|Founder(s)||Jo Soh (Designer)|
hansel womenswear blends a sense of quirky playfulness with understated minimalism. Hailing from Singapore, designer Jo Soh pulls together unexpected elements, creating highly wearable pieces that suit spunky, confident women who can’t help standing out in a crowd. hansel reflects her modern and unique take on retro-inspired styles, featuring her signature love for juxtaposing strong and subtle shades. With strong fine arts background, Jo also creates and develops hand-drawn prints that have added a distinctive edge to the label.
After graduating with 1st class Honours in Fashion Design with Marketing from the renowned Central St. Martins in London, Jo honed her skills working with designers around the globe. She sewed haute couture garments for Tristan Webber in London, and had assignments in Milan, New York and Singapore. In addition, she has freelanced as a stylist and an illustrator, and taught in fashion design colleges in Singapore. Jo especially loved her one-time stint as a pre-school art teacher.
hansel, named after her beloved Jack Russell Terrier (a stray puppy she rescued off the streets) made its impressive debut at the Mercedes Australian Fashion Week in November 2003. Since then, hansel has garnered many accolades and won many fans. The label - has been carried in hip boutiques in Japan, Australia, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur - regularly gets glowing reviews in the local and international press. Prestigious international newspaper The Wall Street Journal featured Jo’s breakthrough in putting hansel on the global stage; London-based online trends watchdog WGSN.com described Jo as a “total original” while The Sydney Morning Herald praised the label for being “ultra modern and fresh”. Influential design and lifestyle magazine Wallpaper* endorsed hansel as a hot brand to know in their annual “Secret Elite” label directory in 2007 and 2008, while Monocle magazine placed Jo amongst the Top Five Fashion Designers in the Singapore Survey 2009.
hello hansel, a diffusion line by hansel, made its debut in February 2011. Focusing on highly wearable weekend pieces with bold prints, bright hues and easy-to-wear fabrics, hello hansel identifies itself as a youthful, vibrant and playful casualwear label.
hansel’s design consultancy arm was set up to provide design and styling services to both individuals and corporate clients. The hansel Design Consultancy has been commissioned to design uniforms and merchandise for various reputable firms, including DBS Bank, Maybelline New York and the Lexus Cup.
Venturing beyond womenswear, hansel has been invited to create products such as printed scarves for Her World Singapore Magazine and printed tote bags for Elle Singapore magazine.
hansel has dressed stars such as:
• American pop star Katy Perry. Katy was spotted wearing hansel during her Australian tour.
• Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama. Miss Kuriyama is best known in her role as the schoolgirl bodyguard, Gogo Yubari, in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and also for her role in the Japanese film Battle Royale.
• Acclaimed indie all-girl quartet from Los Angeles, Warpaint.
• All-girl pop band The Veronicas. They were spotted wearing hansel during their Australian tour.
• Kiwi actress Emily Barclay. Emily attended the 2006 Cannes Film Festival in a hansel dress.
• International movie star Rose Byrne.
• Danish musician Sanne Gottlieb. Sanne wore hansel in her official music video, “Creeping Over Me".
• MTV Australia host Ruby Rose and MTV Asia host Denise Keller.
• Singaporean actress Fann Wong. Fann was the first Singaporean actress to break into Hollywood, playing Chon Lin in the 2003 film Shanghai Knights, starring alongside Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.
• Singapore MediaCorp actresses Felicia Chin, Vivian Lai, Jade Seah, Cynthia Koh, Michelle Chia, Sylvia Ratonel, FLY Entertainment artistes Nikki Muller and Jacqueline Chow, and Australian model and actress Tara Rushton.
Jo’s designs have captured the eye of industry critics who hail her as rising star with the following awards and nominations:
• Winner - I-S Readers’ Choice Awards Singapore for 2012 and 2011: Favourite Local Fashion Brand
• Winner - Perspective magazine Hong Kong “40 under 40” 2011 Awards: Fashion category.
• Winner - Best of 2010 Awards, Juice magazine, Singapore: Best Fashion Designer.
• Winner - ELLE Awards 2009: Singaporean Designer of the Year.
• Winner - Juice Singapore magazine Best of 2008 Awards: The Golden Needle Award
• Winner - The Singapore Women’s Weekly Great Women of Our Time Awards 2006: Design & Style.
• Winner - Singapore Fashion Awards 2004: FRESH Designer Label of the Year.