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Homegrown brands take the spotlight as Design Orchard officially opens for business

Here are a few local labels to look out for, as they take the leap from online stores into a physical location.

Homegrown brands take the spotlight as Design Orchard officially opens for business

Social enterprise The Animal Project is one of the 61 featured brands.

Local design showcase and incubator Design Orchard officially opened its doors on Friday (Jan 25).

All housed under one roof and under the tagline “Where Local Brands Flourish”, 61 homegrown labels are part of a mentorship programme run by local retailer Naiise, covering topics such as marketing, merchandising and expansion strategies.

Out of all, 11 are new or emerging labels that are less than two years old, while 47 are labels that are two to 10 years old. The remaining three are established brands that have been around for more than 10 years.

For sportwear brand Kydra, Design Orchard marks their first physical location. Founded by university mates Jimmy Poh and Wong Dingyao, both 28, Kydra officially launched in July 2017 and earned S$100,000 in revenue in a year.

“We want to be known for our highest quality apparel, functional wear to provide effective solutions for athletes and non-athletes at a reasonable price,” said Poh in an interview last year.

Furnishing and décor pieces are also available at Design Orchard. Sister brands Doob Bean Bags and SoftRock Living by Shane Low and Jay Cheng are also in their first physical location within the new space.

There are also social enterprises, like The Animal Project (TAP) which was started by a group of parents and friends who celebrate, showcase and support the abilities of persons with special needs. The six-year-old brand curate from differently-abled artists who are exceptional in illustrating animals. These artists earn royalties from the sale of product embellished with their unique illustrations and artwork.

“We hope to learn new things and get expansion plans put in place. Another area we’re looking at is e-commerce and we need to have experts to advise us on this,” Mr Roland Tay, founder of TAP told Channel NewsAsia in an earlier interview.

For those looking to do some last-minute shopping before the Lunar New Year, local label The Missing Piece will be bringing its cheongsams from their website into the real world at Design Orchard. Like the others, this is also the first for the apparel brand since the opening of its by-appointment-only studio space last year.

Located opposite The Heeren, Design Orchard is a two-storey development with a 9,000 sq ft retail space on the first floor. Located above is The Cocoon Space, an upcoming fashion incubator featuring co-working spaces, sewing equipment and a “fabric library”.

To celebrate the opening of Design Orchard, shoppers receive an exclusive Design Orchard gift packet with a minimum spend of S$88 nett. Available till Feb 17, while stocks last.

Source: CNA/gl