Asian Couture Federation Set Up to Support Asian Couturiers
The Asian Couture Federation, a new private initiative, was officially launched on Monday, October 14, in Singapore at a gala dinner attended by several top couturiers in Asia, such as Guo Pei (China), Sebastian Gunawan (Indonesia), and Michael Cinco (Philippines).
The new federation was set up by Frank Cintamani, the chairman of FIDé Fashion Weeks and publisher of luxury fashion magazines. Cintamani has been a strong advocate for haute couture in the region, organizing the first French haute couture week in Singapore in 2011, and the aim of the self-financed, not-for-profit federation is to “nurture and support” Asian Couture, while providing “a common platform for the designers” to showcase their work, he said.
Loosely modeled after the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris, which protects French Haute Couture, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the new federation is overseen by a diverse board of directors that includes Kim Sung-Joo, chairperson of Sungjoo Group and owner of MCM, Satoshi Onuma, the former president of Bunka Fashion College, Japan’s leading fashion school, fashion designer Zio Song of South Korea’s menswear brand SONGZIO, and Kullawit Laosuksri, editor-in-chief of Vogue Thailand. Renowned Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada is the honorary president of the new federation and was in town to attend with the launch.
The Federation currently has a two-tiered membership: Senior Members and Invited Members with a third tier of Designer Members to follow. The Senior Members are Guo Pei, Sebastian Gunawan (Indonesia), Yumi Katsura (Japan), Junko Koshino (Japan), Lie Sang Bong (Korea), Michael Cinco, and Frederick Lee (Singapore). The invited members are Yoshiki Hishinuma (Japan), Keita Maruyama (Japan), and Vatit Itthi (Thailand).
Designer Members will be admitted after nomination by a membership subcommittee. It is yet unclear whether the Federation will be supporting the organization of regular Asian Couture weeks as in Paris.