July 5, 2007, Thursday
- A Singaporean fashion designer who has made it big in London, and who
counts amongst his fans superstars like Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey,
has become the youngest ever recipient of the most prestigious award in
the Malay/Muslim community.
For his pursuit of excellence and attaining international recognition in fashion design, Ashley Isham, 29, is the winner of this year´s Achiever of the Year Award, organised by Berita Harian and presented by HSBC Amanah Islamic Financial Solutions.
He will receive the award from Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at 9.30pm tonight at the Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore. Tonight also
marks Berita Harian´s 50th anniversary.
The annual award, now into its ninth year, is given to Malay/Muslim individuals for their achievements in education, business, arts and culture, sports, social work or a specialised profession. The recipient must show perseverance, determination and a willingness to overcome odds in his or her respective field. The recipient must also possess an outstanding integrity and be looked upon as a role model for the Malay/ Muslim community in Singapore.
Ashley was born in Singapore but has made London his base since he arrived there in 1996 to study fashion design. He launched his
own label, Ashley Isham, upon his graduation in 2000, and is now known as one of London´s hottest young designers.
Ashley´s mother, Madam Rokiah Abu, worked as a part-time tailor to support him and his two younger sisters. Since he was a child, Ashley loved sketching clothes and even helped his mother with simple things like sewing the necklines of the baju kurung.
Coming from a humble background did not stop him from accomplishing him dreams. From traveling alone to London to pursue fashion studies, to coming back from rejection twice in his bid to showcase his collection in the 2001 London Fashion Week, he has shown his perseverance and resilience, making him a worthy recipient of the term Achiever of the Year.
Nowadays, he is known for dressing celebrities like singer Dido and Golden Globes Award nominee Miranda Richardson at the 62nd
Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Even Princess Haya, sister-in-law of Queen Rania of Jordan, and the Brunei royal family, are
his clients. His two multi-label boutiques in London stand alongside brands such as Moschino, Issey Miyake and Vivienne Westwood.
Ashley was selected to be the official womenswear designer for the 2004 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
Awards, dressing top Hollywood actresses Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta-Jones. He has also appeared as a guest judge on the popular American TV programme, “America´s Next Top Model”, hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks.
More recently, Ashley was invited by Mercedes Benz SEA to present his own catwalk show at the Singapore Fashion Festival 2006
and to judge at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Awards 2006.
Ashley was selected by a panel of six judges drawn from the Malay/ Muslim community and headed by Mr Ridzwan Dzafir, Consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ambassador-at-large.
“Ashley´s work has brought glory not only to the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore, but to all Singaporeans. The judges were very
proud and impressed with what a young Singaporean like Ashley has achieved in his career and we are confident that he will do even better in the future as he has the right mindset to be a success,” said Mr Dzafir.
Previous recipients of the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award are as follows: