Ask any local fashionista where to go for some great local indie shopping, and they’ll probably direct you to Haji Lane straight away. But if you venture out of Haji Lane into the rest of Kampong Glam, you’ll find that there’s so much more to this old Malay-Arab influenced district than meets the eye.
Beyond the textile shops, shisha joints and traditional mosques, there’s a whole treasure trove of quirky shops in the area just waiting to be found. From Beach Road to North Bridge Road (and the streets between them), the entire area is peppered with surprising finds such as multi-concept stores, vintage shops, multi-label boutiques and even a zen haven. These are some of our picks:
Maison Ikkoku. Just a few blocks away from Haji Lane is Maison Ikkoku, an innovative café- boutique-bar concept that serves up specialty roasts, cocktails and a lovely spread of mid to high-end menswear from labels all over the world. Its fashion focus lies mainly on Japanese street fashion, but there’s also an eclectic mix of western labels available such as Twins For Peace from France, Industry of All Nations from the U.S. and Orlebar Brown from the U.K. 20 Kandahar Street. Opening Hours: Mon – Thu: 9am – 9pm; Fri & Sat: 9am – 11pm; Sun: 9am – 7pm.
Hide & Seek. This multi-label boutique may be hidden away on the quiet Bussorah Street but it’s definitely worth a stop during your Kampong Glam shopping trip. They have such a wide array of local labels, from fashion brands such as Koops, Evenodd and Bespoke By Keith Png, to beauty brands like Makeup By Clarence Lee, on top of accessories, eyewear, gift and fragrance labels – oh, and home wares and furniture offerings as well. With a brand count at over 50, you can be sure that you won’t go home with empty-handed. 71 Bussorah Street. Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 1pm – 10pm.
Threadbare & Squirrel. The boutique might have a rather cutesy name, but its goods are certainly not for the shy and reserved. Threadbare & Squirrel is a multi-label boutique that’s for the women who dare to dress. And we love the fact that it has such a strong focus on local brands – a good majority of brands are from this tiny red dot. For instance, the local apparel labels include Depression, LION EARL, Sundays, Two of Us and Weekend Sundries, plus there are local jewellery designers as well, like By Invite Only, My Vintage Box and Saught. 660 North Bridge Road (Bali Lane). Opening Hours: Mon – Thu: 12.30pm – 830pm; Fri – Sat: 12.30pm – 9.30pm; Sun: 1pm – 8pm
Roccoco Kent. Don’t be too taken aback when you step through the doors of Roccoco Kent. You could be forgiven for thinking you had just walked into an apartment from the 70s – its location on the second floor of a conservation Kampong Glam shophouse certainly contributes to that feeling. Racks of vintage apparel line the corridor of the space, while mid-century and vintage furniture and homewares make up a small sitting area. And yes, mostly everything in the shop is for sale so vintage lovers will be in for a treat! 753 North Bridge Road #02-02 Tangerine (Entrance via Jalan Kledek). Opening Hours: Tues – Fri: 3pm – 8 pm; Sat: 1pm – 8pm; Sun & Public Holidays: 1pm – 6pm.
Gaia. When you’re done vintage shopping at Roccoco Kent, walk down North Bridge Road and you’ll find a home furniture and accessories stop that just exudes a tranquil, naturalistic feel. Founder Ellen Allen travels all over the region to source for quality pieces made of natural materials. All their Javanese Teak furniture is designed by and custom made for the shop – or you could request for customized pieces as well. 780 North Bridge Road. Opening Hours: Tue – Sat: 10am – 6pm; Sun: 11am – 4pm.
Manicurious. Here, you have another multi-concept store comprising a nail bar, a café and a retail space. It’s the perfect therapy shop – you get to do some retail therapy, indulge in some comfort food and treat yourself to a manicure all at the same time. On the retail front you’ll find quirky indie bags and accessories by local and international labels, along with other knick-knacks like travel items, postcards, socks, notebooks and umbrellas. 41 Beach Road. Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11am – 9pm.
Touch the Toes. If you’re looking for some zen, you’ll definitely find it here at Touch The Toes, a haven for labels that use only organic or recycled/upcycled materials for their products. They place great emphasis on comfortable clothes that are sustainably produced, and also have organic essential oils up for grabs which are sure to help out any minor ailment you might have. Look out, too, for their pop-up yoga sessions, retreats and essential oils workshops, which certainly contribute to your zen journey. 31 Arab Street, 2nd Floor. Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 12pm – 8pm; Sat & Sun: 1pm – 7pm; closed on public holidays.