Harper’s Bazaar recently got with local designer Danelle Woo of Aijek, who recently showcased her collection on the Singapore Fashion Week runway.
Here’s what she has to say about being a working mum, the uniqueness of her brand, and more.
How jarring was the shift from PR to design? What was the hardest thing to adapt to?
Starting fresh became a part of my life at every city I moved to. Somehow it felt natural to progress from PR to become an inexperienced designer and business owner.
In fact, it was quite refreshing! I remember falling asleep on my work desk frequently in Shanghai while being awoken by cries of my baby son was who a year old then. Being a domesticated mum with no help while starting a business I had no idea of was a real test for me.
How do you think your brand stands out from other local brands?
Aijek’s has always been about dressing the everyday woman. She’s not a size zero. She is a working mum, a wife, a boss, a friend, a superhero. We want to give her a no-fail dress that is sharp, feminine and works for her body.
What are the pros and cons of being a self-taught designer?
I come from an everyday woman viewpoint and think about what I want to wear season after season, juggling the life and family I have.
It was a tough road learning from making mistakes because I had to be self-reliant in all aspects.
On hindsight, my lack of professional training forced me to learn from the ground up and I am somehow very grateful for it!
Do you have a favourite piece from your entire collection?
My absolute favorite is the Gelsey Sweetheart Maxi Dress.
I love the mix of feminine sweetheart neckline with its masculine structure. It’s a classic that I know I will keep in my wardrobe for years to come!
Has being an eco-friendly brand ever hindered you from your creative process?
We always opt for sustainable fabrics over synthetic fabrics given a choice. We prefer using silks, viscose, rayon, tencel and wool which are breathable and feel good in the hand.
However, there are limitations when the garment requires a different drape and structure that calls for a synthetic fabric.
Check out some of the designs that featured on her Singapore Fashion Week runway here.
By Ryan Sng, Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, October 2016