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Setting up shop in Singapore: We visit cute new boutique Willow & Huxley

Almost a year after multi-label Willow & Huxley opened on Amoy Street, Yusrina Yusoff caught up with Susie Wallace and Laura Sisterson to get the lowdown on what makes their store different.

Before Willow & Huxley, Susie sold apparel at a number of fairs and events. When Laura joined her on 2012, they decided that a bricks and mortar store was the way forward. “We were unhappy with the shopping experience in Singapore so we decided to do something about it,” says Laura.

Prior to settling on Amoy Street last August, they considered leasing a unit in a shopping mall, but brushed the idea aside as the mall would not have the right personality. “We like the idea of stumbling upon a cool boutique, like you would on the streets of London,” says Laura.

However, it was not all fun and games. “Setting up a store is challenging, especially when we were scraping floor adhesive off the floors till 1am on the nights leading up to the opening!”

At Willow & Huxley, you can expect a well curated store chock-full of merchandise that will make you squeal in delight. With labels from around the world, expat customers will discover brands that are not available back home. Most of the clothes are perfect for the Singapore weather. Sam & Lavi from Los Angeles and Baum und Pferdgarten from Denmark – both available only at Willow & Huxley – offer garments made from soft materials like silk jersey. Bella Luxx uses the finest silk modal for its perfect-fit T-shirts and maxi dresses that are ideal for a round-the-clock wardrobe.

Susie and Laura are always travelling to New York, London and South Africa to source new brands and labels. Dressed in a funky T-shirt with a short black skirt and silver sneakers, the stylish Laura says, “We’ll always go see the collection first hand to make sure what we’re buying is good quality and suitable for our customers.”

Willow & Huxley is all about well-tailored clothes with flattering cuts for women of all shapes, up to size 16. Susie and Laura know that everyone is different; there’s no such thing as one size or style fits all. “You can’t suggest the same thing to everyone,” explains Susie, “As soon as a customer tries on one garment we can see her body shape, and we know our stock so we can recommend others accordingly.” And for something that doesn’t quite fit right, they offer free alterations.

Many women’s worst nightmare is running into someone else in the same outfit, which is why Susie and Laura track their customers’ purchases and document what they buy, their preferences, their size and the brands they like.

“We make notes on what our customers are wearing to a particular event, so no two will end up wearing the same thing,” says Susie. For some of the items, they bring in only two pieces, and up to eight for the basics. “Eight in Singapore is not massive,” Susie says, laughing.

The good experience does not end at the racks. In the spacious fitting room, there are two armchairs where your better half to wait comfortably. Alternatively, he could browse the men’s section. “There are good tailors here, so men tend to get things made; but there aren’t many casual options,” explains Susie about their decision to bring in men’s casual wear.

Willow & Huxley has a good mix of conservative, trendy and fun stuff, but if you don’t fancy anything you see, ask for more. They might have something for you from their “secret stock” pile. And the best part? Willow & Huxley opens at 9am!

20 Amoy Street

6220 1745 | willowandhuxley.com

 

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