Gin Lee, Ginlee Studio
From Israel to Singapore, independent fashion house, GINLEE STUDIO is changing the face of women’s fashion one continent at a time with its relaxed and flattering silhouettes. The brand has now set its sights on international shores, after winning the Emerging Designer of the Year for Fashion Award at The Singapore Fashion Awards 2016.
Established in 2011 by Singaporean Gin Lee, GINLEE Studio is a womenswear brand that exudes style, comfort and confidence for the everyday woman. The brand strives to keep the wearer’s experience centre in its design process while embedding a unique style that is influenced by the team’s lifestyle and cultures.
With a concise brand objective coupled with Gin Lee’s decade-long industry experience, it is no surprise GINLEE Studio clinched the Emerging Designer of the Year for Fashion award at the prestigious Singapore Fashion Awards 2016. Organised by the TAFf, the Singapore Fashion Awards honours individuals whose contributions have significantly shaped the fashion industry of Singapore.
Gin Lee and her team revisit the glorious moment as well as other highlights they’ve witnessed during the six years. They also reveal their hopes for GINLEE Studio and other local designers.
Our most notable milestone would be the recent win at the Singapore Fashion Awards 2016. This really reaffirmed us and has opened up many doors.
Image: Founder, Gin Lee
How did the brand come about?
GINLEE Studio was established in Israel in 2011, after having lived on two other continents. It was my third cross-continent move, and it was also here in Tel Aviv that I felt that I am ready after a decade of industry experience.
Who is behind the brand and what roles do they play?
We have a relatively small team operating in two countries, Singapore and Israel. I take the role of Head Designer. There is Tamir, Co-Founder and Co-designer at GINLEE Studio. He also doubles as my partner in life and as my personal psychologist. Our team in Singapore is headed by my sister, Georgie. We have another 4 staff that assists us in the studio.
You have had a steady progress over the last few years, what have been some of the highlights?
In 2014, KEEPERS: Singapore Designer Collective was an entry back into Singapore. It was a really good platform to test if our designs would work in the Singapore market. 2015’s Fashion Futures was a great platform, which affirmed some findings that I’ve made through the years and gave me some answers I was looking for.
In 2016, we were also able to be stocked at the department store, TANGS and for a young label like ours, it was really encouraging. It also meant that we were able to reach out and be appreciated by more Singaporeans. Our most notable milestone would be the recent win at the Singapore Fashion Awards 2016 where we won the title of Best Emerging Fashion Designer. This really reaffirmed us and has opened up many doors.
What was your initial reaction/thoughts when you won the award?
It was unexpected and we were extremely happy! All of us from different parts of the world put in a lot of effort into materialising the final garment. That was a night we gave a pat on our shoulders for a job well done.
A strong market presence was one of the criteria for winning this award. Why do you think a strong market presence is important to a brand?
A strong market presence is indicative of a lot of things. It shows market acceptance, that the designs and brands are relevant and appreciated by people. High visibility and stemming from strong market presence also suggests that the brand is capable of selling, self-sustenance and eventually, growth.
What do you hope for Singapore designers and GINLEE Studio?
I hope that GINLEE Studio and Singaporean designers will be able to have more presence and acceptance at an international level and that Singapore will be able to shine as a design nation, where creative minds and companies reside.