Singapore, 14 July 2020 – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced that the Textile and Fashion Federation (TaFF) will be the new operator for Design Orchard’s retail showcase from 1 August 2020, offering local brands wider reach and collaboration opportunities, while further nurturing and profiling home-grown design talent.
Design Orchard is a multi-agency project to develop new and emerging home-grown talents in the fashion and lifestyle sectors. It was launched in January 2019, with Naiise operating the retail showcase on the ground floor and TaFF running the fashion-centric co-working and incubation spaces on the second and third floors. Amidst the current economic climate, Naiise is leaving Design Orchard to consolidate their business operations and focus on their namesake online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Moving forward, TaFF will manage both the retail showcase and the co-working and incubation spaces, creating greater synergies in operations, programming, branding and marketing. Local brands continue to be at the forefront of the retail showcase, and all existing brands, suppliers and employees at the showcase will be retained during the transition.
“Over the last one and a half years, Naiise has brought together the largest collection of local brands under one roof on Orchard Road. We thank them for their efforts, and wish them all the best,” said Ms Ranita Sundra, STB’s Retail and Dining Director. “TaFF has stepped forward despite the challenging environment, and we are confident they will build on Naiise’s work and find synergies in running the showcase as well as the co-working and incubation spaces. Our priority now is to facilitate a smooth transition for all brands, suppliers and employees at the showcase.”
Developing local brands
Over the past one and a half years, the retail showcase has been home to a diverse line-up of local brands, and has paved the way for fashion labels like Minor Miracles, Martha Who and Kanzi to make their first foray into brick-and-mortar retail. Brands were mentored by industry veterans such as Ms Helen Khoo, Wing Tai Retail Executive Director and Ms Kelly Lim, Director of Operations at Starbucks Coffee Singapore, and given advice on sharpening their business models and creating more growth opportunities. The retail showcase hosted regular workshops and monthly events, such as rooftop yoga and barre sessions, a pop-up café and food tasting session, and an art workshop for children during the June school holidays last year.
Between January 2019 and March 2020, the retail showcase welcomed more than 270,000 visitors. During the temporary closure of the store from 7 April to 18 June, online marketing efforts continued, to build greater awareness of the local brands at Design Orchard within Singapore. Employees were also trained to ensure service and hygiene standards remain high, and safe management measures are adhered to.
Naiise founder Dennis Tay said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses in Singapore and around the world. To better position ourselves for recovery, we made the difficult decision to consolidate our resources across the Naiise family and focus on Naiise’s online and brick-and-mortar operations. We wish TaFF every success in the management and operations of the retail showcase.”
TaFF to helm retail showcase, co-working and incubation spaces from August
As the only fashion-related trade association championing the growth of Singapore’s local design community, TaFF has rich experience working with home-grown brands and helming showcases. For example, the trade association launched and spearheaded KEEPERS: Singapore Designer Collective, a pop-up store that presented over 100 Singapore designers and artisans in a multifaceted showcase, from September 2014 to January 2016. The strong performance of KEEPERS led to the eventual development of Design Orchard. Over the years, TaFF has also organised overseas pop-ups in countries and cities such as Shanghai and Malaysia. More recently in June, the trade association launched the OneOrchard.Store, an online marketplace to aggregate Singapore-based brands, widen their reach and exposure, and to support the retail industry during this challenging period.
As the current operator of the co-working and incubation spaces, TaFF has secured over 60 events at The Cocoon Space. These events comprised talks and workshops on topics such as fashion analytics, intellectual property and merchandising. The association also launched The Bridge Fashion Incubator, a customised incubation programme, with 28 participants to date .
Moving forward, TaFF will leverage its domestic and regional trade association network to create more opportunities for brands at Design Orchard. As part of their plans for the retail showcase, they will enhance the existing mentorship programme and increase the number of open calls to widen the range of local brands and new products. Consumers can also look forward to new events such as an exhibition of capsule collections from TaFF’s annual fashion design competition Singapore Stories, workshops as well as themed trunk shows.
Ms Ho Semun, TaFF Chief Executive, said: “Naiise has done a fantastic job launching and growing the retail showcase. We appreciate the opportunity to continue their good work in the heart of Orchard Road, which remains an important lifestyle destination. Supporting the local design community is key to TaFF’s mission, and we are excited to have the opportunity to develop a holistic design eco-system through Design Orchard’s retail showcase, co-working and incubation spaces.”
– End –
For media queries, please contact:
Singapore Tourism Board
Tel: +65 6831 3612
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.
 These include Naiise Iconic @ Jewel, Naiise @ Paya Lebar Quarter and Naiise @ Kuala Lumpur.
 This was during the Circuit Breaker period and Phase One of the economy’s reopening.
 KEEPERS was launched in collaboration with Carolyn Kan, founder of Carrie K, and supported by STB, SPRING Singapore and DesignSingapore Council. It was located where Design Orchard stands.
 The Cocoon Space is a co-working and event space on the second floor of Design Orchard.