Local designers in Singapore
When it comes to shopping in Singapore, it’s normal to take the safe option for fashion and hit the mass chain brands on Orchard Road. And while this might feel faster and easier, it can be nice to find something different instead – particularly if you’re dressing for a special occasion. We’re fortunate to have a growing pool of talented local designers and Singapore-based labels. To steer you in the right direction, we’ve rounded up a big list of local fashion brands – from casual wear, handbags and jewellery – that you can shop online or in shops in Singapore.
Forbidden Hill by Ruth Pestana & David Aumonier
The offerings of this local fashion brand include distinctive jewellery collections that fuse modern aesthetics with regional motifs. Inspired by Ruth’s multicultural Straits ancestry, the couple draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of Southeast Asian cultures, bringing traditional crafts and heritage together with contemporary style and materials.
The brand’s unique creations are designed in Singapore at a studio near the original Forbidden Hill (today’s Fort Canning) and made regionally. Highlights include the silk bangles, which are vibrant pieces of arm candy with interchangeable inserts of pure Thai silk nested in precious metals, adding a gorgeous pop of colour and character to any outfit. The silk cuffs also come with interchangeable silk slides and medallions.
Pair the bangles with the eye-catching Ban Zu earrings of coloured resin set in gold and rhodium (pictured), or the Gemstone earrings in designs inspired by Singapore locales in sterling silver and gold vermeil with interchangeable gems. And be sure to check out the cufflink collections too!
46 Kim Yam Road (by appointment only)
6909 5160 | forbiddenhill.com
Binary Style by Santhi and Sari Tunas
Well-known for creating colourful and bright prints inspired by local architecture and nature, local fashion brand Binary Style is founded by twin sisters designers Santhi and Sari. They’ve now expanded their offerings to apparel, jewellery and homeware on top of their huge and much-loved collection of Singapore-inspired scarves.
Their latest offering is the scardigan; this convertible scarf can be turned into a chic flowy cardigan. It’s a highly versatile fashion piece featuring the brand’s signature bold prints. You can take it from pool to brunch, ensuring you’re always looking stylish in the balmy Singapore weather!
National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, #03-07 (by appointment only)
White Ginger by Emma Femminile
White Ginger has been an expat favourite for clothes shopping in Singapore for many years, and while easy-to-wear feminine pieces are at the heart of the collection, the store is now a treasure trove of gifts, homeware and accessories too.
Having recently opened a store in the UK, Emma continues to design styles and prints, which are then produced in Bali. She says that supporting Indonesian communities has never been more important to White Ginger, with each purchase helping to improve livelihoods through charitable initiatives.
Bright, cheerful patterns have been at the forefront of recent collections. “Brighter colours can elicit a more positive mood, so we have focused on cheerful shades,” says Emma, who especially loves green. “Wearing green definitely gives me a boost of energy!”
Visit the store in Tanglin Mall or the new White Ginger boutique in Joo Chiat; you can also go to the website to check out the latest styles. There’s fast and free delivery to Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
• #03-04 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road
• #02-06 i12 Katong, 112 East Coast Road
Junglesuit by Andrea and Catherine
What makes junglesuit stand out for us is that its two founders passionately believe that every woman is beautiful no matter her size or age, and it is their job to show this to the world. This philosophy guides the brand’s designs, with pieces that are sexy and sophisticated, with a dash of ‘wow’! They are perfect for hot days and nights in Singapore – whether it’s working, getting “stuff” done in town, a girls’ night out, or a special occasion.
They work with local seamstresses and small workshops overseas, consciously trying to make better social and environmental choices. And with over a decade of living and raising their families in Singapore, these long-time friends understand the challenges of dressing when it’s seriously hot and humid!
Some of their custom-designed fabric patterns, and the brand itself, are inspired by the wild side of the jungle – for cosmopolitan women who are ready to rock the tropics! Checkout their Instagram @junglesuit and shop online or book a private fitting experience at www.junglesuit.com. Use the discount code EL5 to get 5% off.
Lustre Jewellery by Anaita Thakkar
If you’re looking for an alternative to the usual silver or gold accessories, gemstones are a great option. For affordable, contemporary designs, head to the website of homegrown label Lustre Jewellery. Founded by self-taught local designer Anaita Thakkar, Lustre delivers quality semiprecious jewellery without the hefty price tag.
Anaita picks some of the finest semi-precious stones and has her designs handcrafted in extremely limited quantities in ateliers around the world. Her passion for detail and flair for design have helped her develop a loyal following; the Lustre studio is now a hidden gem where women visit to treat themselves to jewellery that’s unique and lasting. (And, if you needed another reason to satisfy your online shopping cravings, there’s also free shipping worldwide on orders over $300!)
You can shop Lustre online, or in person by appointment at the Singapore studio. Select pieces are also available at A Raft of Otters in Tanglin Mall, and at Design Orchard.
Curated by J
Effortless jewellery for day or night wear. For example, Aleyolé’s Lapse collection is a range of jewellery that’s designed to spark conversation. The simplistic and minimalist designs mean it can marry well with almost any outfit – from summery dresses to playful jumpsuits. It’s an all-day, chic accessory that’ll get heads turning. All the earrings are made with zirconia, bringing a pop of sparkle everywhere you go. They come in a myriad of colours as well, to match your mood and personal style.
Come evening, the Studio Royale collection will shine. Inspired by the golden era of timeless and iconic styles of Hollywood goddesses, these dazzling pieces are perfect for a night on the town. Take the Mini Bali Gold Hoops – available in pink, black, cherry, lilac,
gold and white zirconia – for a spin on date night or a girls’ night out. Looking for a snug hoop earring to jazz up a slinky dress? Go for the Valerie gold earrings, encrusted with pink and lemon zirconia.
Whether you’re a statement-piece kind of lady or you love mix-and-matching a few delicate pieces of jewellery, Aleyolé’s collections from Curated by J will help bring your wardrobe to life.
curatedbyj.com | IG: @Curated_byj
Other local fashion brands
This brand uses the traditional batik of Indonesia to create modern, fun and stylish clothes that will take you from beach to party. The vintage batik is pure cotton, and many of the fabrics are old and soft on the skin, made in the traditional way and with natural dyes. Alternatively, there’s a luxury silk collection for those who want a more sophisticated look.
From gorgeous tops to cool breezy pants, throw a little jacket over it to dress it up. You’ll be looking good and keeping cool, as well as supporting a community in Bali.
Shopping at Tiffany’s by Tiffany Maughan
Australian-born Tiffany Maughan now has three fashion stores across Singapore, along with her own design collection, Kenz & Kate. Her biggest inspiration comes from travel, and her Kenz & Kate collection reflects that. Whether it’s a jumpsuit, kaftan or cool summer dress, these are flexible styles that can work from day to night, and from shopping to bar hopping.
The Kenz & Kate collection supports sustainability and fair trade, and is ethically produced in India and Bali – it’s made for women by women.
Capsule Collection by Juliette
Juliette is a true Parisian girl, a French fashion designer reaching to all corners of the globe for conscious inspiration, and a mother of two. She couldn’t find what she wanted for that professional-yet-versatile, elegant-yet-easy-to-wear outfit, when she was clothes shopping in Singapore so she designed it herself! First came her all-time favourite – and now signature outfit and best seller – the jumpsuit. Then came dresses, skirts, trousers, playsuits and tops. And they all maintain the focus of being timeless slow fashion in natural fabrics and also ethically produced.
As a working mum, Juliette knows exactly what it means to juggle a busy schedule! So, she wanted to create clothes for her friends and all women like her who are trying to do, be and feel their best in their hectic everyday lives.
Little Match Girl by Angis Tiew
With this sustainable local fashion brand, the latest trend isn’t a seasonal print or colour, it’s commitment to slow fashion. They’ve come a long way since starting in 2003. Founder Angis Tiew began reevaluating her approach to the industry after becoming a parent. As a result, she believes it’s our duty to leave the next generation a sustainable planet. For socially-conscious clothes shopping in Singapore, this retailer is the first label that sells a full range of sustainably-sourced fabrics crafted from Tencel to make their casual clothes shopping more eco-friendly.
Weekend Sundries by Michelle Chan
Clothes shopping in Singapore for clothes that are considerate of the humidity is key for local designer Michelle Chan. Her focus is on dressing with ease, and offering versatility and breathable comfort – these things help anchor the brand.
Local fashion brand Weekend Sundries’ designs focus on quality, timelessness and comfort, catering to a more conscious way of living. The brand’s approach is that fashion should be helpful rather than harmful, hence its penchant for textiles that are natural, eco-conscious and traceable. So, the materials used are natural, low-impact fabrics personally sourced from textile mills in Japan, along with Lenzing Tencel and other sustainable fabrics that are kind to the environment. The seamstresses are based in Singapore, as well as in various partner workshops in Indonesia and Vietnam.
The Jersey Shop
Gen Woo is British and moved to Singapore in 2016. The fabric she uses at The Jersey Shop is super comfortable “fine knit” lightweight jersey, made from cotton and cotton blends (viscose polyester, linen and elastane). The store has just expanded to include a baby wear line, too, and this season the girls’ wear has been split into two lines – a younger range for ages two to eight years and a tweens’ range for eight to 14.
Gen’s fashion idol is Stella McCartney – she finds her business model an inspiration, from supply chain transparency and sustainable raw material sourcing, to recycling and leather alternatives. The Jersey Shop products are available through Zalora – also watch out for the new website!
When the economic crisis affected Turkey in 2018, a 25-year-old Turkish textile business was going to be closed down. But, an idea came to family members based in Singapore and inspired them to rethink things. The idea was to make very comfortable yet fun men’s underwear. Pieces with bold prints and quirky messages on the inside for the wearer to look at for a confidence boost or a laugh, or even to show off!
Underwear is easy to manufacture with a small team, and doesn’t require specialised machinery; it’s also easy to ship. So, the business was brought to life here, while all the manufacturing still takes place in Turkey.
The Fancies team have had loads of fun picking prints, colours and slogans, and working on designs for packaging. And the good thing is, because it’s a family business, they can source high-quality materials and keep costs, and therefore prices, low.
Clothes shopping in Singapore for active wear? This high-quality, stylish active wear and yoga leggings feature an exciting twist. Yumi Active aims to inspire and thrill the discerning modern woman who values aesthetics, style and comfort. It’s a refreshing brand with an Eastern touch, in a range of unique designs, made with top-grade sports materials for women.
Stones that Rock
From necklaces to bracelets and also earrings, all Stones that Rock pieces are made with hand-selected freshwater pearls, semi-precious stones or crystals, and often feature silk and leather accents. Try the versatile lariat necklaces, which come in an array of colours to dress up any outfit. You can also enjoy free shipping in Singapore!
This local fashion brand was founded by Belinda Lee and Su May. They felt that the local swimwear scene was lacking options. PinkSalt merges style and function into its swimwear design, creating pieces that are stylish and contemporary but still classy. Each season, the duo also design an original print as the focus of each collection.
Founded in 2014 in Singapore, this local designer brand creates luxury swim, active and resort wear for women. Designs and prints are inspired by multi-cultural elements of Singapore.
Collate the Label
Setting itself apart as a luxe yet affordable designer for style-savvy ladies, Collate the Label has a growing loyal following thanks to its versatile and feminine silhouettes. Favouring tailored silhouettes like shift dresses and peplum shapes with nipped-in waists, this label will have a place in wardrobes for years to come.
The focus here is on quality construction, cut and fit. Ong Shunmugam is a contemporary womenswear label pioneering the reinvention of traditional Asian silhouettes such as the cheongsam and qipao. Founder Priscilla Shunmugam puts a creative spin on traditional textile techniques and silhouettes to create wearable and elegant ready-to-wear pieces. The local fashon brand also takes on custom bridal and evening-wear design requests.
If it’s a feminine and flirty outfit you’re after, look no further than whimsical local fashion brand Aijek. Inspired to make real women look and feel fabulous, local designer Danelle Woo creates stunning dresses, skirts, tops and trousers in natural fabrics that will ensure you stand out for all the right reasons!
Elohim by Sabrina Goh
Well-loved for it’s oversized androgynous designs, local fashion designer Sabrina Goh’s collections are easy to wear and are expat-figure friendly. From oversized shift dresses to flattering dresses and culotte pants, there’s a style to suit every shape.
Award-winning local designer Silvia believes that women can be powerful and independent without losing the grace and poise of their femininity. The local label only works with trans-seasonal collections (fashion pieces that can be worn across all seasons) unfettered by the trends, reinforcing the concept of slow fashion.
This local fashion label specialises in handcrafted artisan jewellery made of sterling silver or semi-precious stones. You’ll love the quirky yet modern take on jewellery design.
Looking for a boutique handbag, a fun clutch or an evening purse? Based in Singapore, this namesake bag label uses top-notch leathers and fabrics in creating one-of-a-kind, Asian-inspired designs.
Inspired by Bali and Ibiza, Baliza designs timeless, sustainable resortwear clothing perfect for summer. Shop unique garments ethically made by women in Jaipur, India, using sustainable fabrics and traditional techniques of beading and block printing.
Handmade in a small family-run factory in Bali, UBU offers fun and functional swimwear made from recycled fabric that’s derived from post-consumer materials like old fishing nets.
Eden & Elie
This Singapore fashion brand offers ethical jewellery handmade with premium and responsibly-sourced materials like delica beads from Miyuki, a manufacturer in Japan.
Ling Wu Bags
If you’re after leather bags, you should check out local designers Ling Wu’s gorgeous designs crafted in python skin and leather in modern designs.
Handcrafted by experienced craftsmen in Italy, local label Maeso’s shoes are durable. The star of the show is the material used: high-quality, full-grain vegetable-tanned leather sourced from leading tanneries in Italy.
In Good Company
This concept label creates capsules of casual wear collections in a palette of neutrals perfect for Singapore’s climate. You’ll find simple shift dresses, cotton pants and also crepe camisoles.
For more features on fashion, see our Style section.
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