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Singapore punches above its weight when it comes to creativity. Living up to its standing as a UNESCO Creative City of Design, it is home to a vibrant arts and design scene whose practitioners are weaving local motifs, cultures and, of course, food into a variety of products, be they designer togs or porcelain ware. Here are five home-grown brands from around the island, each bearing its own unique stamp.

Ong Shunmugam

This celebrated contemporary womenswear label doesn’t churn out mass-produced pieces like fast fashion mass consumer brands do. Instead, it prides itself on producing fashion-forward, long-lasting clothes that marry traditional textile techniques and styles with modern silhouettes. For instance, the line reinterpreted the Chinese cheongsam and Indian sari to look more structured and sophisticated, with contemporary touches in the prints and stitching.

Founder Priscilla Shunmugam has made great strides since she called time on her legal career to set up the label in 2010. In just seven years, she has bowled over the industry and fashionistas with her designs. In 2015, she was invited to be a jury member of the Product Design category in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—a first for the Singaporean fashion industry.

While you can pick from the ready-to-wear range in the label’s flagship store, Ong Shunmugam also offers a made-to-measure “Custom” couture line for bridal and evening pieces—you’ll get to work with the tailors themselves to design your dream gown. A knee-length piece starts from SGD 1,683 and will be ready in three to four months, with international shipping options available.

Atelier Ong Shunmugam. 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-76, Singapore 278115. +65 6252 2612.
Daily noon-7pm.


Here’s a socially conscious brand which deserves space in your wardrobe. Renyung Ho and Yvonne Suner, the brains behind the three-year-old label, partner rural textile communities in Rajasthan, India. Each piece is a means of providing employment and ensuring sustainability for entire families and communities. Its breezy collections for women, men and tots are everyday staples stitched from a whole range of heritage print fabrics, such as ikat (a method of resist dying and weaving), Indian block prints and jamdani (a Bangladeshi method of embroidery). With its heart set on building up the artisan communities that they work with, MATTER is quickly winning fans over.

NAIISE at Clarke Quay Central. 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-23, Singapore 059817.
Daily 11am-10pm.

TANGS at Tang Plaza. 310 Orchard Road, Singapore 238864. +65 6737 5500.
Mon-Sat 10.30am-9.30pm; Sun 11am-8.30pm.

For a full list of stockists, visit here.

Dievas Watches

Its tagline “uhren technik” means “watch technology” in German—but make no mistake, Dievas has its roots in Singapore. Founder Anders Tan’s first foray into the watch business began in 2001 with Gnomon, an online store that stocks brands such as Traser, a Swiss military label, and Nomos, which specialises in Bauhaus-inspired mechanical and automatic timepieces. Gnomon now has a brick-and-mortar store and carries, among other brands, Tan’s own Dievas collection.

Made in collaboration with a Germany-based watch manufacturer, Dievas watches are renowned for their durability. The brand even has a proprietary case hardening process to hand-assemble watches that are scratch-resistant. True to their hardiness, the timepieces borrow design references from vintage military and diving watches—which also means they would look better fitted on a gentleman’s wrist.

Gnomon Watches at Millenia Walk. 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-73/74, Singapore 039596. +65 6396 6920.
Mon-Fri 11.30am-8pm; Sat 12.30-8pm; Sun 12.30-7pm.


“A jazzed-up mama shop” (old-school corner provision shop): that’s Supermama summed up in four words by founders Edwin and Meiling Low. Supermama is a labour of love for the husband-and-wife duo, who sold their Housing Development Board (HDB) flat fund their dream of opening a homeware and crafts store.

The pair’s passion shows in their curation of products, too. Supermama’s flagship store is chock-full of minimalist design pieces, each a result of collaborations with Japanese craft facilities. Ultra-thin drinking glasses were produced with Shotoku, small-batch furniture with Legnatec and porcelain ware with KIHARA. Better yet are the tableware sets (each comprises a chopstick rest, saucer and plate) that depict scenes and motifs inspired by Singapore’s iconic public housing flats. Designed by Chang Shian Wei and made in Arita, Japan, the ‘Singapore Icons’ series even won the President’s Design Award in 2013. Here’s a fun fact about Supermama: its logo was the work of the owners’ then-three-year-old daughter.

Supermama. 265 Beach Road, Singapore 199544. +65 6291 1946.
Daily 11am-8pm.

K+ Curatorial Space

Art, retail and community congregate at K+ Curatorial Space, a multi-concept store that breathes yet more life into Singapore’s art and design scene. Curated by award-winning creative agency Kinetic, K+ stocks artwork, home décor pieces, literature and bric-a-brac from local and international brands such as Donna Wilson, Faculty and Uu. Alongside the retail section is a gallery space that throws the spotlight on under-the-radar or emerging artists—from time to time, K+ also doubles up as an event space that features these artists. Each exhibition runs for about six to eight weeks, making each visit a new experience.

Scotts Square. 6 Scotts Road #03-11/12/13, Singapore 228209. +65 6694 8896.
Mon-Thu 11.30am-8.30pm; Fri-Sun 11am-8.30pm.


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