The renowned Dover Street Market is opening its doors in Dempsey in July.
Meanwhile, the multi-label concept store – which made the announcement on its newly launched Singapore website – has already launched its online store here. Called the DSMS E-Shop, it sells clothing and accessories from more than 15 labels and collaboration collections.
These include items from coveted brands, such as British brand Blue Roses and Parisienne design collective Vetements.
Collaboration items – typically limited editions and the result of tie-ups between designers – include a T-shirt by former Dior designer Raf Simons and the non-profit Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, as well as hoodies and sweaters by American streetwear label Anti Social Social Club and Dover Street Market.
Demand has been swift.
A Straits Times check yesterday found that some items were already sold out. These include sneakers ($199) from the collaboration collection between shoe label Vans and Japanese brand Undercover, and a track jacket ($180) by Italian fashion designer Sergio Tacchini and Russian fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy.
Conceived by Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo, the edgy retail concept – which currently has outlets in London, New York and Tokyo – is known for artistic visual merchandising and creative fashion curation.
Tenants at the London outlet, for instance, are given the freedom to design their space as they see fit. This has led to imaginative installations, such as the one by British designer label J W Anderson last year that had clothing collections hanging from a colourful children’s playground. Here, Dover Street Market will be housed in Como Dempsey – a 5,268 sq m site at 17 and 18 Dempsey Road, comprising eateries and lifestyle stores.
When contacted yesterday, Dover Street Market vice-president Dickon Bowden said the collections in the e-shop will also be in the physical store here.
“But there will be many, many more. The DSMS E-Shop is a microcosm of all the amazing spaces, events and products we will have in the physical store,” he says.
Other than this, there is scant information on what shoppers can expect.
However, Como Dempsey is already gearing up for operation with other tenants. The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar, a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is set to open at Como Dempsey tomorrow.
Food outlets, including Peranakan restaurant Candlenut and Japanese eatery Ippoh Tempura Bar by Ginza Ippoh, also part of Como Dempsey, have already opened.
Retail experts think that Dover Street Market will be a breath of fresh air here amid cookie-cutter malls with the usual brands.
Singapore Management University associate professor of marketing Seshan Ramaswami says that if successful, Dover Street Market could change the retail scene in Singapore.
“It might provoke other international and local players to be a bit more innovative in all ways – not just by choosing an unexpected location, but also in combining or pairing merchandise, in creating an unusual retail ambience and offering a one-of-a-kind assortment,” he says.
Asked if Dover Street Market’s location here – off the main Orchard Road stretch and in an area known for its pricier food options – would affect footfall, Dr Ramaswami says it is in line with the company’s target market.
“It is indeed an unusual location for a fashion store in Singapore, but Dover Street Market prides itself on being different,” he says.
“While the Dempsey area is primarily known for art and furniture and upscale restaurants, the kind of traffic that it draws is well suited to Dover Street Market’s offerings of designer labels that are not available elsewhere.”
As to whether the store will succeed, he says this depends on how well it appeals to those who frequent the Dempsey area – a mix of expatriates and young working adults.
“It needs to offer something different from the other fashion outlets around town – for example, showcasing local design talent. Doing this consistently well while being in line with its already established image as a global brand might be a challenge,” says Dr Ramaswami.
Fashion design student Victoria Khoo, 21, has been looking forward to Dover Street Market’s opening since December – when the brand first announced that it was opening here.
“I can’t wait for it to open. I think just having access to new collections and exclusive fashion really makes it worth going to the store. I think it could also be inspiring to fashion fans.”
HOT PICKS FROM THE DOVER STREET MARKET SINGAPORE E-SHOP
Play Double Heart ladies’ cardigan, $380, by Comme des Garcons
A Burgundy knit sweater made of lamb’s wool, with the signature Comme des Garcons logo.
Short denim jacket, $730, by Gosha Rubchinskiy
A light blue jacket with subtle patchwork for a smart street look.
Cindy Sherman T-Shirt, $560, by Raf Simons x Robert Mapplethorpe
A cotton shirt featuring American photographer and film director Cindy Sherman, best known for her socially critical photography.
Pump Supreme DSM exclusive, $590, by Vetements x Reebok
The geometric pattern gives added dimension to the sneaker.
Vans Vault x Undercover Era, $169, by Vans x Undercover
The text on the shoe reads: “Take me in time, time to the music. Take me away to the twilight zone”. Lyrics from Shelter Song by English rock band Temples.
This article first appeared on The Straits Times on March 3, 2017.
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