Socially responsible fashion show is back
Twenty years ago, Mr Wong Cheok Hon won four medals as a swimmer at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in the United States.
Next month, he will be doing something completely different - modelling for the third edition of Singapore Fashion Runway.
The show on Aug 12, which will be held at *Scape at 2.30pm, is part of Fashion for a Social Cause, a programme that aims to train beneficiaries in skills such as modelling, sewing, designing and retail management. It will run from Aug 12 to Nov 11.
This year's fashion show will feature 80 designs from 18 local designers that will be modelled by 52 models, as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Baey Yam Keng, the show's guest of honour.
Thirty of these models, from organisations such as Club Rainbow, D'Artistes and Pathlight School, are chronically ill, disabled and special needs individuals.
Creative merchandise sewn by the elderly, underprivileged and special needs families will also be showcased at the Fashion Runway.
Mr Wong, 36, was diagnosed with Down syndrome as a baby. He has been singing and dancing for nearly 13 years with D'Artistes, an organisation that aims to provide benefits and welfare to children with special needs through performing arts.
His father, Mr Wong Hin Choy, 73, said programmes such as Singapore Fashion Runway are helpful as they help integrate people with special needs and the able-bodied. Another model, Mrs Leah Lampitoc, 41, was diagnosed with Stage 4 thymoma - a tumour - three years ago.
Said the interior designer: "I want to show how someone like me can handle stress in life and come out of it a positive and stronger person."
Conceived in 2015 by Ms Eileen Yap, 42, founder of local fashion label Noel Caleb, Singapore Fashion Runway aims to make the industry more inclusive and impactful.
Ms Yap said: "It is not just a fashion show. It is about the special bonds that everyone forms with one another through the preparations and activities, and seeing everyone grow and develop."
Apart from collecting funds through the sale of merchandise at Singapore Fashion Runway, a Give.asia campaign has also been set up. All proceeds will go to Fashion for a Social Cause.
A final fashion show will conclude the programme on Nov 11, where beneficiaries will showcase their own designs and merchandise.