Introduction

A very good evening to you all. It gives me great pleasure to join you tonight for the launch of Bronx Creative & Design Centre’s SG50 event titled “in OUR shoes”. Congratulations on this launch!

Evolution of the Fashion Industry

The Fashion industry today is competitive and dynamic, driven by fast-changing consumer preferences and lifestyles. This is in stark contrast to Singapore’s early days of industrialisation in the 70s and 80s, when the fashion industry then was mainly manufacturing-centric. Over the years, it has transformed into an industry that is innovative, creative and at the forefront of design. There is also much greater understanding and leveraging on the power of branding.

Importance of Design and Innovation in the Fashion Industry

Business competition for the consumer dollar will continue to intensify as customers become increasingly sophisticated, as well as with the entrance of new foreign brands and increasing prominence of Asian brands on the international stage. Going forward, design and innovation will continue to be important drivers of success in the fashion industry.

Pioneer Facility in Footwear Design, Prototyping and Education

The setting up of Bronx Creative & Design Centre is a positive step for the industry. The Centre is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, capable of supporting the design and prototyping of different kinds of footwear under one roof. Designers, manufacturers and brand-owners can benefit from its commercialisation-enabling services and resources, prototyping, sample-making and even small-run manufacturing. Independent young designers and entrepreneurs, who have limited access to such resources due to lack of scale, will benefit immensely from the centre.

Strong infrastructure is required to ensure a sustainable fashion eco-system. A footwear service centre in Singapore gives designers direct oversight of the production process so as to ensure that their designs are properly translated into good quality prototypes before they go into production. This centre plugs an industry gap and is an important initiative in our fashion industry’s developmental blueprint; supporting local designers and brand owners with R&D and knowledge management services to shorten the time it takes to bring the product to market.

I am heartened to learn that Bronx, a home-grown SME, is collaborating with our educational institutions to promote continuing training and education. Designers and professionals who are keen to upgrade their skills and craftsmanship in footwear design can now receive hands-on training. Basic courses in pattern-making, prototyping and assemblage techniques will equip beginners with the fundamental knowledge in footwear design. For advanced professionals, the programme will help them acquire capabilities for personalisation of designs and development of footwear collections.

The centre also gives Singapore-based fashion companies direct access to training. Local fashion companies will no longer have to fly their people overseas for training in footwear prototyping and design. Internship and student-exchange opportunities can also be explored with the footwear associations of our neighbouring countries. Such ‘win-win’ partnerships will benefit the industry through fostering commercial collaborations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to thank the management and staff of Bronx Creative & Design Centre for your hard work and commitment in the establishment of an important industry infrastructure that contributes to our industry development. I wish you all the best and look forward to your continued contributions to Singapore’s fashion industry.

Thank you.