The fashion scene in Singapore is like Peter Dinklage - diminutive in stature but has checked off more accomplishments than most counterparts twice his size. We too can have industry luminaries grace Fashion Week! So can we have our Raoul dresses in the closet of the Duchess of Cambridge.

But at the elementary level fashion is consecrated by a daily slew of Instagram photos, OOTD hash tags in tow, and civvies parading a daily rotation of e-tailer threads one might deem to be in vogue. The point being that we have a party of zealots who are of enormous value to the local fashion ecosystem. Which brings me to Get FASH, a local venture that’s building pathways to acquaint fashion merchants with their style-minded consumers.

Get FASH runs weekly themed style contests and you either join as a contestant, or a voter if you’re content to watch the action from the sidelines. Each week there are prizes from the sweet high street - shopping vouchers from brands like Topshop and Adidas. I sat down to coffee with Get FASH’s co-founder Gerald a couple of weeks ago, and we had a chat about the joys and perils of starting a fashion venture, an upcoming collaboration and (surprise, surprise!) our mutual love for fashion. That's him below!
Gerald Tan, Co-Founder and CEO of Get FASH
R: How and why did you start Get FASH?
G: There are lots of creative and stylish people in the streets. And we wanted them to be discovered by fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. So that gave us the vision to build a platform where fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands could connect with consumers at a much deeper level.

I met my co-founder Lucius last year and after a lot of planning, we started Get FASH. We got an early-stage investment in April 2015 and that helped us hire an iOS mobile developer for our upcoming mobile app.

R: Is there a certain gap in the fashion sphere you felt Get FASH could fill?
G: We wanted something really unique that would provide value to two major stakeholders in the fashion sphere - consumers and merchants.

For fashion consumers, we found lots of platforms reminiscent of Instagram that allows users to post pictures of their outfits, follow people and occasionally buy stuff. These are great, but we wanted to inject fun and excitement into the sharing and discovering of styles and trends. That's how the idea of themed #OOTD contests came about. 

For fashion brands, we want to help connect them with an active audience passionate about style. Each contest is a platform for brands to build brand & product awareness. 

R: And how do these brands get involved in the weekly Get FASH contests?
G: They share style tips, serve as contest judges, and offer our users promos to enjoy the products they offer, which helps them establish brand credibility. We ensure that there is only one brand sponsoring each contest, which gives them category exclusivity when connecting with our audience.

R: What's the response to Get FASH been like? 
G: Thanks to our early adopters, the response has been great so far. While our focus is on product improvement, we’ve managed to reach 1000 users after launching the web app for 2 months.We’ve used feedback from our conversations with users to build a list of upcoming features. The contest mechanics have been reiterated to be more fair and style focused. 

R: What have some of the popular contest themes been?
G: The popular themes so far have been denim wear, floral, and monochrome (this one is a hot favorite). We realized that it's critical for us to have the theme properly detailed and specified for the contestants and voters. We've also tried and failed certain themes, so we are still learning along the way.

R: How does the Get FASH roadmap for the coming months look? Are there any updates planned?
G: The most exciting thing on the list is the launch of our iOS application! The overall experience on the app is going to be much better because of the speed, customizable notifications, and instant accessibility. We've put in a lot of effort to make sure the app looks and performs great. There will also be a Style Discovery feed where users can browse and engage with photos from all the earlier contests. 

R: Who are some of the judges you work with for each contest?
G: Most of the judges are founders and owners of fashion blogshops who live and breathe fashion. Nathanael, the co-founder of local fashion brand, MASHUP has also judges a few contests. Kovit, a renowned local stylish who works with top international brands, has been a judge on Get FASH too.

R: What is life like outside of Get FASH for you?
G: Get FASH is my day job and it takes up most of my time. I work about 10 to 15 hours during weekdays and about 4 to 6 hours on the weekends.

I'm an avid gym guy so I hit the weights about 3 times a week. I use my traveling time to read biographies. My favorite ones so far are on Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. Occasionally I play the guitar and of course, shop for clothes!

R: Who are some of your favorite style bloggers?
G: The ones who join the contests on Get FASH. ;)

R: What are your thoughts on the local fashion blogging scene?
G: There are seriously not enough guys doing it!

Visit Get FASH here and join their upcoming contest Check(ered) Me Up, beginning Friday 24 July.
Top images courtesy of Goh Cai Yun, Joycelyn Thiang and Samantha Mikaela.

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