Singaporean fashion designer Tan Yoong was found dead at his residence by a family member on 10 January. Though much information about the incident is not known, according to the designer's friends he fell at home and hit his head.
According to The Strait Times, the day and time of the death of the 66-year-old designer remain unknown. Yoong built his fashion empire literally from scratches. The youngest of six children, he studied art at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts before joining local advertising firm as an artist. Later, Yoong associated himself with several other advertising agencies, including Batey Ads, which created the Singapore Girl campaign, reported the news website.
Yoong entered his first fashion design competition, Japan's Kanebo Grand Award, at the age of 23. He secured the first spot in the haute couture segment and also became the first non-Japanese to do so. Since then he went on to win several competitions.
"When I saw his work, I was so blown away. I saw his collection and realised how little I knew about fashion," said Veteran fashion designer Thomas Wee who was Yoong competitor in Singapore's Her World Young Designers Contest in 1978, according to the news media.
In 1979 Yoong started his first two labels, Tze and Zhen after collaborating with the BP De Silva Group of Sri Lankan jewellers. While Zhen got closed down after two years, he bought over Tze and started his own luxury made-to-order clothing line in Singapore.
Yoong was mostly known for his uniquely styled glamorous bridal gowns, cheongsam and couture dresses. These items were mostly priced between $8,000 and $15,000. Even President Ong Teng Cheong's daughter-in-law wore one of these for her wedding.