Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Birth of Local Shopping Sensations

New Singaporean-owned multi-label stores and brands popping up around town


Located at Scape, A curious Teepee celebrated its soft launched on 16 Dec 2010, in conjunction with Yvan Rhodic’s (photographer of famous online street style site, The Facehunter) book signing. This unique space is a boutique, café, bar and even events venue all rolled into one. “Our concept store sprouts from the idea of living a life more inspired,” expressed Tracy Phillips, founder of A Curious Teepee.

Featuring local brands such as Sunday’s Shop, Mae Pang, Ownmuse as well as international labels including Bless, Sandqvist, Chris Habana and Triwa, amongst others, the store packs a good mix of fashion and lifestyle items together. Known to serve the best coffee along orchard road, A Curious Teepee’s café-bar even purveys gourmet coffee provided by local coffee roaster, Papa Palheta. Patrons can also enjoy free wi-fi. Undoubtedly a great hangout space, retail therapy included.

Celebrating their grand opening together on the 27 January 2011, a whole new row of local boutiques have popped up side by side at orchard central’s level 2 The Runway.


Started by three design schoolmates, Afton Chen, Ruth Marbun and Louis Koh, the Reckless Shop’s new flagship, located at the second floor of Orchard central is a well designed and comfortable space lined with plots of carpet grass and features concrete runways. The label encompasses the whole spirit of the co-founders as risk-taking, fun loving and adventurous. Unconventional and off-beat as it sounds, it is in line with the brand’s personality.

“The main concept of Reckless Ericka is ‘Euro-centric’. We focus on balancing classic tailoring with edgy use of silhouette and colours, and constructing avant-garde silhouettes with classic details,” explained Afton Chen.


Previously having retailed at other boutiques such as To The Nines and Blackmarket. Local designer, Sabrina Goh’s label Elohim now retails exclusively at this new store SABRINAGOH. Sabrina takes inspiration from architectural forms and structures with stark silhouettes, portraying at once images that are both strong and vulnerable. The boutique also stocks other indie labels such as L'ile Aux Ashby, see you tomorrow and soe.hoe.

Sabrina said: “In every collection there is a fusion of menswear and womenswear, symmetry and asymmetry to develop unexpected forms and interesting details in my clothes”.


The multi-label indie store that prides itself as the go-to for edgy local and international labels was set up by Jasmine Tuan and Quincy Teofisto. This new outlet, Blackmarket no.2 sports a raw finish, featuring hand painted signs, concrete floors and unpolished wooden tables with nails sticking out its sides, the space is definitely original and unique and echoes the brand’s image as the commercial rebel.

“We are retaliating and rejecting all the ideals of commercial bombardment and creating a concept space which fits our ideals,” shares Jasmine.

Blackmarket no.2 stocks labels such as Young and Restless, Gian Romano, Proud Race, Al & Alicia and many more.

Stylish Local Site-ings

Local street photography websites, your new inspiration and guide to style

My Cherry Magazine

Besides running an online boutique, Nicole Then does freelance photography. After getting a Digital Single lens Reflex (DSLR) camera as a graduation gift, the 24-year old fell in love with photography. My Cherry Magazine was then launched three years ago.

When choosing her subjects, Nicole looks out for those with a unique sense of style, good clothing proportions and a personality that comes through in the way these people carry themselves. Making sure she is not limited to any age, gender or genres of style also gives the site more diversity.

To Nicole, Singapore can be a very stylish nation. “I have met many who are stylish and also some who only need few tweaks to achieve a great look,” She explains. “There is definitely potential to be developed, especially for the young who may constantly expose themselves to more sources of inspiration from different media,” added Nicole.

To this street photographer, make-up is important for women. However it should be there to enhance a person’s look and not to distract. Hence, she avoids snapping anyone with heavy make-up on as “her natural beauty would be hidden”.

La Mode Outre

British-born James Bent was originally a design-consultant who snapped street shots as a source of inspiration for his short stories. It never occurred to him that his street-style photography site would gain so much popularity.

The 31-year-old found a niche for his style of photography. Being inspired by other street style photographers such as Scott Schumen of the Satorialist and the man behind Facehunter, Yvan Rhodic, James stared his website more than half a year ago.

La Mode Outre features people who look good, unique and interesting. According to James, it is a misconception that Singaporeans are not as stylish as foreigners. Perhaps it is the weather that is cramping the style of Singaporeans. “There are people here whom I see and think, if they were spotted in New York or Tokyo, they would still look cool and be able to hold their own,” James expressed.

He explained, “I think that it is not necessary to dress expensively in order to look good. As long as something is aesthetically pleasing and you know how to pull it off, wear it. The look is more important than the label and I admire people who look great on a budget.”

Five friends started this street-style fashion blog in 2009. Later on, it expanded into a fashion research and marketing company. Derrick Choy, Co-founder of the site, says capturing stylish Singaporeans on camera can be much more difficult than it seems.

He explained, “On a bad day, we only get two or three shots and good days are very rare”. The photographers of Project Dress Code are always on the lookout for trendsetters. The look that impresses them is one that is deliberate and most importantly, individualistic.

To the Project Dress Code team, most Singaporeans dress in a style which is safe and conservative. There are rarely people who are daring enough to rebel and express themselves in unconventional ways. Fortunately, with more fashion events being held in Singapore, Singaporeans also become more exposed and fashion-conscious and get inspired to dress better. It is also at such events that the team gets to capture more interesting personalities.

“There has been progress in the past few years. We can safely spot about six out of 10 people who dress stylishly along orchard road.” Said Derrick.