Incubation space and mentoring programmes at Design Orchard to help grow local designers

Enterprise Singapore and JTC have partnered the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (TAFF) to manage and operate the incubation space and mentoring programmes at Design Orchard, an upcoming integrated development to groom Singapore’s design talent and profile home-grown brands. This was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at the Singapore Retail Industry Conference & Exhibition today.

One of the initiatives under the Retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM), Design Orchard is jointly developed by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and the Singapore Tourism Board. It will provide holistic support to nurture and profile promising local designers in Singapore and overseas. Slated to open in early 2019, Design Orchard will house a retail showcase on the first floor, co-working spaces and facilities for designers on the second floor, and an event space on its rooftop. When fully operational, Design Orchard will play a big part in cultivating a vibrant design ecosystem in Singapore.

As the operator of the incubation space and mentoring programmes at Design Orchard, TAFF will play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of local designers. Working with Enterprise Singapore, TAFF will leverage its strong industry networks and experience to provide tailored incubation programmes to meet the business and technical needs of local designers. The incubation programmes, Program M1 and Project Red Label2, will cover talent development, training, overseas sourcing and production trips, and participation at international tradeshows.

Mr Mark Lee, President of TAFF, said, “This is a frontier project for us and there will be many opportunities for us to work with our design community and to work with other fellow associations and partners to position Singapore as the innovative Fashion hub.”

Named the Cocoon, the incubation space for local designers will include private work studios, co-working spaces, meeting rooms and a photography studio. This will complement the retail showcase on the first floor by allowing designers to create, collaborate and commercialise products all in one place. More details about the space and incubation programmes will be shared at TAFF’s upcoming Industry Trend Sharing on 10 September 2018. Interested designers may contact TAFF at to find out more.

Ms Wee Pei Yean, Director of Products at JTC, said, “The partnership with TAFF completes the ecosystem we set out to achieve for Design Orchard. TAFF has deep expertise and extensive networks to run the incubation programmes and collaborate with the retail operator to market-test designers’ works within the same development.”

Mr Alan Yeo, Director of Retail & Design at Enterprise Singapore, said, “At Design Orchard, local designers can look forward to more resources and programmes to hone their business skills and grow their brands both locally and internationally. Enterprise Singapore looks forward to working closely with TAFF to build Design Orchard as a platform for community building and partnerships in the retail and design industry.”

1 Program M is an incubation programme that focuses on strengthening the foundation of designers in business and technical knowledge, while providing them with exposure to global business trends.

2 Project Red Label extends the training provided under Program M in the form of apprenticeship, and provides designers with a common platform to internationalise via a “mothership label”. Participating designers will be mentored by industry veterans, share resources and aggregate volumes for production and distribution.