28-year-old designer, Rayson Tan, started making accessories in 2006 as a hobby. Since then, he has created L’ILE AUX ASHBY, a commercial label that is now making waves around the globe from Korea and Japan to France.
L’ILE AUX ASHBY will be holding its first pop-up store in Singapore to showcase its Prodigy of Colors Pre-Spring 2013 collection. The pop-up store will also feature five collaborations inspired by Prodigy of Colors. These include:
- A street photography showcase by John of StreetPeek (featuring Rana of bonjoursingapore.com, Lenne of aetienne.net and Nathanael of local label MASH-UP)
- Nail art by Rebecca Chuang of Secret Chamber Nails
- Art installations by illustrators Izziyana Suhaimi, Herman Yap and online webzine, Couture Troopers
The public is invited to the pop-up store on 14 July 2012 (Saturday) at 59 Eng Hoon Street #01-55 Singapore 160069.
L’ILE AUX ASHBY is also holding a private launch event on 13 July 2012 (Friday). To win a pair of invitations, click here to send an email with your name and contact number, stating “Ticket win: July 13 private launch” as your email subject.
We caught up with this PARCO next NEXT alumnus ahead of his Pre-Spring 2013 launch to get the inside scoop on how his brand has developed and grown.
My apparel and accessories are designed to be an extension of the wearer, handcrafted to enhance a wearer’s personality.
I use a lot of geometrical shapes, acrylic resin and bright colors in all my collections.
How has your label grown since it started at PARCO next NEXT?
I started out with PARCO next NEXT in April 2010 and it’s where my roots are because that is where L’ILE AUX ASHBY took off. I am very honoured to have been included in the incubator programme’s pioneering batch of designers because I was part of the revival of interest in homegrown designers. It was exciting to collectively work towards a common goal of elevating the stature of local design and watch our following grow.
The mentorship that I received from my creative mentor, Grace Tan of Kwodrent, during my time at PARCO next NEXT helped me evolve a lot – both as a designer and businessman. She is an experienced fashion designer, an efficient businesswoman, a lecturer and has even done art exhibitions and collaboration projects overseas. I admire her drive and passion, which has led her to achieve a lot in various design fields. I hope to be like her one day, constantly improving myself and exploring new opportunities. She shaped me not just as a designer, but also as a person. I am now able to look at L’ILE AUX ASHBY with different perspectives and develop my label with a better understanding of branding and business, which is so important for longevity.
In the 6 years since I started my label, L’ILE AUX ASHBY has shown at various local and international events including London Fashion Week SS12 as part of the Z-Mode debut showcase. Earlier this year, I was also invited to be a part of the Born Designers showcase in France and Seoul Fashion Week FW12 in South Korea.
L’ILE AUX ASHBY also participated in the Asia Fashion Exchange’s BLUEPRINT tradeshow in Singapore in May 2012 where buyers from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Indonesia and Brazil have come knocking.
L’ILE AUX ASHBY has also been featured in publications including VOGUE Italia, Glamour UK, W Korea, Refinery29.com, VOGUE.COM and more. All this media coverage has slowly but surely helped build recognition for my brand name. The positive responses that my label continues to receive help spur me on and I hope to make a name for myself internationally while staying true to my Singaporean roots.
How has your brand been received in the different markets beyond Singapore?
L’ILE AUX ASHBY received positive reviews when we showed in Eastern and Western countries. This was especially true at tradeshows where buyers and fashion industry players had a chance to meet the label face-to-face.
Technology has made the world so much more connected and the barriers that used to hinder cross-border expansion are significantly lower. Thanks to social media and other online platforms, influences are much more easily transmitted across the globe with a few mouse clicks. This is especially beneficial for emerging designers like myself, as word gets out a lot faster, travels farther and opens up a lot more doors. None of this is automatic though. I reap the benefits when I put in the work to make sure I get my brand out there, continue creating fresh designs and engage my audience.
Which country left a lingering impression on you and why?
Of the countries I have visited, South Korea made a very big impression on me for its spirit and captivating pop culture. There is a distinct air of creative energy that exists there and it has inspired a lot of ideas that I’d like to explore and develop.
Of course, the other countries that I visited have all played a part in defining my work as I often find myself spellbound by the world around me. I am entirely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had overseas to showcase my brand.
What can we expect from L’ILE AUX ASHBY for Pre-Spring ‘13?
From geometric prints to chunky jewelry pieces, L’ILE AUX ASHBY has certainly come a long way. The upcoming Pre-Spring 2013 collection, Prodigy of Colors is replete with kooky accessories and warm psychedelic colors. Acrylic resin still takes precedence in the accessories but I throw brass and colorful gems into the mix, and you get a quirky statement piece that spark curiosity.
For my apparel pieces, look out for kaleidoscopic bold prints on shirts, leggings, scarves and bags.
5 things in your bag:
- Wallpaper* magazine: I don’t read this every month, but I do like to pick it up now and then to keep up with all the trends in every aspect of design.
- Notebook and pen: I am constantly inspired by the world and the sights I see around me so I keep these in my bag to jot down my thoughts and inspirations when I’m on the road.
- Wallet: This agnès b. wallet was a gift from my friends. I like that it is very compact.
- Words to Inspire: This book was a gift from a friend and it contains a collection of quotes that motivate and inspire. I read it in my free time.
- A L’ILE AUX ASHBY digital printed scarf: Similar to my name cards, I carry this scarf around as a physical representation of my brand.
Connect with designer Rayson Tan of L’ILE AUX ASHBY: