Local designers get a look-in on Orchard Road
Paper Edition | Page: 14
Orchard Road is renowned as a retail paradise, home to leading designer stores Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Max Mara, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, among many more.
Unlike a decade ago, however, the street is now also an inviting space for local designers and labels, who have opened for business along Orchard.
“I think it is fantastic. The presence of local designers [at Orchard] will offer a complete shopping experience,” said Ong Soh Chin, a veteran Singaporean journalist and PR director of the Asia Fashion Exchange event held in May.
She attributes the trend to greater travel options for Singaporeans and a growing affluence which have given them the design background, resources and the courage to pursue their dreams on home turf.
“They want to experiment with foreign ideas in their own country. A better economy makes everything possible,” Soh Chin said.
Here is a quick tour of several local designers’ stores.
The Hansel Shop
#02-14 Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
Price range: US$61-$224
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. except selected public holidays
Founded in 2003 by Jo Soh, a graduate of Central Saint Martins design school, the store is noted for its quirky, modern-yet-retro-inspired feminine women’s wear, often featuring Jo’s hand-drawn print designs.
Its second label, hello hansel, which made its debut in February 2011, focuses on youthful, vibrant, casual pieces with bold prints, bright hues and easy-care fabrics.
For the Spring/Summer 2012 collection, both labels create pieces inspired from the traditional dessert kue lapis (layered cake), which results in clothes in a five-color layered motif: bright red, blue, green, yellow and white. More information is available at www.ilovehansel.com.
#02-10 Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Price range: $77.5-$155
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A multi-label store, Blackmarket offers fashion forward clothes, shoes, bags and accessories mostly in natural colors such as black, white, brown and khaki for both men and women.
“We are not following trends. We celebrate style,” said Jasmine Tuan, 24, the founder and managing director of Blackmarket. More information at www.theblackmarket.sg.
The Reckless Shop
181 Orchard Road
Price range: $77.5-$388
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The shop is home to the label Reckless Ericka, founded by Afton Chen and Louis Koh. Its designs focus balances classic tailoring with edgy use of silhouettes and colors, especially in constructing avant-garde silhouettes with classic details.
“We are not really following trends. We are following our feeling,” Louis said. The shop once tailored a jacket for American Idol alum Adam Lambert during his visit to Singapore. For more information, visit www.recklessericka.com.
— Photos by Frederica Ermita Indriani