We all know someone who packs light for a holiday with plans to buy new outfits at their travel destination. Why? Because that’s how you expand your wardrobe with uniquely local designs you can’t get back home. Whether you’re a light packer or looking to spruce up your style, Singapore apparel brand, Elohim, is a gem to be discovered. Stylish and environmentally-friendly (all nature-lovers shout hooray!), we unveil the journey of this homegrown brand by speaking to Sabrina Goh, its founder. You’d want to note down some of the collections she recommends too, because a special treat awaits at the end of the article!
Elohim, the fashion label of every minimalist’s dreams
Sabrina was the finalist of Singapore Young Designer Contest in 2006 and 2007, and was winner of the ELLE Awards Singapore, Designer of the Year in 2010
Elohim may have been founded in 2009, but its idea was birthed much earlier in 2005 when Sabrina was still a college student. She knew it wouldn’t be easy starting her own label. If she ran head-first into the business without knowing how to run one properly, it may not have grown so quickly from a one-rack space in a multi-label store, to the 870sqft boutique it is today.
“It’s important to first gain industry knowledge and learn more about the behind-the-scenes of creating a label and production methods. So, after I graduated, I worked at several fashion companies as a fashion designer before I started my own brand,” Sabrina says.
As an architectural draughtsman’s daughter, Sabrina constantly draws inspiration from architectural forms and minimalist shapes. But when it comes to what her brand is deeply rooted in, she asserts:
“The word ‘Elohim’ is Hebrew for God of creativity, the creator of the universe. That’s what inspires the brand!”
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going
Despite the challenges, Elohim made a striking appearance at the Fashion Futures 2015 X Singapore Fashion Week
With every success, however, there’s a story of perseverance and resilience. After some years of setting up her label, Sabrina hit rock bottom, but that didn’t stop her from getting right back up.
“We thought of giving up sometime in 2012 because the business had been stagnant, and we couldn’t get a breakthrough for quite a while. But we soon realised that we needed to renew our minds, in the sense that the same vision that started this business, could also kill it. So, we decided to go out of our comfort zones and bring our brand overseas — and we ended up learning a lot from doing that.”
With all that was learnt from expanding into overseas markets, Sabrina found that they were exposed to opportunities they never dared to dream about before!
“We opened our first store in Orchard Central and started exporting our collections to overseas stores in New York, New Zealand, Korea and more! We also started to showcase the brand on various platforms, both locally and internationally. We were part of the Singapore Fashion Week and several overseas showcases in New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai, and we truly appreciate all the support that have been shown to us over the years.”
So, what’s in store for you?
Complete your outfit with accessories such as sunglasses and clutch bags at Elohim
When you think of Singaporean designs, do you think of the Merlion, orchids (Singapore’s national flower), or iconic buildings like the Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade? While you won’t find any of those at Elohim, you’ll be pleasantly greeted with quality and style — something Sabrina believes to be a reflection of the modern-day women.
“I see ‘local’ with a cosmopolitan touch — what local people wear and how they live in a modern Singapore that is diverse and forward-thinking. We create designs that are for the everyday women, practical but at the same time unique with an edge.”
Inspired yet? Try out these outfits recommended by Sabrina if you like being edgy yet stylish. They’re comfortable and effortlessly chic while exuding a confidence that is powerful and feminine at the same time.
Sabrina recommends a limited-edition Star Wars outfit, an oversized Viola shirt dress or a timeless Sue flair dress to beat the island-heat in style
Beyond fashion, Sabrina also believes in playing her part for Mother Nature — a definite plus point when shopping in this day and age. While one man (or woman) may not be able to make a huge difference, every bit of effort counts.
“We hope for a better eco world and focus on implementing the use of natural fibres and eco-friendly textiles to our designs in recent years. It’s more practical for our warm climate and also for the good of the globe!"
And there’s more to come
Elohim’s second store will be opened at Paragon in November 2018
Elohim has indeed enjoyed many breakthroughs over the years, but it’s not over for them as the team continues to strive for greater things.
“We are going to collaborate with Disney for Mickey’s 90th birthday celebration! A capsule collection will be launched in December 2018 and we’ll also be opening a second store in Orchard Road soon!”
From a college dream to collaborating with the most magical of brands — Disney, Elohim has established quite a name for itself over the years. If you’re in town and looking to get yourself a new, chic outfit — that’s eco-friendly to boot — to strut the streets of Singapore, Elohim by Sabrina Goh is located on the second floor of Capitol Piazza. Their ready-to-wear collections also make for great gifts if you have friends or family members back home who love modern, structural and minimal designs — just remember to leave enough space in your luggage for the shopping loot!
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