Armed with only $3,000 and a bedroom-turned-office, founder Dennis Tay started Naiise in 2013 with the simple goal of making good design more accessible to the public. This lifestyle store now stocks over 1,000 local and international brands selling cute stationery, household items, local books and more across its six locations.
For those who digest the likes of Murakami, Sweeney, Capote, Salinger, and Nabokov, bring your appetites and dollars when you visit BooksActually. Aside from the classic titles, the bookstore also carries narrative and theoretical books in the disciplines of philosophy, political science, history, biography, science, travel, food, art and more. Head to the back of the store for an assortment of desirably retro, non-literary oddities to peruse, including old-school film cameras and typewriters. With its line-up of monthly events, BooksActually is also a great place to check out Singapore's literary scene and get your dose of Singlit.
Dim lighting and a crowded display space lend this independent retail shop a cosy feel. Cat Socrates carries a variety of knick-knacks such as terrariums (and planters for making your own), tote bags, clothes, homeware, fabric, books by homegrown writers, postcards, Singapore-themed products like local music albums, and, of course, a section of cat-related merchandise. Bonus points if you manage to lure resident cat Chestnut out from his favourite spot under a red table. Cat Socrates’ second branch, in Katong, also has a store kitty: Zoo-Zoo.
Stepping up to the door, Nana & Bird gives off that rare hole-in-the-wall charm. Iron bars still protect the windows and the original tiled floor is intact. Beaded necklaces, feather earrings, tote bags and polka-dot blouses, as well as local labels Aijek and Yumumu, are all on display. The fashion-loving duo behind the humble shop also encourages people to sit down for a cuppa to discuss fashion.
This minimalist husband-and-wife co-owned souvenier shop is the perfect place to pick up thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone (or yourself).Think asymmetrical bowls, dimpled cups and painstakingly handpainted plates inspired by modern Singapore culture. Because most items are available in limited quantities, your best bet’s to pop in and find out what’s in stock.
Superspace carries local brands such as Mashup and Rêvasseur, as well as international brands such as Jeremy Scott and Joyrich. Stand-out artsy pieces sometimes come as one-offs, making your spending spree here guaranteed to get you papped by street-style photographers – if you manage to bump into the few on the island. Highlights are kitsch clothing, statement headpieces and oversized bags.
Since its inception in 2010, The Farm Store has been collaborating with local up-and-coming designers to showcase Singapore design at its best. Each piece you find in the store links back to our Singaporean identity – whether it’s a chilli crab coaster or a vintage Peranakan tile table runner – so if you’re looking for a unique keepsake, you’re in luck.
If you're not one to keep up with the latest fashion trend, In Good Company is exactly what you need. Instead of basing apparels off runway looks, designers Kane Tan and Sven Tan's idea for the fashion label is simple – creating a collection of wardrobe essentials that go beyond seasonal trends yet giving a contemporary spin to timeless classics to cater to both the modern man and woman. Dipped in neutral colours, its line of all-day outfits are also perfect for minimalist fashionistas.
This cutting-edge, multi-label store is filled with quirky, eclectic items from labels like Freitag, Boy London, Fjallraven Kanken and Lazy Oaf, offering everything from apparel and shoes to bags and accessories.
Take a step back in time and learn craftsmanship the old-fashioned way: with your hands. With The General Co’s range of workshops, learn how to build terrariums, craft leather accessories, arrange bouquets and more. There’s also a retail space where you can pick up local design goodies, be they skateboard decks, quirky charms or handprinted tote bags.
Gallery & Co. brings together retail and F&B into one stylish package – it’s a far cry from your average museum store. Curated by heavyweights of the local creative industry, the shop stocks a suitably artsy range of childrenswear and accessories. There are also hard-to-find books, quirky knick-knacks and so much more (you'll just have to see for yourself). To fuel up, hop over to the restaurant and bar, most of whose dishes are inspired by the artworks on display.
Founded in 2006 by Frenchman Arnault Castel in Hong Kong, Kapok curates fashion and design brands in its Singapore outlet, their largest flagship store in the world. Patrons can expect watches by Swedish label Daniel Wellington, Miami-based accessories from Miansai, Code Deco perfume and an in-house brand of menswear shirts.
Spanning over 10,000 square feet with 50 local and international brands across seven thematic zones – you’re guaranteed to be spoilt for choice at City of Tomorrow. There’s the F&B zone, The Secret Garden, where you’ll find specially created house blend by Alchemy X; The Locker Room, every man’s dream cave of apparel, footwear and high-tech gadgets; The Studio, the minimalist dream space; Tropical Paradise, for all your vacation swimwear and tropical prints needs, and more.
The multi-label store – the fourth in the world after London, Tokyo and New York – stocks 25 designer brands that range from Comme des Garçons and Anti Social Social Club to Céline and The Row. Housed in a converted army barracks with high ceilings, black cage-like grills as racks, and a colourful ‘cashier’ hut, you’d be forgiven if you mistake this for an art gallery.
Apparel, accessories and footwear from brands around the globe feature here, alongside an array of lifestyle goods. For raw denim aficionados, look out for pieces by labels like Engineered Garments, Human Made, Orslow, Ten C and Sync Made by Medicom.
From outfits that look like they come from Necromancer to a top shaped like an orange, this multi-label store isn’t shy when it comes to fashion. Labels include Antidepressant, with its range of colourful and witty tees printed with local-inspired motifs; DEPRESSION, whose avant garde style presents asymmetrical pants and flowing shirts in black and white; and NCE – it stands for Not Cool Enough – which focuses on streetwear inspired by K-Pop, hip hop and punk rock.
Rockstar's edit of lifestyle products are aspirational yet affordable. This homegrown brand designs and produces its own Rockabilly line of summer-all-year-round clothing, for the 20-something woman who does a cracking job at accessorising her life, as well as the guy who stays saucy with Pointer shoes, Sandqvist bags, Hypergrand watches and Orbitkey holders. For an Instagram #flatlay boost, knick-knacks are on hand for discretionary spending – think twee stuff like Rifle Paper and Co cards with doodled on inspirational quotes.
The largest high-fashion chain, Club 21 runs a string of mono-brand boutiques for the likes of Armani, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana and Paul Smith (to name a few). Its flagship multi-label store carries the best of the prêt-à-porter collections from Dries Van Noten; Viktor & Rolf; Alexander McQueen; Martin Margiela and more. The shop directly opposite, Club 21 Men, is a three-storey, sleek temple of metrosexual style .
Japanese artisanal clothier 45R debuts here with its flagship store at Capitol Piazza, putting premium quality materials at the forefront, sourcing for them even before conceptualising designs to ensure customer comfort. It uses pre-war antique looms and traditional techniques such as hand-spinning cotton into yarn, hand-stitching and silkscreen printing for all products, making every piece of apparel unique. The shop also exclusively stocks artisanal Italian leather label Henry Cuir and its iconic line of bags, wallets and accessories all made with its signature hand-stitched, natural vegetable-tanned leather.
Designed with a modern, industrial vibe in mind, the store carries over 60 names across luxe fashion labels, street-style staples and alternative indie brands. Take your pick from avant-garde apparel, minimalist accessories and off-kilter footwear from designers such as Opening Ceremony, Barbara Bui and Anna Thomas. This one’s aimed at the cool types.
Marimekko, the design house well known for its iconic poppy print, adds flair and colour to the mall at Capitol Piazza. Having collaborated with the likes of Converse, Banana Republic and Finnair, the brand has cemented its global mark since its birth in Helsinki. Marimekko's core value is the beauty of everyday life, and its product range reflects that: colourful homeware, accessories and clothing, as well as textiles that can be purchased online.
Here’s where every young Singaporean male kick-starts his denim phase. Nudie, that brand you now see knock-offs of at pasar malams, is the big seller here, but we suggest you skip it. You’ll want to seek out Pure Blue Japan, Imperial Denim and APC instead. The latter tends to run in slimmer cuts (it is a French brand, after all), while Imperial jeans are heavy, sturdy and thick – which means you’ll literally sweat your balls off. The Pure Blues use far lighter denim, so go for those if you don’t want your denim to stank after five wears.
Founded by Indonesia-born milliner Kristine Hakim, Eskpade is the place to go for customised headpieces that cater to every fancy occasion, be it the Royal Ascot or your posh best friend’s wedding. Kristine often travels to Europe to source for materials herself, with each piece designed from scratch and lovingly put together by hand. Most of her creations are inspired by vintage and burlesque – Kristine says that she’s a huge fan of performers like Dita von Teese – so expect to find plenty of intricate lace and exotic feathers.
As its name suggests, The Prestigious is a well-known bespoke tailor often consulted by the well-heeled and well-dressed community. All commissions suits are crafted in-house in the atelier by a team of 7 tailors and apprentices, mentored and personally supervised by master tailor Thomas Wong, a veteran who has over five decades of experience in the industry. There's no outsourcing and no secret factory here – The Prestigious is one of the only places in Singapore where the pieces don't leave the premises except in the client's hands (or body). To up the Savile Row experience, a personal tailor is assigned to each patron who is tasked to measure, fit, draft, cut and construct the pieces.
Here’s a new tailoring boutique to add to your shopping hit list. The Bespoke Club, a local start-up that caters to the business wardrobes of men and women, finds its flagship home in an elegant space at Suntec City. Furnished with warm wood interiors, plush leather couches, and neat rows of ready-made accessories such as bow ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and lapel pins, the shop offers professional style consultants to stitch up your bespoke creation. Choose from fabrics in various shades, patterns and textures to craft your one-of-a-kind suit, shirt or shoes. It’s all about the perfect fit here.
Get your bespoke menswear at Q Menswear, which provides both ready-to-wear and tailoring services to create that perfectly fitted suit. The local outfit also stocks a slew of accessories such as lapel pins, pocket squares and everything in between so that you can look your spiffiest in the shortest amount of time.
This boutique showcases seasonal collections of footwear and accessories by top international brands. Your eyes won't go hungry in this fashionista's haven, where the covetable Paul Andrew stiletto is only a few steps away from Aquazzura's strappy sandals and N.21's fabric-heavy knot shoes. This place doesn't skimp out on its selection of bags either, where the newest It bags from Saint Laurent, Valentino and Chloe compete to open those purse strings. On Pedder has another branch at Scotts Square, too.
Locally owned Surrender is the top choice among tastemakers here. This hipper-than-thou store stocks a slew of obscure brands including Denim by Vanquish and Fragment, Mindseeker, Readymade and A-Cold-Wall among others, making this quiet boutique a heavy-hitter in the youth culture scene. The store gives off the air of ‘look-but-don’t-touch’ – but spend enough time browsing its racks and you’ll discover gems.
Tuckshop and Sundry Supplie offers the discerning Singaporean man a wide selection of apparel, footwear, leather goods, accessories and various other gentlemanly requirements, including shoe oil and hair products. Brands featured include Iron Heart from Japan, Rising Sun from the US, China’s Red Cloud and even its very own local OBBI Good Label, which specialises in handcrafted leather wallets, belts and pouches.
Art, retail and community congregate at K+ Curatorial Space, a multi-concept store curated by creative agency Kinetic. K+ Retail breathes yet more life into Singapore’s art and design scene with its range of artworks, home décor pieces and literature – BooksActually, GoodStuph, Supermama and Tofu Design among them – and over at K+ Gallery, admire its evolving space dedicated to a local or international artist for three months each time.
Spread over 35,000 square feet, Decathlon’s largest store in the region offers over 95,000 affordable products for more than 50 different sports from 20 in-house brands, and features indoor testing zones, an outdoor playground and a basketball court. You get to try out gear for sports like table tennis, mini golf and cycling (or get your two-wheeler fixed at the bicycle repair workshop). Even our self-professed, non-athletic, inertia-driven selves are psyched.
Located at the School of the Arts, this eclectic shop is brimming with all things whimsical. It’s a total dreamer’s paradise ('dröm' is Swedish for ‘dream’), stacked high with fun postcards, limited edition photo books, vintage Polaroid cameras, intricately designed retro notebooks and a whole lot of nostalgia-inducing knick-knacks like brooches by Hug a Porcupine. There’s also an adjoining cafe beside the shop called Kki, where you can savour gorgeous Japanese desserts that taste as good as they look.
It’s smack in the middle of Tiong Bahru, so you know the kind of Hipster 101 albums this hole-in-the-wall stocks. Still, you’ll be able to pick out a few good finds – albeit at ludicrously high prices – like a rare first-press of Nirvana’s In Utero.
Browsing books promises to be a fun affair in this charming two-storey shophouse-turned-bookshop. The indie bookstore carries titles across all genres that range from specially selected literary, non-fiction, travel narratives, and award-winning children's books. Additionally, the books on sale – ranging from bestsellers and literary classics to children's titles – are actually quite affordable, or at least cheaper than you'd expect from other bookstores.
Basheer Graphic Books is no stranger amongst the art types in Bras Basah. A regular haunt for graphic designers and illustrators, the bookstore stocks the best and latest in disciplines that range from graphics and architecture to fashion and animation. There are also regular discounts offered on specialised magazines and publications. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Leave your name, number and the desired title(s), and you’ll be notified once it arrives.
The store houses over 30 luxury lifestyle brands in its massive showroom. Reliable favourites – such as B&B Italia and Vitra – sit alongside yet more options, each set in home interior environments to show off Space’s extensive selection. We like the unfussy pieces from SP01’s Outdoor Collection ($400-$6,035), dreamt up by Australian designer Tom Fereday. They aren’t all looks, either: built (in Italy, no less) to withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight and sea spray, these’ll hold up just as well on your balcony or patio.
You’d be hard-pressed to find more good-looking furniture than at Noden. The independent store sources for mid-century and Scandinavian design pieces from the ’40s to ’70s, meaning you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind classic that could, for all you know, become a family heirloom down the line. Expect furniture not unlike the refinished Danish Bureau ($2,190) – the ’60s teak piece from Denmark comes complete with tambour sliding doors, drawers and a pull-out desk, plus sculpted teak handles. And stock’s replenished every two to three months, too, with prices starting from $200 – although that depends on factors like the condition, designer, year, maker and rarity of your chosen piece.
You’d be hard-pressed to find more good-looking furniture than at Noden. The independent store sources for mid-century and Scandinavian design pieces from the ’40s to ’70s, meaning you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind classic that could, for all you know, become a family heirloom down the line. Stock’s replenished every two to three months, too, with prices starting from $200 – although that depends on factors like the condition, designer, year, maker and rarity of your chosen piece.
You’ll find environmentally sustainable pieces here from small brands and craftsmen from around the world, including Fred and Bobo, Everyday Studio, and VIJ5, with prices starting at $220. We’re particularly taken with Studiohiji’s Net series (from $340). The Jakarta-based design studio incorporates strands of rattan cores into its pieces, and the result’s a series of lightweight furniture that’s built to last and sustains the rattan industry.
The furniture addicts behind Castlery take obsession to a new high, and in the best way. So while there are dining and study tables, sectional sofas, loveseats and all sorts of lamps, there are also basic (and complimentary) customisation options if you want your furniture a little off-kilter. That includes reupholstering and replacing the legs of your chosen sofa set with your colours of choice, for example.
With attitudes loosening around lounging around on second-hand furniture, stores like Hock Siong and Co are suddenly top-of-mind to score home goods at a steal. (No one at the sprawling Tai Seng store is actually named Hock Siong – the name was coined by the company’s old-school towkay.) The goods – tightly and neatly packed into three units – cover a wide range of styles, from vintage rosewood to mid-century to the downright opulent. The products are hand-me-downs from hotels and show flats, furniture shops that have closed down, and the occasional beautifully appointed home. Oh, and make sure to bargain – the staff will happily knock down prices. Talk about retail therapy.
Furniture shouldn’t cost an arm and leg, and HipVan knows it. The homegrown store prides itself on fair pricing across more than 5,000 designs: think L-shaped sofas and other sectionals, lounge chairs, hammocks, chest drawers, and bookshelves, as well as homeware such as planters and wall decals. While most of its furniture is sold online, a selection’s available for viewing at HipVan’s flagship store – or else, it’s free returns (by way of store credits) within two weeks of purchase on its website.
No home is complete without an art piece or two and that’s where Wandewoo comes in. The brainchild of Singaporean space stylist Sonny Boey and his two siblings, this home and lifestyle accessories store stocks one-of-a-kind items made by talented designers from around the world.
Need a home makeover but can’t find the time to do it? Let Arete Culture’s interior design services create your dream space with homeware sourced from around the world. You can browse through a huge variety of designs including cushions, lamps and mirrors from The Luxe Hotel Collection, textiles from Linen and Moore, luxury bed linens from Sleep Naked, and artworks from Urban Road, Karen Charmoille and Christina Jensen at its flagship store.
If you’re looking for the latest designer fragrance, you won’t find it at SIFR Aromatics. What you will find are gorgeous, uniquely shaped bottles that house a myriad of scents, all lovingly handmade by owner Johari Kazura. Far from your ordinary, run-of-the-mill perfumery, the shop offers a unique, customised approach where a range of ingredients are presented and used to get the right scent.
The simple, IKEA-esque homeware with a quirky twist on display in this hip concept store stands out – and it’s all made by local talent.
Local designer Sabrina Goh's flagship sits pretty at Capitol Piazza. Combining fashion with lifestyle, her minimalistic store carries apparel by names like ELOHIM by Sabrina Goh, A.K.A Wayward and M-WANTED, as well as organic beauty brands FrankSkincare and Rough Beauty, and accessories from Karen Walker and House of Holland. On the homeware side, Spatula and Whisk offer up cookies inspired by local flavours, and A.muse Projects hawk tea based on cocktail flavours.
Matter sees itself as a ‘socially motivated brand’ that also prides itself as being a sustainable and conscious fashion label. It works with skilled artisans living in rural parts of Asia to make products from heritage-based fabrics in a sustainable and thoughtful manner. Handcrafted in organic cotton as well as biodegradable fabrics, its collection of toilet-friendly jumpsuits, trousers, tops and dresses are breathable and comfy.
This store on the Duxton block recreates Los Angeles’ beachy vibe in its shop that’s part retail and part café. On its retail front, you’ll find American menswear labels such Katin and Alex Mill that have yet to make their way into the mainstream Singapore market. When you’re done browsing, grab a cup of specialty coffee or nosh on artisanal bread at the café.
A Singapore institution, Mustafa is open round the clock, offering 75,000sq ft of bargains, not to mention a hotel, café and supermarket. It’s a treasure trove of discount shopping, carrying everything from skincare and electronics to sportswear and luggage. Sumptuous sari fabrics can be found in basement 1, and beauty products and appliances at ground level. Mustafa Centre was included in our recent One Night Stand feature.