From heritage-inspired jewellery to old school pastries, Singapore is a shopping paradise for fashionistas, homeowners and astute gift-givers alike.
Whether you’re shopping for an unconventional souvenir, or looking to express your impeccable taste in fashion, you’re bound to find an inspiring purchase in the Lion City.
For accessory lovers
After working for 11 years in a top advertising agency, Carolyn Kan was inspired to delve into the world of jewellery-making, following a sabbatical and an apprenticeship with a silversmith in Florence, Italy.
Since she founded Carrie K in 2009, the brand has gone on to win word-of-mouth fame and various accolades, including the Elle Awards’ Jewellery Designer of The Year. The store is known for its arrestingly playful pieces inspired by an array of eclectic historical influences, ranging from Peranakan* architecture to the mythological tales of Odysseus.
*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 6352 2559.
A brand that proudly displays its Asian heritage, Choo Yilin creates jade jewellery and heirloom pieces inspired by cultural touchstones like si dian jin (Chinese wedding trousseau) and nonya embroidery. The label incorporates Type-A Burmese jadeite and colourful gemstones into its modern, sophisticated designs, making them perfect for ladies looking to embody the mystery (and rich history) of the Orient. Its collections have been featured internationally, at Paris Fashion Week as well as the pages of the New York Times.
Mandarin Gallery. 333A Orchard Road #02-23, Singapore 238897. +65 6733 1131.
For astute fashionistas
Express your sartorial individuality at Revolte, a Singaporean fashion label that offers an assorted selection of wardrobe essentials and classy accessories for both men and women. The designer label prides itself on paying close attention to intricate detail, and you’ll be able to exude a sense of effortless ease by wearing their fashion pieces.
Revolte. 3 Temasek Blvd #02-438, Singapore 038983. +65 6238 6265.
Beyond The Vines
The theme of nature infuses the designs on offer at Beyond The Vines, evidenced in its name and the tree that dominates the space in the middle of the store.
Founded by couple Daniel Chew and Rebecca Ting, the outlet stocks chic, minimalistic dresses, jumpsuits and pants for the sophisticated woman, making it a perfect shopping spot for those hoping to express a sense of ease and natural beauty.
Mandarin Gallery. 333 Orchard Road #02-21, Singapore 238897. +65 8157 0577.
For gift-giving gourmands
Old Seng Choong
Bring home a taste of Singapore for your loved ones at Old Seng Choong. A tribute to chef-founder Daniel Tay’s father and his family’s tradition of baking, the confectionery offers up a variety of homemade cookies and cakes, inspired by the flavours of local cuisine. The pastry chain was named after the family’s confectionery—founded in 1965—and its flagship store in Clarke Quay exudes a nostalgic vibe, with its traditional décor.
We recommend perusing the shop’s selection of cookies in particular—and especially the surprisingly savoury flavours like bak kut teh (peppery pork soup), laksa (spicy coconut-milk based noodle soup) and satay (grilled skewered meat). They’ll make great gifts that show off your unconventional side and love for diverse cultures.
Old Seng Choong. 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #01-48, Singapore 059817. +65 6282 0220.
Founded by a trio of chocolate lovers, Fossa Chocolate makes chocolates and confections that are handcrafted at their workshop in Singapore.
Instead of using semi-finished products like pre-grounded cacao liquor and cocoa butter, Fossa chooses to make their chocolate from scratch, bringing out the rich flavours of this decadent treat. Made with top quality craftsmanship, sleek packaging and pure dedication, these chocolates are the perfect gift for making a classy impression.
Fossa Chocolate at Jones the Grocer. 9 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247697. +65 64761518.
Fossa Chocolate may be found at these other fine establishments.
From bookshelf to living room
Supermama Flagship Store
Named as a tribute to his wife and the mother of his two children, Supermama is the brainchild of local designer Edwin Low. This crafts store draws on local culture as inspiration, and is known for its blue-and-white plates, engraved with Singaporean symbols like the Merlion and the Tembusu tree.
The store is also famous for collaborating with craft facilities in Japan, merging the rigour of Japanese artisanship with Singaporean-inspired designs to create a range of beautiful collectors’ items.
Supermama Flagship Store. 265 Beach Road, Singapore 199544. +65 6291 1946.
A quaint gem of a bookstore situated in Tiong Bahru, BooksActually specialises in fiction and local literature, with many titles in the former category being published by the store’s imprint publisher, Math Paper Press.
Besides being a haven for local writers, this independent bookstore also stocks a range of journals, book clutches and tote bags, which make perfect gifts for your literary-minded friends and loved ones.
BooksActually. 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645. +65 6222 9195.
Add a hint of Singaporean-inspired design to your living room at Onlewo, a name that translates to ‘a peaceful, happy nest’. Founder and store director Mark Tay pays homage to the city’s architectural landscape with stunningly rendered visuals that blend contemporary pop art and age-old tradition; the establishment offers a range of fabrics, gifts and fashion accessories, many of which are inscribed with Singaporean stories and symbols.
Onlewo. 129 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208847. +65 9112 4685.