December 22, 2023
SINGAPORE – Paris-based celebrity fashion designer Andrew Gn will be drawing the curtains on his namesake label after 28 years in the industry.
In an announcement posted to his Instagram page on Dec 20, the 59-year-old Singaporean veteran said he will be bidding “au revoir” to fashion after producing more than 80 collections and 10,000 pieces.
In his farewell note, he thanked all the women who have loved his work, among whom he can count Catherine, Princess of Wales; Queen Rania of Jordan; and American pop stars Lady Gaga and Beyonce.
“All this would not have been accomplished without the fantastic team behind me all along,” he added.
In May, Gn became the first Singaporean designer to be honoured with a retrospective at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM).
On show were more than 160 pieces he donated to the museum to enter the national collection – among them the emerald dress worn by the Princess of Wales for a ceremony in London in 2023.
It marked the first time she had appeared in a garment designed by a Singaporean at a public event.
Speaking to Vogue Runway from his studio in the French capital, Gn said the upcoming Christmas holiday will be the first he can enjoy without fretting about the fashion calendar’s January or February showings.
In retirement, he will also be able to celebrate his 60th birthday and – for the first time since he arrived in Paris in the 1990s – spend Chinese New Year with his family.
“In that sense, this timing is a great blessing,” he said.
Still, he struck a teasing note in his farewell post, saying: “This is not an adieu, but an au revoir, the beginning of a new chapter of my life.”
Gn’s ACM retrospective, Fashioning Singapore And The World, will open in the United States in 2025, at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
Discussions are also under way to establish a foundation in Singapore to display his work and help new generations of local designers find their paths.
Gn is the youngest of six siblings and grew up in Hougang. His enchantment with fashion began in his childhood.
Speaking to The Straits Times in May, he recalled that his merchant father would bring home beautiful fabrics – shantung silk and batik – that his mother would take to a tailor to be transformed into qipao and suits.
After completing his national service, he left Singapore to study fashion at renowned design school Central Saint Martins in London.
With a loan from his father, he set up his very own fashion house in Paris in 1995.
By the late 1990s, his garments were displayed in the double windows of cult Parisian boutique Colette, where they appeared for three consecutive Paris fashion weeks, launching him onto red carpets and into starry closets.