Local designers get new space to showcase work
New retail development coming up late next year
Local designers will soon have a space to showcase and retail their work as a new development - Design Orchard - had its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
The 2½-storey development, set to be completed by late next year, will have a retail space on its first level, an incubation space on the second and an events space on the rooftop.
Local lifestyle and design store Naiise will operate the retail space. Woha Architects will oversee the design and construction of the building.
The joint venture by JTC, Spring Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board will be at Orchard Green, where Keepers - a pop-up store featuring local designers - used to be.
Keeper's 16-month run as a pop-up space for local designs made it clear that there is a demand for home-grown goods and designs.
Design Orchard aims to nurture local brands and designers - in particular young and emerging ones.
It will provide mentorship to designers and connect them with overseas partners to bring Singaporean brands global.
An incubation space will also be available to allow designers to refine their craft and foster collaboration among them.
Miss Pamela Ting, director and co-founder of local furniture and homeware brand Scene Shang, is looking forward to the venture.
"We are mostly excited about the overseas opportunities as we are beginning to see interest for local design from tourists and expatriates," she said.
Naiise will begin its open call to designers for its retail spacenext month. Sixty local brands will be chosen to be showcased.
The focus, however, will be on giving younger fashion or lifestyle brands a chance to shine and grow.
Design Orchard is also part of a larger effort to revamp Orchard Road.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran, who was at the ceremony yesterday, said: "To stay relevant and sustain its appeal to Singaporeans and visitors, Orchard Road must evolve to provide more quality and immersive experiences."
Although the iconic shopping stretch has seen a slump in recent years, younger brands starting out still view it as a covetable location.
As Miss Santhi Tunas, designer at Binary Style, a local scarf brand that started in 2015, said: "Design Orchard offers an unbeatable location, which will give us exposure to new audiences and elevate us to a new level."