The shopping scene is truly heating up in Orchard: Local label Hansel has just moved its playful offerings into Mandarin Gallery, curio store A Curious Teepee will be opening at Scape in the middle of the month and around the same time, two-year-old Blackmarket will be opening its second store in Orchard Central, their biggest yet, spanning 1,800 sq. ft. Clued-in fashionistas will be glad to know that the boutique’s proprietor, Jasmine Tuan, also one-third of local fashion label FruFru & Tigerlily, has upped the store’s ante with over 50 Asian labels, a significant increase from the existing 30 in its debut outlet at Jalan Pisang near Arab Street.
“When we first started Blackmarket, we wanted to give independent designers the spotlight they deserve. Now, we want to add the spotlight on Orchard Road by opening Blackmarket in the least expected mall, Orchard Central, just to give shoppers an alternative to high fashion and high street fashion,” says Tuan. “We want to highlight the fact that quality distinctive labels exist in Singapore too, and not just your usual run-of-the-mill collections.”
Indeed, Blackmarket is revered for its edgier, unexpected and, yes, lesser-known labels from the Asian region, including Dead & Not For Sale from South Korea, Form from Indonesia, Nixon Marquez from the Philippines and NormallyAnomaly from Singapore—all known for their billowy silhouettes and shapes that are so quintessentially now. “We offer styles at similar price points to most shops in Orchard Road except that ours are not mass produced. Why buy clothing that look like ‘uniforms’ when you can own a piece of unique design that speaks your style?,” says Tuan about the current state of offerings downtown. “Singapore is way too small. You do not want to end up walking along the very same street where you bought your latest dress from a high street or high fashion shop and see someone else wearing the same piece—the embarrassment is just not worth it. Plus, you are truly supporting and embracing local/regional designers by buying and wearing their work.”
But fashion won’t be the only thing that take centerstage at the new Blackmarket. Tuan has also sourced for various art and design books, as well as random artworks, like a chandelier made from Origina bottles, to add a more eclectic vibe to the place.”Yes, besides clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, we’ll play our favorite tunes in the shop, sell books that comes with strange titles or will pollute your mind like we did with our first shop,” quips Tuan. “We also have this habit of shifting things around, adding new installations or surprises here and there. So come and explore our new space regularly—there will be new additions every week of limited quantity items and a good handful of one-offs!”
Blackmarket is located at #02-10 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., www.blackmarket.sg. Open daily 11am-9pm from Dec 18.