Putin in Singapore: 6 menswear stores the dictator should visit to clothe his cold heart
Head down for: Casualwear that's less than basic in the departments of craft and provenence. Founded by brothers Kage and Keng How, Biro Company is designed locally and manufactured in Japan. A selection of the clothing are woven from organic cotton and steeped in natural dyes. We recommend blocking out 30 minutes (or more) for virgin visits to Shouten to fully delve into the rich history and intriguing handiwork the boys have harnessed in their calming space.
Treat yourself to: The indigo dyed pieces. Robust. Dapper. Timeless.
Bonus: Biro Company's fondness and respect for Japanese craft extends to lifestyle items such as bento boxes and unscented candles, also available at Shouten.
Shouten by Biro Company is located at 809 French Road, Kitchener Complex, L3, Singapore 200809.
Open Monday through Sunday, 11.30am to 8.30pm.
2. KAYJEN DYLAN
What it is: A local tailor
Head down for: Made-to-measure suits and shirts by two of the leading contemporary names in Singapore's suiting scene. Between Matthew Lai and Dylan Chong, KayJen Dylan's forte is their tailoring expertise passed down through Chong's family, and Lai's background in menswear fashion design. They've formerly run separate tailoring services but merged in 2016 in hopes of providing a truly holistic experience.
Treat yourself to: A smart three-piecer in a summer-friendly fabric.
Bonus: Given that the objective of their partnership is to honour the craft and consumer by going back to the roots of tailoring — where wares are produced in-house from start to finish — count on KayJen Dylan as one of the few modern tailors to deliver the full experience, here in Singapore.
KayJen Dylan is located at 120 Telok Ayer Street.
Open Monday through Friday, 12pm to 8pm. On Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm.
+65 6221 1852.
What it is: A multi-label accessories store
Head down for: All the accessories you'll need to complement that new suit. Importing a range of mostly English and American heritage labels such as Christy & Co, Kiriko, and Cherchbi that specialise in leather goods, ties, headwear, and hand-rolled pocket squares, onlyBrown is the classic store for dandies who are looking, above all, for quality.
Treat yourself to: An all-purpose leather folio or a printed pocket square.
Bonus: If you're not looking to dash-and-go, chat to store owner Kelvin to glean knowledge on the interesting history behind the brands, and for tips on caring for your new leather purchases.
onlyBrown is located at 5 Everton Park, #01-22.
Open Mondays and Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 7pm.
+65 8809 4935.
Head down for: A buffet of experimental brands (Julius, Leopold Bossert, Taichi Murakami and Rick Owens, to name but a few) that push the envelope with everyday items. From painstakingly worn-in leather jackets to T-shirts with curious cuts and seams, L'armoire's stable of designers is made up of both established names and under-the-radar labels. For the curious consumer, we recommend combing through the racks thoroughly to truly discover the individualistic, creative quirks of each designer stocked at L'armoire.
Treat yourself to: Wicked leathers by Italian brand Guidi or Barcelona-based label Boris Bidjan Saberi, whose boots and jackets respectively are pieces to be enjoyed beyond the season and years down the road.
Bonus: Located in the heart of Orchard known for its impressive selection of boutiques, make a day of it if you're paying L'armoire a visit — you'll be spoiled for choice as you wander along Singapore's renowned shopping belt.
L'armoire will be launching its online store on 8 May 2017. Use the code NOWONLINE to enjoy a 20% discount on selected labels. Valid for one week only.
L'armoire is located at #01-16 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238897.
Open Monday through Sunday, 11am to 9pm.
+65 6336 0357.
Head down for: A mix of timeless and streetwise clothing. Founders Olivia and Amanda Lin have built Inventory Co. on old-school tailoring know-how, but have chosen to apply their knowledge and skills to casualwear on top of traditional suiting. We recommend their made-to-measure range where you're able to select from pre-designed templates (such as bomber jackets, selvedge denim jeans and chinos), with each item stitched to accommodate your unique body proportions.
Treat yourself to: A made-to-measure bomber jacket that'll trump the average off-the-rack affair, hands down.
Bonus: Try your hand at tweaking their design templates alongside Olivia to truly make each item your own. If you're brimming with design ideas, share them with the girls — they might just be able to transform your whim into reality.
Inventory Co. is located at 21 Club Street, #02-08, Singapore 069410.
Open Tuesday though Sunday, 11am to 7pm.
+65 6208 6200.
6. THE AUTHORITY
What it is: A local label
Head down for: Wardrobe staples that are a play on the classics. The Authority prides itself in offering something different by way of detailing — be it an extended hemline on a boatneck tee or a button-down with raw, unfinished trimmings. A perfect fit for those who crave a little edge without straying too far from their comfort zone.
Treat yourself to: The lightweight mandarin collar shirts to counter our island's searing heat.
Bonus: Discover more local gems as they stock a selection of pieces from other Singapore designers as well.
The Authority is located at #03-03 Orchard Gateway, 218 Orchard Road, Singapore 238851.
Open Monday through Thursday, 1pm to 9pm, and Friday through Sunday, 12pm to 10pm.