While Singapore is certainly home to a wealth of globally-recognised fashion labels, it also boasts a range of local brands that are proudly made in Singapore.
From bold street fashion to wearable objects of art, Singapore’s fashion scene is booming with dynamic local designers and their labours of love. Here are the homegrown heroes behind some of Singapore’s most beloved brands.
Priscilla Shunmugam of Ong Shunmugam
Formerly a law student at the National University of Singapore, Priscilla Shunmugam left the legal industry to pursue her love for fashion. She spent a year studying dressmaking in England before founding fashion label Ong Shunmugam, which takes its name from the surnames of Priscilla’s parents.
Fashionistas looking to add an Asian-inspired twist to their wardrobes should certainly pay a visit to this store. As a label, Ong Shunmugam has earned various industry accolades for its thoughtful, modern takes on traditional Asian dresses, like the cheongsam (traditional Chinese one-piece dress), the sari (traditional South Asian female attire) and the kebaya (traditional nonya dress).
Ong Shunmugam. 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-76, Singapore 278115. +65 6252 2612.
Tue-Sat noon-7pm by appointment only.
Charles and Keith Wong of Charles & Keith
Whether you’re looking for a new evening bag or an on-trend pair of kicks, you’re likely to find it at Charles & Keith.
First founded in 1990, the brand started out as a single store in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood. The pair of brothers behind the brand—Charles and Keith Wong—made their start in the fashion industry while working at their parents’ shoe store, in the Ang Mo Kio heartland. By 2000, the brand had taken all its shoe designs inhouse, a move that helped the company to take off internationally.
The international fashion label now boasts stores from Asia Pacific to Europe and America, with globally renowned celebrities like Maisie Williams toting their bags on the red carpet.
313@Somerset. 313 Orchard Road #02-46/47/48/49, Singapore 238895. +65 6509 5040.
Mon-Thu & Sun 10.30am-10pm; Fri & Sat 10.30am-10.30pm.
Click here for the full listing of stores.
Nelson Yap of Benjamin Barker
Gentlemen looking to exude elegance and class should pay a visit to Benjamin Barker, a fashion label that specialises in suits, shirts and male apparel.
A fashion-forward brand that combines class and personality, the brand’s offerings eschew staid suits and conventional office wear. Rather than being bound by runway trends, the brand focuses on classic menswear designs, while conveying a personal touch through elements like wooden buttons and vintage patches.
The brand’s founder, Nelson Yap, started his journey into fashion by assisting his family business. Through determination and hard work, Nelson overcame crippling debt to create a label that now boasts ten stores islandwide.
Wheelock Place. 501 Orchard Road #02-11, Singapore 238880. +65 6733 3275.
Click here for the full listing of stores.
Carolyn Kan of Carrie K.
First founded in 2009, Carrie K. is a beloved local jewellery brand famous for its range of strikingly beautiful designs. Its founder, Carolyn Kan, was inspired to start her own jewellery store after an apprenticeship with a silversmith in Florence, Italy.
Many of the brand’s designs draw inspiration from an eclectic mix of history, myth and heritage. Its Modern Heirloom Collection taps on the iconic elements of Peranakan* architecture and design, while its Odyssey collection draws on the mythology of Homer, the blind Greek poet. Its latest collection, Star, pays homage to the deep roots of Singapore’s Malay culture through bintang beralih (shooting star) motifs, which are often on Malay songket (hand-woven textiles).
Ladies looking to add a touch of Asian-inspired elegance to their jewellery armoire are certain to discover jewellery that will both enchant and delight.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
National Design Centre. 111 Middle Road #02-02, Singapore 188969. +65 9061 2880.
Alvin Lye and Christopher Long of Azimuth
Defy sartorial convention, and stretch the limits of your imagination with Azimuth’s bold timepieces. The brand’s range of watches are works of art inspired by diverse sources, from sports cars to steampunk and science fiction.
Azimuth was founded in 2003 by Alvin Lye and Christopher Long, and takes its name from the navigational term for the position of stars and celestial bodies. The sky is indeed the limit for this homegrown brand, which now distributes to over 13 territories, from Switzerland to Kuwait.
Select pieces available at Red Army Watches at Millenia Walk. 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-78,
Singapore 039596. +65 6341 9007.
Also available at other fine establishments, click here for more information.
Goh Ling Ling of LING WU
Fashion sense runs in the family for Goh Ling Ling, the founder of luxury handbag label LING WU. Originally inspired by her mother—who established a family-run garment manufacturing business in the 1970s—Ling Ling has made waves in the local fashion scene, with a celebrated debut at Singapore Fashion Week 2017.
From small crossbody bags to work totes, LING WU’s exclusive range of luxury bags exude both functionality and sophistication. The brand’s timeless pieces are made with exotic skins and top-quality craftsmanship, making them a great way for fashionistas to exhibit their exemplary tastes.
Select pieces available at:
TANGS at Tang Plaza. 310 Orchard Road, Singapore 238864. +65 6737 5500.
Mon-Sat 10.30am-9.30pm; Sun 11.00am-8.30pm.
Robinsons Orchard at The Heeren. 260 Orchard Road, Singapore 238855. +65 6735 8838.