Perhaps this could be the answer to revive the fading enthusiasm that locals feel for Orchard Road — an entire structure dedicated to all things Singaporean. Opening officially on Jan 25, Design Orchard is a 2.5-story space that will house a retail showcase, incubation spaces, and an event rooftop space.
The modern, minimal building with concrete, glass, and timber elements is nestled at the junction of Orchard Road and Cairnhill Road — across from Robinsons and that massive H&M store in Orchard Building — and is pretty much impossible to miss as you stroll down the shopping stretch. Plus, the next time you think about swinging by any of the big-name commercial brands nearby, you’ll get a visual reminder of the homegrown gems waiting inside Design Orchard.
Featuring 61 new, up-and-coming, and household brands that specialize in fashion, beauty, wellness, and homeware, the retail area will be operated by another Singaporean name: Naiise. It’ll also conduct a mentorship program for the companies in the display, to help ’em out with marketing, merchandising, and expansion plans.
On the second level, you’ll find The Cocoon Space, a co-working corner run by The Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore to support indie designers by offering resources like a Makers Studio stocked with professional sewing equipment, a Fabric Library full of textiles, and The Bridge Fashion Incubator that gives local and regional fashion start-ups the business boost they need.
But back to the brands. In the beauty and wellness display, skincare takes priority with brands like the cruelty-free Re:Erth, African-inspired luxe line Ania, and Pera Skincare, which sources pure and rare natural ingredients across the globe. For a spritz of scented goodness, check out fragrance houses Oo La Lab and Singapore Memories, the latter of which is influenced by our country’s floral landscape.
To get in touch with your fashionable side, look out for Chubby Chubby’s quirky kids’ apparel, Cruise and its modern classic garments, David’s Daughter with luxury resort wear, updated cheongsams from Dotted Line, timeless womenswear by Esse, Wet Tee Shirt’s punny designs, prints made with watercolor paintings by Ying The Label, swimwear from August Society, and loads more.
Once you’ve put your look together, sass it up with leather accessories, printed scarves, socially conscious jewelry, cool socks, elegant bags, slick sunnies, and edgy iron-on patches by the likes of 72smalldive, Binary Style, Blithe and Merry, Eden + Elie, Freshly Pressed Socks, Gnome & Bow, Pew Pew Patches, Rocket Eyewear, and Tresse.
If you’re on the hunt for non-tacky souvenirs, Little Red Box designs Singapore-inspired notebooks and postcards, while Photo Phactory showcases the vibrant side of Singapore in coasters, clutches, and cushion covers. Meanwhile, home owners can do a little sprucing up with candles and organic room sprays from Artisan of Sense, bean bags by doob and SoftRock Living, and local heritage prints on stamped home ware by Onlewo.
Other brands in the showcase include food businesses like Benns Chocolate, Monogram Tea, Plain Vanilla Bakery, and Sucre, as well as social enterprise The Animal Project, which supports artists with special needs by retailing their artworks and animal illustrations on home and lifestyle items.