Priscilla Shunmugam

Priscilla Shunmugam

If you are one of the few who hasn't seen her on telly, seen the clothes she makes in a magazine or read that our tourism board thinks her fashion label has “the potential to lure travellers to Singapore”, well then, here's what you need to know about Priscilla Shunmugam — she's the hip new poster child for multicultural Asia and may just very well have enough drive and talent to keep our aesthetic traditions alive.

Born in Malaysia to a Chinese mother and an Indian father, Shunmugam came to Singapore for university (she read and later practised law) before buying a sewing machine and taking up courses at the London College of Fashion in the UK. Her clothes, like her varied background, are an exotic mix of cultural influences, where cheongsams are contemporised, kimono fabric paired with batik and architecture referenced in cuts and prints.

In two short years, her label Ong Shunmugam (which references the last names of both her parents) has presented at Paris Fashion Week, is stocked in New York's cult boutique Pixie Market, exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore and earned Shunmugam a nomination for the upcoming President's Design Award 2013.