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Top 7 Must-Have Homegrown Brands You Can Find At Singapore Design Week

With the Singapore Design Week drawing to a close last weekend, Reta Lee shares 7 homegrown labels featured at the kapok+65 exhibition.


An international array of artsy labels

Founder Arnault Castel, who first founded kapok in Hong Kong in 2006, made it his personal mission to curate and discover a selection of niche lifestyle, fashion and jewelry brands all under one roof, from around the world, to Asia. Fast-forward to today, kapok in Singapore, having just celebrated its second year, is showcasing seven homegrown labels you should know of. The one-month pop-up exhibition entitled ‘kapok+65’ can be found at the National Design Centre. Arnault shares, “It’s important to work with Singapore designers, to match kapok’s aesthetic quality to bring something new. I’ll also be bringing these seven designers to Hong Kong for a showcase.” Kudos, designers!


Arete Goods

Arete Goods are classic, unassuming and elegant; you’ll find both function and form merged beautifully together in their collection of leather cardholders, bags and shoes.



A design consultancy that’s formed in 2012, founder Melvin Ong has his eyes on bespoke objects and furniture pieces. The results? Refreshing and unexpected pieces that take shape with the help of 3D printing. We’re impressed!


In Good Company

Sleek, sexy lines are what come to mind when we previewed their line. For busy women on the go, you’ll want to pick their modern wardrobe essentials and stylish staples.



Good enough to look like it’s been peeled off a Japanese design magazine, we think Kuru has it to go far. Influenced greatly by enso and using beech wood, Kuru stands on their motto, “this is the one. This is what I need.” Yes, we can’t agree more.


Olivia Lee

An interdisciplinary studio that interplays between the worlds of art, design and experience, founder Olivia Lee has a knack for creating sensitive resonant work. Her latest project, ‘Instruments of Beauty; Divine Tools’ is a testament of that. The collection is made of exquisite drawing tools that are perfect as gifts.


Smol tok

Think you’ve mastered the Singlish lingo? Inspired by Viktor Frankl’s memoir, ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’, this old-school card game designed by Nicholas Pang makes an interesting conversation starter, community builder and a social tool.


Stale & Co

An accessories label that embodies the belief of detailed thinking and quality-made products, long-term partners Daryl Tan and Stella Lim set out to introduce works that can be recognised by fine metalsmith skills. Their 2016 collection is first showcased in New York city and it makes its Singaporean debut at kapok.


By Reta Lee, March 2016

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