In this age of consumption and production en masse, it is incredibly heartening to know that there are still many who appreciate individualism and fresh creativity. In this article, we warmly present to you 10 Singapore-grown creatives and labels. From sushi art and homemade jams, to curated fashion and tongue-in-cheek trinkets that are oh-so-Singaporean, and even controversial comics, we’ve got it covered. Majulah Singapura, indeed!
Chirashi Bomb is a creative label Si Hui started in late 2015, motivated by her love for sushi (who doesn’t?) and her tiny dream of working amongst senpais she respects in the local art scene. She likens her creative dreams to the euphoria of silky sashimi and has translated her joy into magazines, phone cases, hand-drawn notebooks and designed cards, stickers and prints. But beneath this lies a deeper, more heartfelt meaning of a small dream. Si Hui had picked a polytechnic course over art school, which was what she had wanted to do initially. But in a lucky streak, she scored an internship with The Local People in 2014 and that kickstarted her participation in local art markets. To her, Chirashi Bomb is a second chance to live a dream that she longed for.
Luxemono pride themselves on merging luxury and monogram seamlessly with their finest line of leather accessories – card cases, wallets, folders and such. Personalization is at the heart of everything they do. The result? Leather accessories you can truly call your own, branded and finished off with your own initials, nothing else. With rising global reach, Luxemono stay true to themselves and continue to employ only the best craftsmen to work magic with their 100 percent Saffianio leather. As they have put it, “the brand is ours just as much as it is yours.”
Salient Label was once just ‘Salient’ before they started designing and producing their own designs. For one of many reasons, Salient Label decided that sourcing clothes from Asia would inevitably result in clashing designs with other stores, and that simply did not fit with their beliefs. Now, Salient Label marks their stand in the market with simple pieces that are wearable in scorching Singapore while paying attention to little details such as edgy exposed backs and side-slits. They are currently stocked at Megafash at 100A.M, Tras Street, but check out their website for their latest designs.
We are almost sure you’ve heard of GSH Conserves. As one of the pioneering local jam makers, GSH Conserves are an environmental advocate that have grown exponentially over the years. They celebrate the greatness of seasonal produce that is found in the region and aim to make better choices that help conserve the environment and our society. Their jams can be bought online or offline at Naiise, Jones the Grocer and Hipvan. Head to their website for more retail sites. We’ve also seen them at local farmers’ markets, so if you’re not already convinced, get a tasting portion of their stellar jams there. Stay updated on Instagram as they move around the island.
Li Ling and her two friends have always been partial to things of the past. In a bid to make nostalgia tangible, When I Was Four was birthed to produce gifts from long ago days. It is a handmade business, which aims to emphasise the importance of slowing down in such a fast-paced society. Through their products, When I Was Four hopes to bring back the simple happiness brought by little things of the past. A love for such innocent joy is the very drive to build this local brand, devoted to producing these little (and sometimes pretty large) trinkets for everyone. We can’t wait for their upcoming ‘Kopitiam Culture’ collection, available online and offline at 261 Waterloo Street.
Glory and Gold is an accessories and lifestyle brand founded in January 2016 by two aspiring individuals who wanted to bring together like-minded friends with the same penchant for simplicity. The plain outlook embodies the subtle and understated woman. To keep in line with their goal of ‘maximising the minimal,‘ the entire catalogue is meticulously sourced and curated. Today, Glory and Gold have embarked on self-designed jewellery and lifestyle products that keep every woman up-to-trend. They have recently launched self-designed iPhone cases inspired by Pantone’s Colours of the Year, proudly made and designed in Singapore. Glory and Gold regularly updates on Instagram – be prepared to be hit with clean and stark visuals.
The Authority is a menswear label created for individualistic and down-to-earth men. Simple cuts, unfussy lines and monochrome colours form the backbone of each collection. Since the launch in September 2015, The Authority has been steadily carving a niche with its uncomplicated and easy to wear pieces that are perfect for the original and distinctive men. They’ve also seen creative ladies sport their clean-cut fabrics and it is absolutely compelling. They’ve just launched their tenth collection – take a leaf through their online catalogues or head to their physical store at Orchard Gateway #03-03.
The Huntress Cult is a fashion and lifestyle store for the modern minimalist. When Natalie started THC, all she had in mind was quality and versatility. She believed in two things when hunting for clothes: convenience and like-mindedness. It felt only natural to embed her beliefs in the name of the store itself. The Huntress Cult – a cult of girls acutely hunting for tailored fabrics. Since THC’s birth in 2014, Natalie has single-handedly designed dresses for followers of THC, paying attention to minute details. After all, a touch of playfulness makes all the difference. While THC drops hints for an exciting future, they are keeping it hush-hush for now. We can’t wait to see what they have. Members of THC get news first, but in the meantime, we’ll be at The Showcase at NEX trying their famed lace back dress.
The Weekend Warrior is a loyal bunch of friends who were once creators themselves. They fiercely believed in safeguarding the specializations of creators in the age of mass production. Today, armed with this strong belief, the team has evolved and grown to become an organizer of events that brings together independent businesses. The Weekend Warrior is also constantly in collaboration with local designers. Together, they conceptualize and kickstart projects inspired from subcultures and by things that they love.
An independent publisher based in Singapore, Epigram Books is champions local writing and reaffirms well-designed and thought-provoking titles. One of the publisher’s latest books, Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, has received worldwide acclaim and entered the New York Times hardcover graphic books bestsellers list. Epigram Books has also been nominated Bologna Prize Children’s Publisher of the Year (Asia) at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Their books can be found online, but they are also dotted across the island in major bookstores and at their showroom in the heartlands of Toa Payoh.
Epigram Books is awarding a $20,000 Fictional Book Prize this year so if you happen to be a local writer, they would be very happy to receive your manuscripts.