Titled – Heads of State Millinery, winner, Ms Chee Sau Fen’s idea focuses on taking lead in providing statement hat and headdresses pieces using sustainable materials and design to communicate eco and social responsibility in fashion.
Since her win, Sau Fen has registered a holding company, Haberdasherie, which owns the trademark for Heads of State Millinery. She was advised by Mercatus Capital, a venture incubator, who was represented by Harry Heng, Executive Director of Mercatus Capital, as a panel of judge at Pitch It!. Mercatus Capital started a 100-day incubation programme in July 2011 with Sau Fen where she had weekly discussions and guidance on various aspects of the business, including pricing, branding strategy, target markets, potential partnerships, production processes.
Following Pitch It!, Sau Fen participated in a sustainable fashion competition where she also emerged as a winner. She was subsequently awarded with fashion industry training grant support from Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and Textile & Fashion Industry Training Centre (TaF.tc) to develop her industry knowledge and skills for her growing business.
Having also participated in AOTE’s lead up programme in Cebu in March 2012, Sau Fen was linked up with Anthill, a Cebuano social enterprise network, where she attained her supply of unique raw material – Abaca, and group of sewers from villages of Cebu, to start production on one of Heads of State Millinery’s line.
Visit Heads of State Millinery official Facebook page for more information.
About Heads of State Millinery
At the heart of the concept for Heads of State Millinery is sustainability. Fashion is often deemed frivolous and worse the industry has a trail of bad press in environmental and human rights issues. Fashion as an image problem! It is also an ethical problem. Seemingly, it appears as an industry that makes its profits from encouraging mindless and excessive consumption without regard for the environment or human treatment. But fashion can also inform, uplift, inspire and transform communities too. There are already those in the industry who have begun to do serious work in sustainable fashion and we are gathering momentum.
Heads of State Millinery aims to take the lead in providing statement headgear made from sustainable sources. At the same time, we use the visibility of these statement pieces to effectively communicate the importance of eco and social responsibility. With this purpose in mind, we work closely together with the keepers of craft traditions in their native lands, through innovative design, we create products that inspire consumers and connect them to our precious handcraft heritage.
Heads of State Millinery for Max Tan Pre-Spring 2013
At Audi Fashion Festival 2012
ABOUT HoS Creator
Chee Sau Fen is an award-winning designer, earning recognition for her art in the fashion industry that explores issues on sustainability. Applying radical redesign to the art of hat making, she aims to create fresh applications for regional indigenous craft traditions. Working with materials and inspirations from nature, her hats highlight the beauty of overlooked natural raw materials and recyclables, addressing ecological concerns overhanging the fashion industry today.
Sau Fen is the winner of Pitch It! – an Asia-wide competition for new creative enterprise concepts held during Asia On The Edge, organised by Asian Culture Enterprise Singapore (26 June 2011). She is also the winner of the first sustainable fashion design competition, Fashionably Sustainable, organised by Textile and Fashion Federation, TaFf (1 September 2011). When she was shortlisted into the final round of the Fashionably Sustainable fashion design competition as the only self-taught designer, the staff and board of directors at TaFf deliberated and resolved to help support her creative work by awarding her with two scholarships to undertake her Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising & Marketing Diplomas with TaFf’s training arm – TaF.tc.
Recent achievements include:
Commissioned by the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) at College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales to design a sustainable statement millinery creation for HRH The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. The hat titled “After Thaarup”, in memory of the late millinery legend from Denmark, Aage Thaarup, a pioneer in radical hat design. It was presented as a gift to HRH The Crown Princess on 20 November 2011 in conjunction with Curating Cities, a sustainable art project by NIEA.
Presented her Heads of State Millinery hats in Audi Fashion Festival on 19 May 2012 as part of cutting edge local fashion designer, Max Tan’s 2013 Pre-Spring collection. The hats were hand-draped and sewn by Sau Fen from ethically sourced hand loomed abaca tribal fabric from the Philippines. She is working with partners there to revive the endangered weaving tradition in the villages.