New and emerging brands to be groomed for success on a global stage through a retail showcase, incubation spaces and mentorship programmes

Design Orchard will open its doors on 25 January, bringing over 60 local brands together on Orchard Road and enhancing the precinct. Located at the junction of Orchard Road and Cairnhill Road, the 2.5-storey development comprises a retail showcase on the first level, incubation spaces on the second level and the rooftop, and an events space on the rooftop.

Spearheaded by Enterprise Singapore, JTC and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Design Orchard is part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to transform Orchard Road into a lifestyle destination, offering a compelling retail experience amidst lush greenery. The project aims to groom new and emerging talents in the lifestyle and fashion sector and prepare them to take their products overseas.

Homegrown retailer Naiise will operate the retail showcase, which will feature 61 new, emerging and established brands. These include Artisan of Sense, JEWELS, QLOTHÈ, SoftRock Living and The Animal Project. The brands cut across categories such as fashion apparel, beauty and wellness, food souvenirs and small home furnishings.

Naiise will also run a mentorship programme, covering areas such as marketing, merchandising and expansion plans, for the brands in the retail showcase. Well-known entrepreneurs including Unlisted Collection founder Loh Lik Peng, Spa Esprit Group founder Cynthia Chua and Motherswork founder Sharon Wong will be part of the mentorship programme, sharing their knowledge and experience through regular one-on-one mentoring and group sharing sessions.

Ms Ranita Sundra, Director, Retail and Dining at STB, said, “Singapore is home to many global brands. As these brands become more ubiquitous, we noticed that more people are drawn to local products with a Singapore story. Design Orchard is thus an exciting opportunity for us to profile the best of Singapore talent under one roof at a prime location on world-famous Orchard Road. Local and international visitors can look forward to a livelier and more exciting Orchard Road, with the opening of this new development.”

The Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore (Taff) will operate The Cocoon Space, an incubation space targeted at local lifestyle and fashion designers. Taff will nurture independent designers and fashion businesses by offering co-working spaces with resources such as a Makers Studio with professional sewing equipment and a Fabric Library , and collaboration and networking opportunities with industry players. Designers will be encouraged to innovate and design products with sustainability principles in mind.

Taff will also run an incubation programme, The Bridge Fashion Incubator, for aspiring fashion startups from both Singapore and around the region. Focused on sustainability, innovation and technology, the programme will meet the business and technical needs of designers by covering talent development, training and overseas trips for sourcing and production.

Mr Alan Yeo, Director of Retail & Design at Enterprise Singapore, said, “The Cocoon Space provides aspiring Singapore designers with shared facilities under one roof, enabling them to testbed and prototype their ideas, and hone their business skills more quickly. Very importantly, we want to work with them to create products that are aligned to the industry trends and consumer needs. This is why Taff’s incubation programme will focus on fashion technology and sustainability.”

Design Orchard – An iconic development along Orchard Road

Design Orchard is developed by JTC, which appointed local firms WOHA Architects and Sunray Woodcraft Construction to design and build the development respectively.

With a clean and modern design of concrete, glass, timber and landscape elements, the building showcases the best of Singapore’s talent whilst adding diversity to the Orchard streetscape. The circular openings on the concrete walls give the building a unique look while providing glimpses into the retail space. The building features a sloping rooftop with lush greenery and timber seats, offering the public respite from the bustle of Orchard Road. The rooftop space, with its amphitheatre, also serves as a unique space for events set against the backdrop of Orchard Road.

Ms Wee Pei Yean, Director of Products at JTC, said, “Design Orchard, with its bold architecture and public rooftop space, marks a new home and showcase for local design. We hope that it will inspire local talents to join the community, where they can develop and grow their brands with access to mentors, programmes and facilities in a vibrant space along Orchard Road.”