Everyone seems to agree that Singapore has some of the best shopping in the world. You really can buy everything in the shopping city, especially when it comes to fashion, shoes and accessories … There are all the European, American and Asian international brands, as well as some unique Singapore-centric labels as well. For my money, the best places to shop are some of the more eclectic multi-label stores … Sects Shop, Keepers and Biro Shouten.
Sects Shop is the store for people who love streetwear, alternative fashion and anything a bit spooky and goth. Founded in 2014 but the two creative minds behind Singapore fashion brand Depression – Kenny Lim and Andrew Loh – this multilabel store located in Orchard Gateway is always at the forefront of the next big trend. Although it’s mainly a menswear store, there’s a strong unisex component to the buy that neatly covers the new Korean streetwear trends of oversize, unisex ‘skirts for boys’ trends as well as generously-cut ‘drapey black goth’ pieces that are definitely female-friendly. Shoes are available in smaller sizes for women, and there are always accessories like bags and jewellery that can be adopted by both sexes.
What I love most about Sects Shop is that it’s always got something new – a new label, a new fashion-forward trend – and the staff are extremely knowledgeable about not only the labels in-store, but also about the current trends for styling.
The interior consists of various ‘shop-in-shop’ spaces that curate the various looks and trends into different spaces. The furniture pieces have been specially created to match the store’s concrete-industrial-tropical-trash feel and are used to create different spaces. Sects Shop is also home to semi-regular pop-up party events that basically include a runway show of the store’s hardcore fans in their best Sects Shop looks.
Depression has been around for about 10 years now, and has a hardcore, dedicated fan following; and now Sects Shop does too. Some of the brands stocked include in-house Singapore brand Depression (obviously), More Than Dope (Korea), Sleazy Corner (Korea), Killstar (UK), Fangophilia (Tokyo), MasterNumber (Korea), R.Shemiste (Korea), Thrasher (US), Heta (Korea), Drink Beer Save Water (Korea), OY (Korea), Youser (Korea) and Nasty Palm (Korea). You can shop online at sectsshop.com/collections/all.
I have to admit to being a bit biased about the beauties of Sects Shop. I am a longtime friend of the co-owners 🙂 and also a big-spending customer; I do LOVE Korean fashion brands.
I was also the creative director for the shop’s recent Spring Summer campaign shoot … READ MORE HERE
Sects Shop not only has a great Instagram account that lets you know what’s new in-store, the owners have recently also launched an account called sects.education that’s designed to show Singaporean’s how to be a bit more cutting edge when it comes to their street style looks, and features images from some of the city’s more interesting fashionistas. Well worth following for some interesting Asian fashion inspiration.
Sects Shop is located at Orchard Gateway #04-14, Singapore.
If you are looking for genuine Singapore design then you need to check out Keepers in the National Design Centre, which is worth checking out in its own right if you like any sort of design.
Created by one of Singapore’s most prolific and genuine artisans, Carolyn Kan of Carrie K. Artisan Jewellery which also has its studio in the same group of buildings, Keepers has had a number of incarnations, starting as a pop-up store on Orchard Road and ending up with its permanent spot in the Design Centre.
You can read more about her achievements in my round-up of the recent Singapore Fashion Awards 2017.
Carolyn is Singapore’s number one style and design collaborators – Singapore’s godmother of design. She has created numerous opportunities for all sorts of emerging artists and designers to come together to create unique capsule collections, but has also spearheaded the development of space for these artisans to actually SELL their creations. As a multilabel store, Keepers offers everything from jewellery, fashion, furniture and homewares, to unique flavoured teas and chocolates. Keepers is also behind the annual Singapasar fleamarket that features only Singaporean creations.
So, back to the store. Situated in the front of the ground floor, the store is a free-form space that morphs into different design concepts based on individual brand concepts.
Currently Keepers is holding is a pop-up capsule collection from Singapore’s ‘Dowager Empress’ of fashion, Thomas Wee. This all-white range of beautifully hand-finished, couture-cut fashion pieces are based on Thomas’ all-time best-sellers. The designer himself was there opening night, taking measurements and informing customers that he would tailor various bits and pieces to better suit their body shapes.
This is the type of personal service that adds to the joy of visiting Keepers. Carolyn and her creative husband/partner Chong can often be found hanging out in the store making useful suggestions to customers over which pieces of jewellery to buy, or which Ling Wu exotic skin bag looks best. Hands down, Keepers is the best place to buy stylish souvenirs from Singapore; and it’s the best place to snap up artistic presents as well.
Keepers is located at National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, #01-01, Singapore. Open 12pm to 8pm daily. The National Design Centre is also home to Carrie K. Atelier and super hot dining & cafe spot Tanuki Raw plus another cool multi-brand store Kapok.
For shoppers who are more into the extreme hardcore minimalism of very select hand-curate objects and fashion items; or stylistas who are obsessed with the normcore purity of Japanese design, Biro Shouten is the tiny, perfect store for you.
Opened by the two very hip brothers, Kenghow and Kage, behind Singapore menswear label Biro – think the most perfect indigo-dyed denim from Japan and the softest hand-loomed cotton t-shirts – Biro Shouten is a gem of a shop.
This is where the brothers bring together their concise curration of the very best versions of micro-targeted accessories, homewares, organic home scents, jewellery and clothing, including Mastery handmade small leather goods and Takashi Endo Ceramics.
The store itself is small, but perfect in layout and design – very Japanese in concept and feel. Although it’s located in a somewhat odd area (a very Singapore heartland shopping mall), it’s directly next to the Lavender MRT stop and well worth making the effort to visit.
Biro Shouten is located at Kitchener Complex, Level 3, 809 French Road, Singapore.