Design Orchard will open its doors on January 25 to groom local fashion and lifestyle brands for success on the global stage, as well as add to ongoing efforts to update and transform one of Singapore’s best-known shopping precinct.
The 2.5-storey Design Orchard – spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) – is located at the junction of Orchard Road and Cairnhill Road, comprising a retail showcase on the first level, incubation spaces on the second level and the rooftop, and an events space on the rooftop.
Homegrown retailer Naiise will operate the retail showcase, which will feature 61 new, emerging and established brands. These include Artisan of Sense, Jewels, Qlothe, SoftRock Living and The Animal Project. The brands cut across categories such as fashion apparel, beauty and wellness, food souvenirs and small home furnishings.
Naiise will also run a mentorship programme, covering areas such as marketing, merchandising and expansion plans, for the brands in the retail showcase.
Entrepreneurs including Unlisted Collection founder Loh Lik Peng, Spa Esprit Group founder Cynthia Chua and Motherswork founder Sharon Wong will be part of the mentorship programme, sharing their knowledge and experience through regular one-on-one mentoring and group sharing sessions.
Ranita Sundra, director of retail and dining at STB, said: “Singapore is home to many global brands. As these brands become more ubiquitous, we noticed that more people are drawn to local products with a Singapore story. Design Orchard is thus an exciting opportunity for us to profile the best of Singapore talent under one roof at a prime location.”
The Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (Taff) will operate The Cocoon Space, an incubation space on the second level targeted at local lifestyle and fashion designers.
Taff will nurture independent designers and fashion businesses by offering co-working spaces with resources such as a Makers Studio with professional sewing equipment and a Fabric Library, and collaboration and networking opportunities with industry players. Designers will be encouraged to innovate and design products with sustainability principles in mind.
The organisation will also run an incubation programme, The Bridge Fashion Incubator, for aspiring fashion startups from both Singapore and around the region. Focused on sustainability, innovation and technology, the programme is meant to meet the business and technical needs of designers by covering talent development, training and overseas trips for sourcing and production.
Alan Yeo, director of retail & design at Enterprise Singapore, said: “The Cocoon Space provides aspiring Singapore designers with shared facilities, enabling them to testbed and prototype their ideas, and hone their business skills more quickly. Very importantly, we want to work with them to create products that are aligned to the industry trends and consumer needs. This is why Taff’s incubation programme will focus on fashion technology and sustainability.”
Design Orchard is developed by JTC, which appointed local firms WOHA Architects and Sunray Woodcraft Construction to design and build the development respectively.
The building features a sloping rooftop with lush greenery and timber seats. The rooftop space, with its amphitheatre, also serves as a space for events set against the backdrop of Orchard Road.