The #SupportLocalSG movement is going strong this year especially with the new establishment, Design Orchard. There’s finally a dedicated retail and lifestyle space for local designers and brands to showcase their merchandises.
Now our numerous homegrown brands can finally take centre stage at the very heart of Singapore’s popular shopping district, Orchard Road. With all the local brands housed under one roof, it makes it so much easier for us to shop for local products.
This is an integrated retail and incubation space which comprises of a retail showcase, an incubation workspace for designers, and a rooftop amphitheatre.
Design Orchard is spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB). This development is part of the government’s effort to transformed Orchard Road into a lifestyle hub. It also serves as a platform for budding local designers to grow internationally.
I had the opportunity to visit Design Orchard during the media preview and have a sneak peek at how each space looks like. First, let’s check out the integrated retail space at Level 1 of this 2.5-storey building.
Integrated Retail Showcase (Level 1)
Design Orchard is situated right opposite to H&M and 313@Somerset shopping mall. And this is the gorgeous entrance leading to the retail space of Design Orchard.
Currently, homegrown retailer Naiise is operating the retail showcase, which features 61 local brands. Most of the items on display are mainly fashion apparels and lifestyle products like perfumes, skincare products and food.
Ready to shop? Here’s where you surrender your wallet. Ka-ching.
Oo La Lab
This craft perfumery offers handcrafted fine fragrances, ranging from Eau de Parfums, scented candles to reed diffusers.
This is a collection of perfumes which comprises notes from locally-grown orchid varieties.
Dennis Tay, Founder of Naiise
Dennis Tay, who is the CEO of Naiise, brought us around the retail space for a short tour.
During the tour, he also introduced to us these interactive mirrors and automated table totems which opens up to the product catalogue that includes product recommendations.
You can also scan the items with the interactive mirrors to find out more about the product itself.
There are several cosy spaces for the shoppers to take Instagrammable photos as they shop and relax.
During the tour, Dennis also shared with us about the mentorship programme run by Naisse. They have gathered well-known entrepreneurs like Loh Lik Peng (founder of Unlisted Collection), Cynthia Chua (founder of Spa Espirit Group) and Sharon Wong (founder of Motherswork) to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. They will share their valuable knowledge and experiences through one-to-one mentoring and group sharing sessions.
Rooftop Incubation Space (Second Floor)
If you need a short respite from the bustling streets of Orchard Road, you can head up to the rooftop garden via the flight of stairs beside the main entrance.
The Architecture of Design Orchard
This establishment is designed and built by local firms, WOHA Architects and Sunray Woodcraft Construction. The building features a clean and sleek design of concrete, glass and timber. You will find many circular openings on the concrete walls which allows passersby to look into the retail space.
The Cocoon Space (Second Level)
This incubation space on the second floor will be operated by the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (Taff). They will use this space to groom new designers and fashion businesses by offering co-working spaces and studios for designers to collaborate and network.
The rooftop space is accessible to the public via this flight of stairs.
This cool space is definitely worth checking out.
Design Orchard opens today, 25 January 2019. It opens from 10.30 am to 9.30 pm daily.