One hip store with three cool labels your guy will love. Bonus: They all have pieces you can rock too.
The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, #01-22/23, Tel: (+65) 6733 3143
Opened in May 2014 by Nelson Yap, The Assembly consists of a retail store and an adjoining bistro, The Assembly Ground. The star label here: Benjamin Barker, a premium menswear brand that Nelson started five years ago. Offering both ready-to-wear shirts and suits, Benjamin Barker also lets dapper dudes customise pieces with fancy touches like vintage wood buttons.
The store is also a treasure trove for indie labels like Korean brand Cnyttan, known for its “invisible” socks that sit low inside shoes with anti-slip silicon strips. Other lifestyle essentials include Triumph & Disaster grooming products from New Zealand and Vanmoof bicycles from Holland.
You’ll Love: The standout sunglasses, quirky pouches and handcrafted cotton twine bracelets. The Assembly also offers feminine, everyday pieces from South Korean fastfashion label, Headline Seoul.
Why your guy will want Gnome & Bow’s fuss-free canvas and leather bags: They each come with a fairy-taleinspired twist. “Every bag tells a story,” says founder Quanda Ong as he shows us the quirky details on the brand’s bestselling Aspen briefcase. Its leather zips are embossed with the words “Start” and “Finish” (inspired by the story of The Hare and the Flying Tortoise).
Gnome & Bow also has backpacks, folios and accessories like wallets and bracelets. From $45 for a bracelet to $485 for a duffel bag.
You’ll Love: The Alden Folio, which fits a 13- inch laptop and A4-sized documents.
9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, #01-67, Tel: 6337 8919
If you know gents who want to up their shoe game without breaking the bank, take them to Ed Et Al. The store carries classic men’s leather oxfords, but also offers styles with little twists – like oxfords with a U-shape yoke around the facing (the bit where the laces are).
Your guy can also personalise a pair of dress shoes in his choice of colours and materials. The brand’s shoemaker and designer Edwin Neo can even make a customised last (a mould of your feet) for customers with large or flat feet. Personalisation services start from $500. And if you want to make your Ed Et Al shoes look as good as new again, refurbishment services here start from $150.
You’ll Love: Ed Et Al’s collection of classic men’s shoe styles, such as the Merlion leather monk-strap shoes and Shenton wingtip brogues, in a more feminine fit.
The brand was only launched last year, but Hypergrand watches have already gained a following with the cool kids. Created by local watch designer Leroy Xavier Zhang, the brand’s timepieces have become a hit, thanks to the fun nylon straps – in prints like tartan, polka dots, camouflage or ink blots – that you can mix and match.
Best-selling models include Acid Dust, which is speckled with colourful dots, and Raven Maverick in a preppy bird print.
You’ll Love: The bold Electric Orchids and the bright green Jade Leopard. We’re told that the military style Jungle Camo, with an all-black face, is a hit with women too.
In the mood for more shopping? Try She Shops!
By Jacquie Ang, Her World, August 2014