Festival Director of the highly-successful Singapore Fashion Festival (SFF) 2008, Tjin LEE, owns one of the most popular marketing communications companies in Singapore, Mercury Marketing. Mercury Marketing and Communications specializes in handling high-end luxury lifestyle brands and Miss Lee has worked with various global brands like Nokia and Porsche.
For this interview, this newly-wed fashionista spends some of her precious time with us to talk about her points-of-view for SFF and provide us with an insight on the behind-the-scenes of the festival.
FULL NAME: Tjin Lee
PLACE OF BIRTH: Singapore
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Singapore
EDUCATION: Singapore and Canada
With this year's successful SFF now over, what luxurious indulgence would you like to reward yourself with?
I would love a full week off in a beautiful villa in Bali or Phuket, with no mobile phone, just spa pampering sessions and cosy dinners with friends. Time is truly the greatest luxury there
Any jaw-dropping OMG-crazy surprises that happened during this festival?
A million! Designers that fall ill; Supermodels that have DIVA moments; Creative Directors re-designing entire sets and giving us 3 hours to turnaround a theatre style set for 800 guests into a lounge party for 500 guests; Over-enthusiastic turnouts of more than a thousand guests for certain shows... But it's all part of the experience and excitement of that is uniquely FF (Fashion Festival).
For an event of this magnitude, what are the must-haves and must-dos to make it a huge success?
Private VIP hosting areas: we had 2 mezzanines in our Tent and a welcome foyer that could fit 250); A backstage office to catch 40 winks in between the more than 20 shows in the tent; Supermodel/ Designer VIP lounges and an elevated catwalk so all 800 guests can have a clear view.
Tell us more about the selection process for local and foreign designers. And how was the scheduling of events planned?
For 2008, we selected an international panel of designers and labels that would add world-class glamour to the festival and position Singapore as Asia's premium shopping hub. We showcased top international designers such as Matthew Williamson from London, Izumi Ogino of Anteprima, Carlos Miele from Brazil, Kevin Carrigan from ck Calvin Klein New York as well as iconic Singapore designers Tan Yoong and Thomas Wee. Bringing fashion to a wide audience, we also featured international Singapore labels such as alldressedup and RAOUL.
When is the next SFF scheduled to take place?
FF runs in March/ April each year, to showcase the Spring/Summer collections which are more relevant to our tropical weather.
What about your PR Company's projects, what other exciting things can we can look forward to from Mercury?
Look out for Cortina Watch Jewellery Time 2008 ~ a 10-day luxury watch showcase in Paragon featuring 16 of the world's most prestigious brands such as Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Chopard, Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin and more. Mercury also recently organized the Porsche Carrera Cup event where a convoy of 100 Porsches drove through Orchard Road to get to The Padang for the celebration. One of my favourite parties this year took place on the rooftop of the Swissotel Helipad when EA Games celebrated the move of their regional headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore.
What do you envision for the future of local PR and Event consultancies?
Singapore has the potential to be a creative hub for PR and Events companies in the region. We have high standards of production, innovative and original ideas, run events with professionalism and integrity.
Most importantly, we are creative and produce world-class events, being exposed to so many cosmopolitan influences being at the crossroads of East and West as Singapore is. Mercury has already handled events in Indonesia and Malaysia, where we were flown out to add our creative expertise and high standards of production to regional events.
Final question, who is your favourite Asian designer?
Singapore's own Tan Yoong--he designed my wedding gown, and Qiu Hao from China.