Cover Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh (Image: Depression)

Is the future of fashion genderless? We speak to three local fashion designers who are contributing to the gender-neutral narrative in Asia. In the first of a three-part series, co-founders Andrew Loh and Kenny Lim share the inception and evolution of their fashion label, Depression

Singapore-based streetwear label, Depression, was fashioned out of a collective need for co‑founders Andrew Loh and Kenny Lim to break away from their corporate jobs in advertising.

The weight of depression was a sentiment that resonated with the duo and, in 2006, they named their fashion line accordingly. “The label is an extension of who we are as individuals and designers who are fascinated with the psychological and emotional aspects of being human,” shares Lim, "it is also an antidote of how we felt about the design industry in Singapore then." 

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The duo admits that they did not initially set out to design gender-neutral clothing, but it was a natural evolution of their design ethos. Each collection was conceived to translate a range of dark emotions, and the resulting silhouettes were shapeless and drapey.

“We definitely feel that there is no need to distinguish the male form from the female form and will continue to create shapeless, oddly-sewn and oversized pieces. Fashion propagates freedom and we should be able to wear whatever we feel most comfortable in. It is also our job to cater to this audience,” says Lim.

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Fashion propagates freedom and we should be able to wear whatever we feel most comfortable in.
Kenny Lim

Today, the duo owns Sects Shop, a multi-brand fashion retailer that carries avant-garde and streetwear brands. Lim says: “Besides stocking our own label, we also introduce international brands that we love to Singapore. On one hand, you can expect pieces from pioneer avant-garde designers such as American designer Rick Owens and Japanese designer Takahiro Miyashita. Then, we also have clothing from emerging brands that boast urban K-pop styles such as Kangol and Ajo.”

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