In the annals of Singapore fashion, Thomas Wee stands among the greats. Self-taught and continuously creative, Wee has been build a distinctive style for close to forty years now. Coming into public notice in 1978 when he was a finalist in the first Young Fashion Designer Contest organized by Her World magazine, he has since been part of many milestones that forged to place Singapore on the world fashion map: as part of the “The Magnificent Seven”, selected by the Trade Development Board to exhibit and showcase Singapore designs in Tokyo and Osaka in 1980 and Paris in 1981 and 1982. He has represented our city in ‘The Best of Asian Designers’, ‘The Best of Best’ and ‘The Premier Designer Show’ throughout much of the Eighties. Wee has continually been invited to present his collections and has shown in major Asian cities during their respective fashion weeks.
He opened his first high-end boutique in 1983 and three years later started Mixables, the first true career wear line for women in Singapore by a Singaporean designer. The success of Mixables led to other sub-lines, including Pretá and Sino, and a bridal gown label Made in Heaven. Considered the master of precision tailoring, he would be dubbed by the press as the “King of Jacket”, and is today still recognized for his consummate pattern-making, impeccable workmanship, and technical innovations. In 1991, The Straits Times selected Thomas Wee as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Wee took an eleven-year hiatus, from 1999, to teach fashion design and drafting at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He still continues to champion young designers and is a member of the judging panel for the President’s Design Award in 2012 and Singapore Fashion Awards since 2016. In 2008, Thomas made a sensational comeback with a fashion show at Audi Fashion Festival. He staged a critically well-received collection at Singapore’s first haute couture show during Women Fashion Week in 2011. In the same year, he was voted by CNN Power List as one of the 30 people who have shaped Singapore.
In 2015, Wee’s work was featured in the exhibition Fifty Years of Singapore Design at the National Design Centre. He was also bestowed the Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award in recognition of contributions to the culture and design scene of the nation. In 2016, Wee was presented the Honorary Award during Singapore Fashion Award for dedication to the elevation of the Singapore fashion brand on home ground and the world stage.