A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore - Emerging Fashion Capital

Fashionistas now have reasons to visit Singapore.

Each summer, the Global Language Monitor ranks the Top Fashion Capitals of the World. Singapore and Berlin broke into the Top Ten for the first time this year. Singapore is ranked eighth in the World, coming in behind only Hong Kong in the Asia list.

The impact of Princess Kate and Alexander McQueen propel London over New York as the Top Global Fashion Capital for 2011. That may come as a bit of a surprise. However, to many, the bigger surprise must be the entry of Singapore into the Top Ten, jumping seven spots from last year and overtaking Tokyo.

Singapore is a young city known for its order and conformity. It was not too long ago that Singapore was described by quite a few as a boring, sterile place. It is fair to say that Singapore's fashion scene has been undergoing some dramatic transformation. For those who know how Singapore works, it would not come as a surprise to see government agencies playing a big part in creating a buzz in the fashion scene. When the Singapore government sets its mind on developing a certain sector or industry - whether it is aviation, pharmaceutical or the creative arts - spectacular success stories usually follow. Thus, when it is declared that International Enterprise Singapore, SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board would jointly support the development of Singapore as Asia's fashion gateway, the foundation was laid for a fast track development of the fashion industry. The government agencies, in collaboration with the private sector, adopted a three-pronged approach to develop the fashion industry in Singapore by cultivating design talent, stimulating demand locally and internationally and positioning Singapore as a fashion centre on the international stage.

In 2010, Asia Fashion Exchange (AFX) was launched as an event which would comprise both business-to-business and business-to-consumer components, as well as talent development programmes to identify promising local and regional talent. Some 50 exhibitors and 1,000 buyers and visitors from regional markets, as well as from Europe and the United States, attended the AFX's Blueprint - the business-to-business fashion tradeshow targeting fashion professionals. The AFX also incorporates the Audi Fashion Festival which features top international designers and supermodels.

Globetrotting fashionistas now has reasons to add Singapore to their list of not-to-be-missed destinations. The fashion calendar in Singapore boasts AAMA-TEX (for buyers, textile and apparel producers and exporters), the Blueprint, the Asian Fashion Summit, the Fashionably Sustainable Competition, the Star Creation (design competition for new Asian talents) and hosts of other trade fairs and exhibitions. In 2011, Singapore hosted the first Men's Fashion Week in Asia. Singapore is only the third city in the world to host that event, besides international fashion cities Milan and Paris.

A wealth of fashion education programmes offered by good quality institutions, like LaSalle College of the Arts, Raffles Design Institute and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts ensure a steady flow of fresh faces and new ideas. Its position as a regional education hub also helps to attract creative talents to Singapore.

A design incubator programme was set up where selected designers would have the privilege to be mentored by established professionals. Under the programme, the designers undergo an 18-month incubation which includes operating an actual retail business and attending group workshops and seminars and participating in overseas mission trip. The programme has helped to launch a number of exciting local labels such as Chalk, UNCVRD, Mae Pang, OwnMuse and Ready.Made.

A common characteristic of the major fashion capitals of the world is the strong support for local labels. This is something Singapore may still lack but things are also changing. Ashley Isham, having made his name in London, now has a loyal local following. He retails his own label at the flagship store at The Fullerton Hotel. Jonathan Seow's Woods & Woods, Keith Png's KOOPS , Al&Alicia and Nicholas and the likes are becoming recognised names among the fashion conscious. The increasing number of boutiques offering trendy labels of local designers is further evidence of growing support for the local fashion industry. Blackmarket at Jalan Pisang (Kampong Glam), [A-mod] at TripleOne Somerset (Orchard/Somerset Belt), Antipodean at Lorong Mambong (Holland Village), Egg 3 at Erskine Road (Chinatown) and a string of similar boutiques stocking local labels have sprung up in different shopping precincts across the island.

Singapore is now a place that welcomes and promotes fashion innovation - a stimulating environment with buzz and creative energy. There is a vibrant fashion scene and an established platform for designers and creative talents to showcase and retail their works. There is a belief that designers can flourish, fashion business is viable and the whole industry is moving up in the world of style and glamour. The stage is set for Singapore to take its place among the top global fashion capitals. Eighth in the World is a great achievement - but don't expect Singapore to be content to stay there.

August 2011

Posted by Andrew T 20:12 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore shopping fashion capitals designer boutique designers Comments (0)

Buying Snow in Sunny Singapore!

Buying Snow in Sunny Singapore!
Snow City is a permanent indoor snow centre in Singapore. It maintains a snow level of 400 mm depth by producing snow on site using a specially-designed snow gun! Up to 15 tons of snow is made each week. So, yes, you can buy snow in sunny Singapore.

Who will travel all the way to Singapore to buy snow? Very few, if any. Yet many visitors to Singapore buy clothes tagged with well known brands and shop only in boutiques of the international designers. Coming to Singapore and buying only products that can be easily found in New York, Milan, Bangkok, Shanghai or Sydney is almost as odd as buying snow in Singapore.

Singapore is one of the fashion capitals of Asia with a wide range of exciting local labels. For many years, talented designers have had their creations seen only in competitions and adorning a privileged few. Thanks to incubator programmes and strong support from trade associations and official agencies, many local designers are now retailing their ready to wear creations. Well tailored unique interpretations of the latest trends are now affordable and accessible. Find them in the central Orchard Road shopping belt or in the city fringes like Haji Lane or Holland Village.

A sampling of local Labels and Boutiques selling the creations of local designers:-


From skirts that can be transformed into bags, to dresses that can be worn up to 10 different ways, designer Desmond Yang’s range of clothing is highly interactive, original and wearable.

AL&ALICIA represents the contradiction between boy and girl, and how two wardrobes can be borrowed from to create that boyish-meets-chic look. The label is about luxury and beautiful fabrics, combined with menswear inspired structures and soft layers, to create a versatile range of comfortable and anonymously chic covetable outfits.

“Kenji” by Kenji Ng presents glamorous, ultra-feminine and chic T-shirts. Bringing his experience in bridal gown design, Kenji employs a variety of fabrics and small details to transform simple T-shirts to stylish hip outfits. By subverting the casual look of the cotton T-shirt with the lightness and the mystery of lace and tulle, Kenji creates a range of unique stylish pieces that run the gamut from gothic to sweet.

Noël Caleb
Noël Caleb is the meaning of Christmas and Devotion combined. The label is succeeding in its goal of bringing the Christmas vibe to everyday life. Its colourful graceful collections have quickly established a strong following among those who embrace joy and femininity.

quinn is a label that exudes the essence of classic silhouette with a modern twist to create stylish, effortless and timeless pieces. Simple silhouette becomes lust-worthy and reinforces house's signature romantism. Chic, sophistication, quality, exquisite, sensual all easily associate with quinn.


un-covered (UNCVRD) exemplifies modern street wear with bold lines and charming confidence. Unpretentious and original, UNCVRD holds firm to its concept of uncovering new styles and ideas, transforming them into assertive looks teased with versatility and that essential dash of fun.

Yumumu is a label that offers refreshing interpretations of modernity. Intricate panelling and fluid lines come together in elegant constructions, embodying both the independence and sensuality of a feminine figure with an unwavering image of youthful confidence and an understated, yet distinct style.



  1. 02-09 TripleOne Somerset
111 Somerset Road
Womenswear & accessories

This trendy boutique located in the central Orchard-Somerset shopping belt carries the labels of emerging local designers. Find a good of mix edgy creations, modern classics and beautiful wearable pieces all at extremely affordable price. Kenji, Noel Caleb, quinn and UNCVRD can be found in [A-mod].

Price range: $49 - $250.

19 Jalan Pisang
Menswear, womenswear & accessories
A purveyor of all things regional, this stylish boutique carries over 10 local clothing labels, and a well-curated range of accessories. Expect creative and edgy pieces with extremely good price points. AL&Alicia and Yumumu can be found at Blackmarket.

Price range: $100 - $400

Front Row

  1. 02-09 328 North Bridge Road
Raffles Hotel Arcade
Menswear, womenswear & accessories

Besides carrying foreign labels like A.P.C. and United Bamboo, this fashion-art concept store also stocks Singaporean designer Jonathan Seow’s label, Woods & Woods, as well as the progressive and experimental wares of young local designers.

Price range: $350-$990

Hide & Seek
176 Telok Ayer Street
Menswear, womenswear & accessories

This multi-label boutique carries fashion wares from local as well as foreign designers. The owner Keith Png’s own line, Koops, made out of elegant and feminine dresses, is stocked alongside other local labels like Elohim, Mae Pang and quinn.

Price range: $89-$400

5:10 Concept Store
49B Kreta Ayer Road
Menswear, womenswear & accessories

The store carries labels of new generation young designers from around the region including local labels - Bedlamite, Max.Tan and UNCVRD.

Price range: $49 - $250

July 2011

Posted by Andrew T 06:52 Archived in Singapore Tagged singapore shopping fashion designer boutique Comments (1)

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