09 SEP 2022

Fashion, Ageing and NFTs: An Interview with #FashTag’s Daniel Boey

Part of Singapore Design Week’s festival DNA has been its eclectic line-up and collaborations with creative partner. It’s not different this time around as it returns with sharper focus anchored by Design Futures, Design Impact and Design Marketplace. Creative director and fashion veteran Daniel Boey has certainly taken these pillars to heart for his offering, #Fashtag, which aims to take fashion to the people. We chat with him to find out more.

How did #FashTag by The Front Row (TFR), which you are the founder and creative director of become part of Singapore Design Week (SDW)? What is the synergy that you see?

SDW has always been the one festival that all creatives aspire to be a part of. It is an honour for TFR, returning this year for a third edition, to be included as a key event. This accords us national recognition for our innovation and passion for fashion. 

TFR 2022’s beliefs synergise with SDW 2022’s three defining pillars of Design Futures, Design Marketplace and Design Impact. Design Futures is aligned with TFR’s idea of “Celebrating Unique Concepts”, which was created through pivoting during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. These form the foundation for creative, design and fashion events of the future. Barely out of the pandemic, TFR had already ventured into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the digital art world with a showcase by MIRL, a decentralised fashion brand born in the metaverse. 

Design Marketplace is aligned with “Celebrating The Solidarity” of cross-border designers and creatives, who created an international (digital) brother-and-sisterhood during the lockdown and continue to produce ground-breaking new works.  

Design Impact is aligned with “Design With A Conscience”, where TFR embraces the pillars of sustainability, eco-consciousness, seasonless and cruelty-free fashion and beauty in our journey towards being more responsible and creative. All creations presented in TFR 2022 do not use leather or fur, while our sets and décor are made only with upcycled materials. 

What are some must-attend events for design buffs at TFR?

  • Exhibitions across all levels of Raffles City Singapore, a first-of-its-kind phygital takeover of a public retail space by a design festival. Look out especially for the NFT showcase by MIRL.
  • CABINES WITH A #CONSCIENCE: These are fashion shows featuring a cast of diverse and inclusive Singaporean and Singapore-based models. A highlight is the appearance of Pat Kraal, the Paris-based, Singaporean former top model. Another is the SILVER IS THE NEW BLACK show, starring former Singaporean top models from the 1970s and 1980s, all of whom are now aged 50 and above.  
  • The open platform discussions at the Raffles Design Institute and LASALLE College of the Arts. Speakers will be sharing their inspirations and respective journeys in creating upcycled or digital projects.  
  • As part of VOID DECK #CONVERSATIONS, #USEYOURHANDSCAMPAIGN is a series of engaging workshops helmed by creatives who have made recycling, upcycling and sustainability the cornerstone of their business.  

What are some of the most creative, responsible-fashion projects you're including in TFR this year?

We are very proud to have fashion designer Thomas Wee, who collaborated with fashion photographer Rui Liang (Toon) and Pat Kraal, in a fashion editorial to highlight the cause of cruelty-free fashion. Thomas is TFR’s quintessential representation of responsible and sustainable fashion as he has never needed to kill any living creature to create any pieces in any of his collections. 

We also have Cabine Shows featuring models who are over as well as models who are racially diverse, size-diverse and gender-diverse. This is my endeavour to challenge ageism, racism and size bias in the fashion industry. 

You have also chosen to showcase the solidarity between fashion designers in the region. Why?

We believe that concepts and ground-breaking works created by designers who came together to support each other and share information and resources during the lockdown of the pandemic form the foundation for creative, design and fashion collaborations of the future. It is time to honour the ingenuity and resilience of these designers. The works of these designers will be showcased in an exhibition under the banner of #COVIDCREATIVES. 

What do you hope #FashTag to achieve?

I hope visitors to the show will be able to learn more about designers in Singapore and the region, especially creatives who thrived during the pandemic and forged new ways of doing things. #Fashtag aims to demonstrate that fashion can be trans-digital and we hope mindsets about the fashion industry can go beyond the superficial as we delve into contemporary topics shaping the fashion world today. 

Tell us more about the NFTs at #Fashtag

You can purchase an NFT artwork by a local artist, experience a phygital outfit at a fashion exhibition and even access your first NFT. The immersive Meta-Fashion Exhibit, #MADEINREALLIFE, is formed by bridging scenic digital illustrations with a setup in Raffles City. Eight different looks have been selected to be staged, each made up of a combination of digital and physical.  

About #FashTag by Daniel Boey

#FashTag explores the possibilities for fashion in an increasingly decentralised and digital post-pandemic world. It also celebrates sustainable, inclusive design, and champions the spirit of cross-border collaborations.