Ever since its inception in 2002 (founded by Ms Charlotte Cain), the twice a year shopping pop-up event Boutiques has been growing exponentially with each edition, to the point that they made the move to the F1 Pit Building in order to accommodate the massive number of vendors setting up shop.
In its latest edition, Boutiques introduces the all new ‘Edit’ segment of the fair. Organised by the Textile and Fashion Federation (TAFF), Boutiques Edit was designed to act as a platform to better showcase local homegrown brands and labels. Launch night was graced by guest of honour Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, who made a quick opening address at the Singapore Stories booth.
In her speech, Minister Sim Ann applauded TAFF’s efforts for profiling local fashion and accessory makers and designers to tell the Singapore Stories through wearable art, impressed by the warm response to the initial open call, before it was launched in July with the final 13 designers and labels. She also reminded audiences of the upcoming Design Orchard space to be launched by the end of the year, a further incubation space for designers, design labs, students and aspiring business owners to find a space to call home for their craft.
Brands forming part of the Singapore Stories showcase include menswear brand The Shirt Bar, dedicated to crafting impeccable shirts with unique designs, and bespoke skincare brand Alcheme, harnessing cutting-edge Facial Recognition technology to
develop formulations uniquely suited to each customer and their individual needs, in a global first, not to mention innovative womenswear brand Ying The Label, unique in its one-of-a-kind, instinctive and arty prints created with water colour paintings.
With a champagne glass in hand and canapes from Violet Oon’s Kitchen, there was plenty to explore at the sprawling affair, spanning two floors of the Pit Building and encompassing brands and products that ranged from children’s wear, eco-conscious footwear, books, alcohol, coffee and scents. Familiar local brands included Carrie K, Demochoco, Epigram Books, Plain Supplies and more, while it was a pleasant surprise to see brands such as Eyeyah and Black Cow Vodka make their appearance as well.
Speaking to Quanda Ong, founder and CEO of accessory brand Gnome & Bow, we came to realise that there were plenty of local designers that continue to go under the radar. Gnome & Bow themselves have been around for 5 years, and this year, have begun to expand out from being stocked at stores like Benjamin Barker, out to their own individual popups at events such as Boutiques. What charmed us about the brand was their dedication to storytelling and brand identity, with bags that took inspiration from classic, well known tales such as The Tortoise and the Hare or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and cleverly weaving it into subtle aspects of bag details, a brand that yells quirky yet classy.
Bring your wallet, an adventurous spirit and an open mind as you come support local at Boutiques this weekend, discovering and rediscovering all the incredible brands on display.
Boutiques: The Gifting Edition 2018 runs from 9th to 11th November 2018 at the F1 Pit Building Levels 2 & 3. For more information, visit their website here