More than just the cross-fertilization of ramly burgers and portable water, ten of the most promising designers from our friendly neighbours across the causeway along with ten of our home-grown talents have come together under the roof of 20 By Two – Fashion Beyond Borders. Presented by FashionSpace and Tongue in Chic, two major advocators of budding local designers, 20 By Two is the product of a cross-cultural fashion exchange between Singapore and Malaysia, blending fashion, art and technology. The mirror retail events in both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will allow visitors to experience the latest collections, as well as purchase items from these designers using state of the art retail technology.

On their Singapore-end, 20 By Two are hosting their event at the Red Dot Design Museum from the 6th – 8th September. The Red Dot Design Museum, the only of its kind in Asia, exhibits a range of award-winning products, aiming to educate in the field of quality product design. For those who were unable to attend or who have missed their opportunity, 20 By Two will also be at Publika Mall in Kuala Lumpur from the 14th – 16th September. Additionally, they have just launched a webstore (www.20bytwo.com), which will remain open till 31st October 2012.

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Featuring a mix of promising designers from both countries, such as: tj (totally jut), By Invite Only, Al&Alicia, Alia Bastaman, Justin Yap and multi-label online emporium, h’muse, the event provides a comprehensive platform for these designers to showcase their current collections both online and in a pop-up retail space. With the support of Tongue in Chic, a platform that aims to help create a buzz for creatives in the South East Asian fashion industry, it is hoped that more designers from the region may come together to communicate with each other in a commercial environment.

Buyers can expect to see a mix of casual wear for men and women, alongside outfits and accessories for a slightly more special occasion. The sensible and specially-sourced Japanese organic cotton of Al&Alicia is offered under the same roof as the dramatic and sensual silk chiffons of Alia Bastaman – guaranteeing that you won’t want to walk out of the event empty-handed.

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Speaking to many of the designers present at 20 By Two, one can really see how recent advances in technology have changed the way the fashion industry operates today. Malaysian designer Justin Yap, despite the bespoke nature of his clothing line, has in his pipelines, plans to sell his inaugural collection of vibrant Jim Thompson silk sandals online. Even though his patrons generally prefer a more tactile and direct approach to purchasing from his label, he feels that social media has certainly allowed for the opportunity to enable him connect to his customers more directly and intimately, as well as to expand his clientele via Facebook and Twitter.

For Singaporean designer Terry Yeo of totally jut, the emergence of the multitude of blogshops has certainly increased competition in the e-retailing arena. However, he welcomes it, setting his casual wear line apart with well-cut garments produced in high quality washing machine-friendly fabrics.

Beautiful quartz accessories that bring to mind celestial bodies by the talented By Invite Only

Beautiful quartz accessories that bring to mind celestial bodies by the talented By Invite Only

However, with so many brands currently on the online retail market, how does one even begin? Online publishing platform, Fashionspace, allows for the discovery and curation of the latest trends, products and brands from retailers around the world all from the comfort of a tablet or smartphone. Merchants can easily upload their products to be published on e-publications such as blogs, which link to direct purchases, allowing for ease of procurement by shoppers, thus creating a seamless, interactive experience for users.

The event has really highlighted a new era in the local fashion market and hopefully, with more such events, designers in Asia would be able to successfully reach out to a global range of customers and collectively work together to put their own stamp in the realm of the world wide web.

The Singapore-leg of 20 By Two – Fashion Beyond Borders is located at the Red Dot Design Museum, 28 Maxwell Road, from 6th – 8th September. The Malaysia event will be held at Publika Mall, Jalan Dutamas 1, Kuala Lumpur,  from 14th – 16th September. For more information about the event and the designers, as well as to purchase online, check out www.20bytwo.com