Launched 10 years ago, the brand’s minimalist design takes its reference from a philosophical teaching of Mahatma Gandhi that says taking more than what is needed is equal to stealing.
Who’s behind it
After 16 years in the advertising industry, former creative group head of Ogilvy & Mather, Elyn Wong (above), started the label with no fashion training at all. “I wanted something to call my own; to have total creative control over. Something I could be proud of. Stolen satisfied my desire for vanity. It fed my insecurities while also keeping me real,” she says.
Why know it
Not everyone can work a plunging neckline or flaunt their midriff, but now the back is a whole different story. As the brand is influenced by architecture’s Brutalist movement, its designs are raw, structured, and not overtly sexy despite the backless detail. In a nutshell, Wong’s designs are business in the front, party in the back.
In addition, Stolen is one of three local labels (the other two being Aijek and max.tan) that are part of the Fashion Futures 2.0 programme created by Singapore Fashion Week in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The programme aims to help Singapore designers turn their brands into international names. With stores in the USA, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Kuwait already stocking its pieces, it’s high time this brand gets more recognition on the local front.
In October, the brand will mark a milestone when its stages its first fashion show at Singapore Fashion Week.
What to expect in SS17
The brand launches one main collection (Spring/Summer) every year, and for the upcoming collection (above), Wong sinks deeper into the exploration of dichotomies using an interplay of textures and materials. Heavy fabrics are fused with soft cloth and smooth surfaces are given texture. Strong architectural silhouettes are softened through the use of delicate flowing fabrics.
“The STOLEN woman is the ultimate paradigm of coexisting contrasts; at once vulnerable and strong, turbulent and calm. Beautiful in her simplicity, yet complex in her unmistakable allure,” explains Wong.
You’ll have to wait until March 2017 to experience the pieces, but her Spring/Summer 2016 collection, Ming (below), which was inspired by the remote Chinese village of Cuandixia, offers a refreshing look at traditional Chinese garments. Long silhouettes, straight-legged trousers, contrasting colours, elongated robes, Mao collars, and winged sleeves call to mind the costumes of Chinese Opera.
Where to buy
Nana & Bird (1 Yong Siak Street); Kapok (111 Middle Road); Soon Lee (73 Haji Lane); Trixilini (Scotts Square); and What Women Want (Mandarin Gallery). Go to: www.stolenstolen.myshopify.com for international locations.
Like this? Check out Stolen’s new diffusion line White, and see why new Singapore label Rye is a minimalist label you’ll fall hard for.