I suppose by now everybody in the know knows that Dover Street Market is coming to Singapore. Honestly I have mixed feeling to the news. As much as I’m elated (who won’t! all the drop-ass awesome cross collaborations- ya that’s kindda what I always eye from DSM. e.g Stussy x DSM), I just have this feeling that posey self-proclaim “streetheads” are going to spoil it for most of us here. (not hating, just saying). Or you know, there are people who just buys the tote bags or cups and think they’ve did a big deal- aka the people who Qs for H&M x Balmain and only buys the tee
Ok but all things aside, I think too many don’t understand what’s the hype about. ‘It’s just another international fashion retailer franchise what”
Let’s set things straight here- DSM is NOT just any other fashion retailer. From its foundational philosophy that powers the stores’ visual merchandising concept to the vast array of brands they bring in, DSM is without a doubt the best fashion boutique on Earth!
How did Dover Street Market C0me About
Most reports will say DSM was piloted by Rei Kawakubo, the mastermind behind Commes des Garcons. But I’d say it’s the seamless brainchild of Rei and Adrian Joffe- with Rei holding the reins on creative and Joffe managing the business aspects.
With the aim to create an entirely new retail experience, one that stimulates and evokes excitement in the senses, the first Dover Street Market opened in 2004 in London. The gallery-style store was the first of its kind that had retailers talking about “curating”- showing collections from a variety of brands.
The Concept of DSM
“Beautiful Chaos”– is the essence that is the foundation of DSM. Rei and Joffe wanted DSM to not only function as a retail store, but also a space that encourages creativity and freedom for budding designers and luxury brands. So be it street, casual, classic; all things creative are mixed together to conceive a synergy that is visually exciting.for all who walks into DSM.
What Sets DSM Apart from other fashion retailers
Visually enticing interior design and art
Traversing through a DSM store is almost like being transport into an art gallery. Besides the store’s own interior design (that goes through a refreshing transformation bi-annually- known as a Tachiagari), Rei and Joffe work with progressive artists to continuously transform their space.
Plus, every brand that comes on board to DSM are highly encouraged to set up their own space and bring their own furnitures. That way, every space is transformed based on the brand’s taste and identity, allowing the customers to fully experience the work of the designers.
So remember how most Singaporeans seem to whine that EVERY shopping mall in Singapore is THE SAME and they’re so BORING? Well this is your oasis for a novel and more stimulating shopping experience.
Variety of brands, ranging from streetwear to high fashion
Trust me, I doubt there’s any place in Singapore where you’ll find Supreme and Undercover in one part of the store, then Louis Vuitton and Alexander Wang in another, and exclusive sneakers drops in another section- all in one space. Every DSM location has a brand roster that is uniquely tailored to each location.
Though the list for Singapore hasn’t been confirmed yet, some of the brands that I’m anticipating are Commes des Garcons (duh), Alexander Wang, Visvim, Supreme, Sacai, Raf Simons, ACNE Studios and possibly some sneakers drops (just to name a few)
But one thing’s for sure, time to start saving and make space in your wardrobe!
p/s I hope they bring in KITH though. I mean, Have you seen their new women’s collection!?!
Stussy, Nike, Undercover, Sacai, Tiffancy & Co. , Brain Dead, A Bathing Ape…and the list goes on. DSM had collaborated with a long list of noteworthy brands and each of these collection are as enticing as it gets!
And we are not talking about taking something from the brands and slapping on a DSM logo and call it a day. DSM infuse themselves in these collaborative collections, creating products that speaks loud about the brands.
That’s why, besides the in-house brands, you ought to be attentive on release news of such collaborations because they usually sell out like hot cakes.
What to expect
Brand you may never heard of before
Unless you’re a true fashionista and 24/7 on high alert of both the street and high fashion news radar, you probably walk into DSM and be greeted by brands you may not heard of before!
I’d say, give yourself an eye-opener and explore the spaces and racks. Who knows, you may just find yourself another favourite label. Even if you have no money to buy, it’s always good to get exposed and be inspired. Who can say Singaporeans have boring dress sense right?
Unique pop-up shops
Other than the resident brands, DSM invites a wide spectrum of brands to pop-up in their locations that constantly reinvigorate and evolve the DSM experience. These pop-up stores may not necessarily be selling clothes all the time– in this sense it add another layer of retail selection and artistic presentation to the store.
DSM-exclusive collaboration products
Like I mentioned above, DSM collaborations sell like crazy. Sometimes you can’t even get it at the collaborated brand’s store; they are only available at DSM locations and their e-store. That’s why, with a DSM store at home, it means copping all these is a slightly easier feat now.
No 2 DSMs are the same
Those of you who have been to other DSM locations should still check out Singapore’s nonetheless. With each location having their own brand roster, what you can find in London may not be available in the Ginza store. So it’s possible that our DSM will house brands that are not available in the other locations!
That said, do you think DSM will welcome up-and-coming local / regional designer brands into their space? hmmmm
will DSM work in Singapore?
While majority of the fashion community will welcome DSM with open arms to our shore, I can’t say the same for the average Singaporean. Not because they are not receptive, it’s more like they are new to this retail concept and it takes a while to sink in.
For one, Dover Street Market Singapore is set to open at Dempsey Hill. It’s not the most ideal location for retail-traffic (I don’t even travel there specifically for food !). However, even the original DSM in London and other CDG stores in Japan were opened at unexpected locations. So really, DSM may possibly breath new life into Dempsey Hill.
DSM is not definitely not “hipster” despite its daring approach to aesthetics. But give it to most typical stereotypical Singaporeans and they will call it a hipster artsy-fartsy shop at a hipster area. (Oh seriously people, it’s time we stop passing initial judgements even before we encounter new things first-hand and learn to be more open to new concepts.)
Well, even though not many of us can afford some of the brands in DSM, it’s doesn’t hurt to check out the store just to see their amazing visual merchandising style. And of course, the various pop-up stores will possibly come with different price tags, giving an alternative to the different taste and budget of different customers.
Dover Street Market is definitely here to stay in Singapore no doubt. For all you know, it could revolutionise the local fashion scene and retail-scape.
No news have been release for the official opening date. but meanwhile, you may shop for DSM here