughter and lamented that it was hard to find clothes for little girls that weren’t princess-like or Disney-esque. It came up in conversation that it might be possible to tap into this market. We all agreed that it was a good idea to start something together.
One thing led to another and what was meant to be a kidswear line eventually evolved into a womenswear brand. As a tribute to that original idea of how IGC was formed, we decided to launch a ‘Mini Me’ line alongside the women’s ready-to-wear.
What does the brand name mean?
We have always liked the idea of collaboration and community and wanted a brand that embodied that. We like being surrounded by good people and working with creative people and businesses.
Who is behind the brand and what roles do they play?
I take care of sales and marketing. Julene is in charge of operations. Sven is both creative director and designer. His approach to design leans towards traditional tailoring and a certain androgyny. This is balanced off by Kane who does a lot of the drape work, which lends a softness and fluidity to IGC pieces.
Left: Sven Tan, Kane Tan, Julene Aw, Jaclyn Teo
You have had steady progress over the last few years, what have been some of the highlights?
Definitely opening our ION Orchard lifestyle concept store. That was an important milestone for us, as it represents a dream – a space to fully articulate our vision for the brand. Winning the recent Designer of the Year award has also been a highlight as it provides recognition of the work we’ve done. It indicates that we can continue to do what we do, in this exact direction.
What was your initial reaction/thoughts when you won the award?
Quite shocked. We hadn’t expected to win anything and we didn’t even know who we were up against for the longest time. It was quite a competitive line-up too.
We have always liked the idea of collaboration and community, and wanted a brand that embodied that.
You mentioned in your acceptance speech that you have a mentor, could you tell us a little more about that relationship?
We’ve had a few mentors along the way, people who have nudged us onto a path that led to the brand we are today. It comes from working alongside them, watching and listening, and accepting their advice of what they have experienced and gathered in the ether.
The advice is gold nuggets of information of having a focused business mindset, knowing what people want, and watching the markets. I think it’s always important to listen. Equally just as important, we also listened to our instincts even if it sometimes went against market forces or what may seem as industry ‘common sense’.
You’ve won one sponsored season (April 2017) at a showroom in Shanghai. What are your plans for this?
This is all very new for us so we haven’t thought it out completely! But we are always excited at the prospect of new markets. We are already in Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong, and it will be interesting to see what’s possible for China. That said, we don’t like rushing into things and prefer to grow organically.
We are always open to new opportunities, of course.
What do you hope for Singapore designers and IGC?
A better retail climate and lower overheads!
We also listened to our instincts even if it sometimes went against market forces or what may seem as industry 'common sense'.