Ashley Isham – Singapore born Fashion Designer and London-Based Fashion Label.
Exquisitely Tailored and Draped Womenswear Since 2000
View Ashley Isham Fashion collections on London Fashion Review Blog
An Introduction to the Ashley Isham Brand
Fashion Designer Ashley Isham
Born Eshamuddin Ismail in Singapore, fashion designer Ashley Isham was brought up in a conservative Malay household. He would often observe and help his seamstress mother’s sewing. From the age of 12 he began making his own clothes due to his dissatisfaction with the limited designs in local shops. With a desire to see snow, Isham left his native Singapore moving to Amsterdam.
In 1996, Ashley Isham left the Netherlands for London to pursue a career in fashion. Isham studied pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion and later applied for a place on the fashion design course at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Unfortunately, the applications process for the course had closed three months earlier and the first semester of the course had just begun. Luckily for Isham he managed to impress the school’s director with his portfolio and he started the course the same day. He continued his fashion education at Middlesex sponsored by the Swiss investment bank, Substantia Invest AG after his designs had caught the eye of one of the bank’s executives.
In 2000, Isham set up his namesake fashion label and created his first womenswear collection that same year. In November of 2000, Isham’s debut collection launched via an “off-schedule” presentation during London Fashion Week at his studio apartment in London. The collection received critical acclaim and in 2003, Ashley Isham was accepted to show his collections during the “on-schedule” presentations of London Fashion Week.
Since then the Ashley Isham label has gone from strength to strength and continues to show its seasonal collections at London Fashion Week. The brand regularly features in the fashion press being seen on the pages of Tatler, Grazia, OK and Elle. As of 2011, the brand was available in the Ashley Isham standalone store and some of the finest boutiques throughout the globe including Moscow’s Machiavelli, Beijing’s Javece and Qatar’s Glamour.
Ashley Isham: Key Dates
- 1995: Ashley Isham leaves his native Singapore for Amsterdam and the following year travels to London to study pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion.
- 2000: Ashley Isham founds his namesake fashion label and debuts his collection via an “off-season” presentation during London Fashion Week to critical acclaim.
- 2002: : Isham opens a fashion boutique Aquaint with the aim of supporting other young designers and to promote fashion talent The brand attracts major attention of the media when Zara Phillips was pictured wearing Ashley Isham at Royal Ascot.
- 2003: The Ashley Isham collection shows for the first time during the “on-schedule” presentations at London Fashion Week.
- 2004: Isham was selected to be the official designer of the prestigious BAFTA Awards, where he dressed the likes of Keira Knightly and Angelina Jolie. Also this year, Ashley Isham received sponsorship to show his collection at the Singapore Fashion Festival, which he would do again in 2006 and 2008. Finally, the Ashley Isham label opens its second boutique on London’s Conduit Street.
- 2005: An Ashley Isham gown features on the 100th issue of the British travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveller.
- 2007: Isham receives the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award for his achievements in the fashion industry – at the time he was the youngest ever recipient of the award.
- 2008: The Ashley Isham flagship boutique is opened in Singapore’s Fullerton Hotel.
- 2009: The brand collaborates with Lee Hwa Jewellery to create a jewellery line that is featured on the Ashley Isham catwalk presentations that same year. Also this year Ashley put his design on over 100,000 commemorative bottles and one million cans of Coca-Cola light for the Audi Fashion Festival held in Singapore in May. Additionally, the limited-edition mobile straps that Isham designed for the Samsung Ultra Touch mobile phone were auctioned online to raise funds for the Go Red For Women Campaign, an initiative by the Singapore Heart Foundation.
- 2011: Ashley Isham concept store opens in Orchard Cenral, Singapore.
Aesthetic of the Ashley Isham Brand
The Ashley Isham label is known for his signature feminine draping, strong body-con tailoring and South-East Asian motifs and detailing inspired by his heritage. Isham’s distinctive blend of high-octane glamour and contemporary styling has won him an army of celebrity followers including Florence Welch, Christina Aguilera, Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole, Erin O’Connor, Camilla Rutherford, Shinghai Shoniwa (of the Noisettes), Pixie Lott and Lady Gaga.
Visit the official Ashley Isham website here.