Daniel Boey, referred to as the “Godfather of Singapore fashion” by HerWorldPlus and “Singapore’s fashion royalty” by IS magazine, is a creative and fashion director / curator whose name is synonymous with inspired, cutting-edge and groundbreaking ideas, and is one of the most sought-after fashion and lifestyle event curators in Asia.
Hailed as one of the “Singaporeans who mattered most in 2009” by CNNGo.com – a travel and lifestyle website by CNN – Daniel’s extensive portfolio includes some of the most highly publicised fashion events in the region, and includes work in London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Manchester, New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City and KL, for high-profile clients like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Fendi, Tiffany, Jean Paul Gaultier, Paloma Picasso, Hugo Boss, Herve Leger and Vera Wang, and couturiers Christophe Josse, Alexis Mabile, Maxime Simoens, Anne Valerie Hash, Frederick Lee, Michael Cinco and Sebastian Gunawan.
As a curator, Daniel was responsible for conceptualizing, developing, producing and directing major fashion events in Singapore and the region, including inspirationUK, French Fashion Furor and MilanMania, the Singapore Fashion Festivals in 2001/2/4/8 as well as the Asia Men’s, Women’s and Haute Couture Fashion Weeks since 2011. In addition, he worked with the Zandra Rhodes museum in London in 2004 to adapt the “My Favourite Dress” exhibition into an integrated, multi-disciplinary experience for an Asian audience, curating the Asian designers’ collection as a special capsule that was shown alongside the international pieces ( which included representation from Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and the like ), as well as designing / producing the launch event. In 2002, Daniel was part of the Singapore team that worked on a Jean Paul Gaultier couture exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore, and produced the opening show at it’s opening. Daniel was also the brainchild behind DesignSingapore’s cross-collaborative Blueprint showcase in 2008, curating the works of fashion and furniture designers, stylists, a filmmaker and a theatrical set designer, conceptualizing the content and designing twin events at SFF in Singapore and Salon Mobile in Milan. In 2016, Daniel served as fashion director for the WTA finals 2016 gala evening, curating a showcase of Asian luxe and new generation labels and producing the runway extravaganza, and creative director of the Singapore Fashion Awards at the National Gallery Singapore.
Daniel sits on the board of the Asian Couture Federation as a governor.
As a fashion director, Daniel has worked with regional and international celebrities the likes of Tyra Banks, David Archuletta, Bar Rafaeli, Adam Lambert, Jodie Kidd, Denise Keller and Allen Wu, and was invited as a guest stylist for an episode of “Germany’s Next Top Model”. In addition, he collaborated with fashion designer Jay Quek to create the looks for the characters of “Monster Rock”, a show at Universal Studios in Singapore that premiered in 2010. He has also contributed to international style bibles SURFACE, WALLPAPER and SHOWstudio.
As a lifestyle creative, Daniel served as creative director of the Singapore Coffee Festival in 2016, designing the aesthetic and the spaces at the festival, as well as curating the programme for the week. He also served as the creative and design head of the F1 Temasek Suite for the Singapore Tourism Board in 2014. In addition, he was part of the creative committee of Celebrations By The Bay, a part of the SG50 National Day celebrations in 2015.
Daniel the fashion personality has hosted “987fashion” and “fashion police” on Singapore radio, and has presented fashion and lifestyle segments on “E! News” (E! entertainment), “the Big Boutique” (discovery travel & living), “The Duke” (AXN), “Sun Tzu: war on business” (BBC), “The 5 Show” and “style doctors” (mediacorp). He was also the host of “Style And The City” ( Star World ) in 2016, “Hangout with Fide Fashion Weeks” in 2013, a co-host on the social enterprise programme “Invest In Me” (CNA), and a guest judge on the Asian reality show “supermodelMe”. Daniel appeared in the inaugural cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model in 2012 as the resident fashion director and judge, and returned to the show in 2016. He was also a celebrity guest on Vietnam’s Next Top Model in 2013.
In 2009, Daniel returned to his theatre roots and appeared in the musicals “Victor/Victoria” and “Sleepless Town”. He won the award for “Best Costume” at the 13th Life! Theatre awards in 2013 for his styling work on the Dream Academy production of the Sondheim musical “Company” , and also served as fashion director on the Hossan Leong-helmed musical “A Singaporean In Paris” in 2014.
Daniel the author released his autobiography “The Book of Daniel : adventures of a fashion insider” ( published by Marshall Cavendish ) in 2014, in celebration of his 50th birthday and his 25thyear in fashion ( both in 2015 )
In recognition of his contribution and impact in the fast-paced fashion industry, Daniel received the Asian Couture Federation award for Outstanding Contribution to the fashion industry ( Singapore ) in 2014, the Elle magazine (Singapore) fashion icon of the year award in 2007, as well as numerous endorsements from various fashion and lifestyle houses, including SkinInc, G-star, New Balance, Motorola and Grey Goose. Daniel was also appointed the South-East Asian ambassador for Italian retailer Luisa via Roma in 2013 / 2014.
1.WHAT IS YOUR DREAM DESTINATION AND WHY?
I have many times lived vicariously through the beautiful instagram posts and travel diaries of my friends and was especially enchanted by the beautiful tales and gorgeous imageries spun by male model Matthew Ta when he trekked across the most picturesque parts of South America in 2015 with wild abandon and experienced life with the locals.
From camping by the stunning lake at Villa Traful in Argentina, away from the bustle and lights of Buenos Aires, and experiencing laidback village life ( think starting fires with firewood and feasting on freshly baked bread and thinly sliced ham ) to a relaxed beachside holiday on the Atlantic coast at Punta del Este in Uruguay, 2 hours drive from the capital and the playground of the rich and famous (making it the perfect spot for star spotting), stopping over to pitch a tent in the shadow of the beautiful lush rolling hills, tropical rainforest and the dramatic waterfall of the Rio Gonzalo campground at Caleta Gonzalo in Chile ( accessible via a quaint wooden suspension bridge ). This scenic spot is maintained by the Conservation Land Trust, led by Douglas Tompkins, the American founder of North Face.
Looking through his album and listening to his stories, I knew immediately that I had to make the same trip one day.
2.THREE THINGS THAT YOU COULD NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT?
I never leave home without my three Ms – Mobile, Money and Meds.
I’m allergic to a host of things ( including crustaceans, dairy and egg ), but I try not to let that restrict my enjoyment of the destination. So i do cheat on my diet when I’m travelling, and that’s when the antihistamines come into play.
3.WHICH DESTINATION SURPASSED YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land over the Christmas period in 2016 and embarked on the trip with some skepticism and more than a bit of trepidation. Foremost on my mind were definately safety issues, with all the news that we’ve been innundated almost daily of warfare, ISIS and acts of terrorism, all of which overshadowed the pictures of the beautiful biblical sites and the gorgeous natural wonders in the tour brochure.
I was, however, completely awed by the incredible warmth and hospitality of the country despite their regional and internal palavas. We visited Bethlehem, Bethany, Jerico and other parts of the West Bank, got to know some of the local craftsmen and creatives and tried to support as many of their businesses as possible. This, coupled with the breathtaking geographical and historical sights and the magnificent cathedrals and churches we visited, proved to be an absolutely magical experience. The trip was not just a fascinating insight into one of the oldest civilisations in the world ( it was surreal to be walking along the same paths as pilgrims from several centuries ago ) but a wonderful chance for self-reflection and renewal.
One of the most inspiring portions of the trip was when we met with a Singaporean priest who has been based in Jerusalem for several decades. He touched us with stories of his outreach and humanitarian efforts in Aleppo, Mosul and Gaza and gave us an insiders perspective of the situation in the region. A truly humbling encounter indeed.
4.WHERE AND WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL YOU HAVE EVER HAD WHILE TRAVELLING?
I was in Boracay with my team and our host ( Philippine actor Jake Macapagal – of “Metro Manila” and “HalfWorlds” fame ) organised a private dinner at a most beautiful beach setting, complete with roast pig on a spit and chefs preparing all manner of Philippine delicacies, drinks and desserts. This, coming on the heels of a lazy evening sailing around the island on a catamaran. It was a most enjoyable night, stuffing ourselves silly in the shadow of a most dramatic Philippine sunset, getting intoxicated on copious amounts of the most delicious cocktails whilst luxuriating in the cool seabreeze in the company of cherished friends and dozing off to the sounds of Philippine music and the crackling of the burning embers.
5.WHERE ARE YOU LOOKING TO TRAVEL TO NEXT?
I have, for the longest time, secretly harboured a romanticised view of Castro-esque Cuba, fuelled in part by beautiful images from the movies and by the fabled life of Hemmingway and his life in Havana. I have always longed to experience this for myself and to visit this beautiful island before commercialism and the ugly head of tourism destroys the essence of the place. Travel to Cuba is definately on the cards in the very near future.
6.WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I am working on a new book with my publisher Marshall Cavendish, which I’m hoping to launch in the middle of the year. When I was asked to put out a follow-up book to my first, ‘The Book Of Daniel’, I decided to focus on the chapter that resonated the most with my readers, and develop that into a full story.
Come mid-2017, I will lay my life bare and tell the tale of my struggles juggling a very public career in fashion and entertainment with a life filled with a myriad of very painful allergies.
7.DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR ADVICE FOR BUDDING FASHION CURATORS?
Talent is only successful if it is complimented by lots of hard work. So always be prepared when you step on set and remember to be professional, punctual and deferential. Be nice to everyone, for they could one day be your employer, but do not be a pushover either. Know your brand and try to stay true to it. And don’t kill yourself if you are passed over for a job. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. Believe in yourself and your time will come.