Photo credit: THE FRONT ROW 2021

Pushing inclusivity to The Front Row of the fashion industry

The virtual fashion festival, which is back for its second year, aims to keep up the ongoing conversation about inclusivity in fashion.

Gabriel Choo

Published: 10 September 2021, 5:03 PM

Tall, skinny women and toned, slim men.

These are just some words that most people would use to describe models who strut down the runways at fashion shows. However, Singapore’s very own definitive virtual fashion festival is looking to change this very stereotype.

Back for its second year, The Front Row 2021 (TFR), which began on Aug 27, offers a new realm of digital fashion in a 360-degree 3D fashion village where everyone gets front row seats in the comfort of their own homes. Viewers will be able to watch and re-watch fashion shows they love anytime and anywhere. 

Supported by Singapore Tourism Board’s Kickstart Fund, TFR will feature special collaborations with jewellery brand Marilyn Tan Jewellery and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. 

Inclusive and sustainable fashion

More importantly, TFR, which runs until end-October, aims to keep up the ongoing conversation about inclusivity in fashion especially given the global discourses about race and gender representation.

This includes the showcase of more gender-neutral clothes, as well as hiring a diverse range of people regardless of age, size or skin colour. 

“Inclusivity is about empowerment, and providing design options for everyone,” Daniel Boey, founder of TFR, told Youthopia.

“We want to give individuals the opportunity to influence and make contributions to the (fashion) industry that are consistent with their beliefs and backgrounds.” 

The festival also highlights the need for sustainability in fashion. This includes issues such as the need for supply chain transparency, having fair wages, being conscious about production practices and using environmentally friendly materials. 

“We hope that through TFR, people will take ownership of their fashion choices and become responsible consumers,” said Daniel. 

“Everyone needs to be able to find a place in fashion and see themselves being represented equally and fairly, so that we can have an exceptional community where nobody would be left feeling like they are not ‘in the circle’”.

This year, TFR spotlights the latest designs from 10 homegrown brands and eight international fashion labels. This includes MAX.TAN, Olive Ankara and Shirt Number White.



Local brands leading the way

For local fashion brand In Good Company (IGC), their emphasis this year is for people to own clothes that have been designed to last and will be practical enough for innumerable occasions.

“Our brand seeks to expand on the growing need for comfort in uncompromising style,” said a spokesperson from IGC. 

At TFR, IGC will launch their latest selection of pieces that creates a seemingly effortless wardrobe while creating a space for consumer knowledge. 

“What is good for the future of the fashion industry is for the entire process of design and dressmaking to be pushed into the limelight rather than just the end result,” IGC added.

Meanwhile, for local brand Tria The Label (TTL), this year’s TFR has proven to be a great opportunity for them to be more creative with their work while being more diverse at the same time.

TTL will be working with fresh faces that have unique charisma and individual styles. They have hunted for models that represent a more diverse point of view with a different perspective of beauty. 

“Representation matters and this should be approached with sincerity and sensitivity,” a spokesperson from TTL told Youthopia.

TTL added that it is looking to continue evolving to become more diverse – be it in terms of creative collaborators, business partners, models or suppliers.



The faces of TFR are also excited to be part of such a revolution in the fashion industry. This year’s faces include Singapore supermodel Diya Prabhakar, as well as models Lisa Van Duren, Alexis Cooke and Srri Raam. 

However, it is virtual influencer Rae, who has over 500,000 followers collectively on Instagram and Weibo, that changes the game. In a move towards online fashion, TFR digitally created Rae to embody the latest development in digital trends and content creation. 

“I represent the reality of millennials. The world is a canvas for our imagination. Some may say I’m not real, but what’s real anyway, and whose reality is it?” said Rae, who recently collaborated with singer Benjamin Kheng on her first music video. 

“To me, real beauty is all about accepting who we are and being comfortable in our own skin. I believe in living fearlessly and pursuing the beauty of my own reality, drawn from my experiences and the hybrid reality I exist in.” 

Check out The Front Row 2021 here: 

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