Fashion Singapore

Design Orchard: TAFF announces fashion and design incubation programmes to encourage startups


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Come early 2019, in partnership with Enterprise Singapore and JTC, the Textile and Fashion Federation (TAFF) has announced fashion and design incubation programmes at Design Orchard, located right in the heart of Orchard Road.

Says TAFF President Mr Mark Lee: “This is a frontier project for us and there will be many opportunities for us to work with our design community and to work with other fellow associations and partners to position Singapore as the innovative Fashion hub.”

In consultation with 90 manufacturers, designers and retailers in total, through 83 in-depth interviews and 2 focus group discussions, the Eden Strategy Institute identified the following gaps and industry needs that TAFF seeks to address with Design Orchard: 1. that designers need local production facilities and expansion funding, to scale and achieve global success, 2. that Fashtech is the new segment that designers should be pursuing and 3. to create a stronger community spirit among industry players with the shared networking and co-working space so that the industry can work together to create a Singaporean aesthetic to expand into other customer segments in regions. 

With approximately 10,000 sq ft of space over two levels, the incubation space at Design Orchard offers a comprehensive creative workspace with meeting rooms for brainstorm sessions, work studios furnished with sewing machines and a fabric library. The space aims to address fundamental startup challenges faced by budding Singapore and Singapore-based design talents, equipping them with the skills and experience to flourish as independent designers or with established fashion houses with internationalisation at its heart. Participants will also have the opportunity to retail their designs offering the designers the opportunity to create, collaborate and commercialise their labels under a single holistic programme

In a bid to inculcate a startup mentality among designers to move and learn fast, TAFF, in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, will tap on its strong industry networks and experience for their incubation programmes, which include talent development, training, overseas sourcing and production trips, and participation at international tradeshows with overseas expansion as the main objective.

Meanwhile, other incubation programmes will focus on strengthening the foundation of designers in business and technical knowledge, while providing them with exposure to global business trends, while others will extends that training provided in the form of apprenticeship, providing designers with a common platform to internationalise via a “mothership label”. Participating designers will be mentored by industry veterans, share resources and aggregate volumes for production and distribution.

With this as a springboard, TAFF will equip designers, new and established, with business and technological acumen to navigate the fast-evolving industry. Upon graduation, designers will form an alumni to help each other as well as build the next generation of designers that will take Singapore labels to next level. With this initiative, TAFF hopes to foster a stronger sense of camaraderie amongst local, regional and international design talents. In addition, TAFF also hopes to raise the awareness and appreciation for local and regional design and fashion, and for the immense role they play in steering the evolution of culture in Asia and internationally.

Design Orchard is set to launch in early 2019. For more information, visit their website here .Registration for the programmes and spaces has begun, for more details, please contact

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