“-Is Singapore a cheap place to shop?” How many times have we been asked the question. Our response is “-NO!”. Definitely. Singapore is an exciting, luxury, top class, sophisticated, even sexy place to shop with, according to our latest experience, sometimes more surprising opportunities and variant compared with its leading competitor: Hong Kong. Indeed, you are not visiting a back-packers destination, and therefore cannot expect to save your money in a city designed for big spenders.
Of course, some good, somehow unexpected surprise might happen in local shops. Discovering Singaporean brands takes some effort. This exciting exercise shows, for instance, that tailoring remains amazingly good value for money: you shall get Savile Row quality and service for a portion of what you would be charged in London. Also, some new fashion boutiques for ladies are as affordable as stylish; “haute couture” exists thousand miles away from Milan, Paris and New York, and Singapore attracts a lot of female jet-setters carrying the best addresses in their Hermès bag.
Armani, Giuseppe Zanotti, Jimmy Choo, Judith Ripka, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Girard Perregaux, Gucci, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Montblanc, Rolex, Omega, Panerai, Patek Philippe... an extensive array the most prestigious international brands concentrates in the pharaonic shopping malls along Orchard Road and around The Raffles hotel where, of course, you already checked-in. In a permanent competition with Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau, they are a delightful trap for fashionistas and shopaholics. The one and only danger in Singapore, shopping might be harmful to your Platinium Black and Centurion credit cards.
THE BEST LUXURY SHOPPING MALLS IN SINGAPORE:
MANDARIN GALLERY: Spread across 4-storey, in Orchard Rd, not far from MRT Somerset, Mandarin Gallery is nothing but the dreamed place for those looking for classy apparel, British shoes, and Italian or French bags. Storey 1 features high-end international brands. Storey 2 and 3 are laden with local shops, where the most famous Singaporean brands display high end style with the finest sophistication. Price can be attractive, dealing with the few emerging designers brand represented in the gallery.
The Mandarin Gallery hosts an amazing spread of quintessential boutiques such as Montblanc, Lalique, Samsonite, Munsingwear, Kandee, Fred Perry, Balmain, Adidas, Rolex, Bose, Vertu, Leica, Chacott Freed of London, Mulberry, etc.
When you’re ready for a quick timeout from all that fabulous retail therapy, Mandarin Gallery offers a lip-smacking range of boutique eateries that caters for every taste, whether it’s slippery ramen at Ippudo, all-day breakfasts at Wild Honey, a hefty protein load at Lawry’s The Prime Rib, or just a cup of tea and delicious home-made cake at Arteastiq Tea Lounge.
Open everyday, 11am - 9.30pm
MANDARIN GALLERY: 333A Orchard Road, Singapour 238897
PHONE: +65 6831 6363
RAFFLES HOTEL SHOPPING ARCADE: We love the legendary Raffles Hotel. Standing as an oasis of calm amidst the busy city, its shopping arcade pairs the plush design and colonial atmosphere of the oldest palace hotel in town.
Split across two levels, this beautifully restored space houses over 35 international and regional fashion, designer stores, custom tailors, as well as the popular Raffles Shop with fascinating memorabilia and collectibles available for purchase, it offers a worth the visit experience to discerning shoppers. Those -mostly Chinese and Japanese tourists- looking for high-end fashion and jewellery, sold by the wealthiest shopkeepers in South East Asia, won't mind the fanciful prices.
Don't leave the Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade without taking sip from a well chilled “Singapore Sling” at the Long Bar: time machine back to the colonial times!
Open 10.30am – 7.30pm
RAFFLES HOTEL SHOPPING ARCADE: 328 North Bridge Road 188719
PHONE: +65 6337 1886
PACIFIC PLAZA: Close to Mandarin Gallery, Pacific Plaza is located just off Orchard Road on Scotts Road, the second most fashionable street in Singapore. One of the few luxury malls offering retail therapy options for the savvy fashionista, this is the place where local designers exhibit avant-gardist fashion, affordable jewellery and unique collections of shoes. Adidas, Starbucks Coffee and more confidential brands like Crescente, Lula Rock, That CD Shop, Mint by MeIM and Pescados are represented.
Besides shopping, Pacific Plaza is a the dreamed place for aesthetic cares and relaxing treatments. Storey 3 – 6 and 11 have a concentration of beauty-parlours, massage centres and high-end spas: Avana, Beauty Arsenal, Cutis Medical Laser Clinic, M&G Aesthetics Beauty Care, LifeSpa, Bikram Original Hot Yoga, etc.
Note that Michelin chef Bruno Menard recently opened the cool and reputed h&MADE by Bruno Menard, where the best Burger in Singapore comes with truffle fries!
Open 10am - 10pm.
PACIFIC PLAZA: 9 Scotts Road , Singapore 228210.
9 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228210
PHONE: +65 6733 5655
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS: Surely the most visited mall in Singapore, too big, too modern, too fake actually, though we still like to lose our way in this labyrinth of consuming, where each step has a cost: so tempting, and so expensive! Don't bring your wife -nor your credit card!- in this made of polished metal and gleaming glass, cold and inhuman environment where, by contrast, each shop is ogrishly attracting your attention and soul. Lots of them are amongst the most stylish in Singapore: millions of US$ have been invested to capture you and your purse, with so cool, trendy, luxury, comforting designs. Bring your camera, as you won't maybe find similar shops only in Macau and Dubai.
Featured brands: Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Anne Fontaine, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Banana Republic, Boss, Dunhill, Céline, Fendi, Ferrari Store, Michael Kors, Dior, Burberry, La Martina, Saint Laurent, Salvatore Ferragamo, Brioni, etc. The Shoppes distinguish themselves from the competitors thanks to a brilliant collection of world-class jewellery shops: Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Chopard, Fred, Leliev, Lavalière, Freywille...
The Shoppes are connected with one of the best five star hotels in Singapore, The Marina Bay Sands (http://www.marinabaysands.com/hotel/rooms-suites.html), with lots of trendy bars and restaurants (we love the so-French DB Bistro by Daniel Boulud, quite comparable to DB Bistro Moderne, one of our favourite addresses in New York).
Open 10am – 10pm.
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS: 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972
PHONE: +65 6688 8888
MILLENIA WALK: A lifestyle haven for the style-savvy shoppers as well as gourmets, with open street shopping environment designed by Pritzker Architectural Prize Laureate Philip Johnson, Millenia Walk is a premier lifestyle shopping mall defined by an invitingly wide and spacious interior. Situated in the heart of Millenia Singapore, it is home to the flagship stores of Harvey Norman - specialist in electrical & electronics, IT and furniture.
The mall also boasts a choice variety of one-of-a-kind premium lifestyle stores: such as bespoke apparel and shoes from Rossi, Mr Bulli & sons, Ed Et Al, and Van Laack, highly desirable best-of-class brands like Rimowa, B&W Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, and The Hour Glass, unique home and living offerings from Commune, Dreamweave & Other Stories and Grafunkt, as well as eclectic fashion & accessories discovery boutiques like Déjà vu Vintage, Eyes@work, Goodgoods, and The Emporium.
If jewellery, bags and shoes are your flavor there is also an eclectic range of chic designs available.
Open 10am - 10pm.
MILLENIA WALK: 9 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039596
PHONE: 6883 1122
VIVOCITY: A ten minutes taxi ride from Orchard Road, next to the HarbourFront (a landmark development that spans 24 hectares along Singapore’s prime southern waterfront), the largest shopping mall in Singapore, before Suntec City and Ngee Ann City, is also the most affordable: targeting middle-class commuters more than tourists, it is famous for its money-saving big sales.
Designed by internationally acclaimed Japanese architect Toyo Ito, VivoCity (derived from the word, "vivacity", evoking a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone) is an iconic retail, entertainment & lifestyle destination that constantly surprises and stimulates visitors with its vibrant mix of retail and entertainment concepts. It features wide, open spaces for waterfront relaxation and entertainment, and a full calendar of exciting festivals and events that will draw both locals and foreign visitors.
Best Family-Friendly Mall 2014 at the annual AsiaOne People’s Choice Awards, Best Shopping Centre 2012/13 at AsiaOne People’s Choice Awards, Vivocity spreads over 97,000 m2 of retail space, hosting international brands like Geox, Brooks Brothers, dENIZEN, Esprit, Joop, Lacoste, Levi's, Mango, Mark & Spencer, Pull & Bear, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, etc. Jewelery shops (Casio G-Factory, Bering, Seiko, Swarovski, The Diamong Atelier...), electronic stores (Samsung, Infinite, Canon Link, Asus, Leica...) and hypermarkets (Vivomart Giant, Vivomart Guardian Health and Beauty, Vivomart Clod Storage) complete the universal attractiveness of the mall.
The fast-food restaurants won't impress gastronomes, but remain ideal for a quick bite: we like Asian food at Hong Kong Egglet, Dong Dae Mun, Old Chang Kee and the yummy ice-creams at Gelateria Italia.
Open 10am - 10pm.
VIVOCITY: 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585
PHONE: +65 6377 6860
NGEE ANN CITY: Strategically located in the heart of Orchard Road, this hideous building, looking like a modern version of the Great Wall of China, sits on a former burial ground. The least appealing mall in Singapore from outside -despite of many competitors!- is surely the most attractive from inside.
One of the largest malls in town, this is actually a city-within-a-city. Showcasing seven storey, covering 110,450 square metres, Ngee Ann City houses over 130 speciality stores, putting international fashion labels, such as Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Christian,Dior, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Cartier, alongside fine food and beverage outlets offering affordable cuisines from Western to Cantonese, Thai and Indonesian. Among the top names are Sushi Tei Japanese Restaurant, the Crystal Jade Group of Restaurants, Sanur Indonesian Restaurant, etc.
Ngee Ann City's anchor tenant is the impressive Takashimaya Department Store, a retail giant in Japan, which occupies a gross floor area of 35,000 square metres. With a choice of fashion and accessories for adults and children, enrichment centres, hair and beauty salons, health stores and pharmacies, restaurants and bars, even a fitness club, shoppers can indulge in some serious retail pampering.
Last but not least, Asia’s largest bookstore, Books Kinokuniya and Japan's electronic giant, Best Denki are also found at Ngee Ann City. There is a important and renowned a medical floor on storey 8 of Tower B.
Open 10am - 9:30pm.
NGEE ANN CITY: 391 Orchard Road, #08-05 Ngee Ann City Tower A, Singapour 238873
PHONE: +65 6506 0461
SUNTEC CITY: This used to be a top 5 best and largest shopping malls in Singapore. Despite of a complete refurbishment in 2014, the place remains little bit outdated compared with the ambitious and rich competitors where billions US dollars have been invested in cyclopean projects. Nevertheless, we still like and recommend the family oriented, reasonably priced and well positioned Suntec City. A stone throw from the Raffles Hotel, this is one of the most touristy shopping centre downtown. Visitors come for the Fountain of Youth (a fortune fountain made of bronze: it is believed that the balance of metal and water paves the way for success), and the fantastic Food Court with plenty of Chinese and Indonesian palatable and good value for money dishes. Drop down sales year-round are really attractive: this is one of the few place in Singapore where prices can be cheaper compared with Western countries: branded shoes, sportswear and outfits are actually a bargain.
With 82,500 sq.m and 4 storey, Suntec City hosts a myriad of lovely shops, catering local middle- class and tourists alike. Represented brands are H&M, Uniqlo, Levi’s, T.M.Lewin, Guess, La Senza, Promod, Sephora, Pierre Cardin, Lapalette, Delsey, Tissot, Bering...
Try to visit Suntec City at lunchtime: NamNam Noodle Bar, Beanstro, Pack'D, Muthu's Curry and Crystal Jade Kitchen, though not ranked amongst the best restaurants in Singapore, are fantastic venues for a quick lunch amongst friends.
What makes Suntec City unforgettable to many tourists is Dream Drive: giving you the absolutely unique opportunity to blast around Singapore’s famed F1 street circuit driving the last and most expensive model by Ferrari or Lamborghini. It doesn't cost that much, and some discount vouchers can be printed from Dream Drive homepage. Super car lovers fly from Europe or the USA just for the experience.
Open 11am – 8pm.
SUNTEC CITY: 5 Temasek Blvd, Temasek Blvd, Singapour 038985
PHONE: +65 6825 2667
George Clooney wore a Kiton suit in Oceans Thirteen, all the super-rich
from the Middle-East, Russia and Asia dream to fill their mansion,
yacht and private-jet closet with a few pieces of
custom-tailored limited edition “K-50” line, known as the world's most expensive
apparel. At up to US$ 50,000 a suit, with 20,000 items hand-made per
year, you won't be surprised to read that “K-50” name inspired itself
from the number of production hours from part of two dedicated tailors
to issue the uppermost luxury piece of clothing for men.
BRIONI: Whether their motive is to look expensive to others or just the inward confirmation that they can afford such a piece of clothing, those who like to show their social status will love to shop in Brioni’s new boutique at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Sprawled over 1,800 square feet of prime retail space, Singapore’s latest sartorial destination is the largest Brioni boutique in the region. The new concept store was designed in Milan’s fashion district at Via Gesù, and will be replicated across future Brioni boutiques following its successful launch in Singapore.
Developed by Creative Director Brendan Mullane in collaboration with Studio Park Associati of Milan, sprawling over 162 sq.m2 of prime retail space, the new store concept teams the masculine character of a gentleman’s club with the elegance of a private “Dressing Room”. Conveying a traditional character with a contemporary twist, making use of premium materials, the interior is organized into separate selling areas spanning formal-wear and leisure-wear.
Custom-tailoring is supremely managed in an exclusive VIP room, with an area dedicated to the “Su Misura” service; a refined five star lounge dedicated to the art of bespoke tailoring, furnished with a large closet that opens out to demonstrate the fabrics and finishings used to personalize the garments. Brioni’s made-to-measure jackets and suits have nurtured a cult-following amongst the world's most dapper men: a roll call of which includes icons like Daniel Craig (007 is dressed to kill in a Brioni Vanquish II suit), Al Pacino, Cary Grant, lots of bankers and leading statesmen. Though the fantastic cutting process remains a secret, it has been reported that a Vanquish II suit counts not less than 7,000 stitches, being handled by the tailors team an average of 300 times! Which would justify the price paid by the “elite of the elite” for the most expensive suit in the world, made from rare fibers such as vicuna, pashmina and qiviuk (eight times warmer than wool and finer than cashmere, qiviut is hypoallergenic and will not shrink. ). Price tag is as high as $43,000! Brioni will produce only 150 pieces of this special-edition.
Located in the very top of the luxury hierarchy, Brioni targets the wealthiest 1% to 2% of consumers world-wide. We are not part of it... but still can afford Brioni's beautiful accessories: actually affordable, footwear and small leather goods are displayed in exclusive showcases made of travertine, bronzed glass and brass. A great, highly distinguished present for your friends... or why not, for yourself?
BRIONI: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
B1-76, Galleria Level, Singapore 018971
PHONE: +65 6688 7528
ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA: Since 1910 one of the biggest global producers of the finest men's clothing waved in the finest fabrics, this family run international company enjoy a high reputation and lots of prestige in Singapore. This is surely one of the few top luxury brands offering ready-to-wear amazing jackets at less that US$ 3,000, and fantastic suits at US$ 4,000 – 5,000. World famous for its jet-setters' jackets designed by Stefano Pilati, carefully cut in Tessuto Trofeo and Tropical, ideal for travelling in style within South East Asia.
The Singapore Zegna boutique gives its clients an easy and relatively affordable opportunity to enter the world of five star fashion brands “Made to Measure”, proudly delivering unique tailored suits made from the rarest fibers in the world. Like the innovative “ZegnaSilk” fabrics, created from the most precious silk fibers, adding lightweight elegance to summer suiting: the perfect choice for jackets and suits, it features the same unmistakable craftsmanship that has distinguished this brand for over a century.
Through a sartorial tradition that has been elevated to a fine art by Zegna craftsmen, the finishing touches are executed by hand with the utmost care. Linings and accessories are entirely natural, with cotton used for a remarkable breathability: allowing moisture vapor to be transmitted through the material. Horsehair are used for more strength. The staff in the boutique helps the client to choose the buttons, buttonholes and lapels best suited for his very personal character. As a final detail, an exclusive personalized label that bears the customer’s name is sewn on each sleeve unit.
The materials choice is impressive. The permanent “Premium Collection by Zegna” is offered in more than 300 exclusive renowned fabrics: ranging from “High Performance Micronsphere”, “Trofeo”, “Trofeo 600” and the elegant “Ceremonia” to suit special events. Symbol of prestige and very exclusive in facts, “Platinum Collection by Zegna” expresses an unconditional pursuit of sartorial excellence, featuring the very best fabrics from Ermenegildo Zegna’s wool mill: “12 Milmil 12”, “13 Milmil 13” and “14 Milmil 14”.
Like a legend sparked by an act of greatness that spans generations, or a melody that takes form upon encountering the perfect voice, the master tailor skillfully constructs perfection - from the initial consultation to the hand-stitched finishing touches - exclusively for you.
ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA FAR-EAST PTE LTD: 1 Kim Seng Promenade,
Great World City #09-09, Singapore 237994
PHONE: +65 6509 8770
DAVE'S: A family business since three decades, this elegant boutique is ranked amongst the top 10 best luxury custom tailors in Singapore by Tripadvisor and most of the fashion and travel forums on the Internet. Globally known for its high quality bespoke with prices set much lower than branded off- the- rack suits, Dave's has an impressive stock of suiting materials from Italy and the UK including brand names such as Dormeuil, Scabal, Ermenegildo Zegna, Valentino Garavani, Fintex, Toni Tommi, Wain Shiell, Holland & Sherry, etc.
Once you have worn a Dave's suit featuring fine canvas interfacing to provide a natural feel and easy fit, hand-sewn and finished sleeves and collar, hand-embroidered name inside suit jacket, matched or fancy linings and matched buttons on lapel & sleeves, hand-made workable button holes, double arm shield protectors, passport sized main inside pocket with a buttoned flags, and additional pen, digital tablet/PDA, business card & cigarette pocket on left side inside jacket, you can be sure that you will never return to the ill-fitting ready-made ordinary clothes which you shamefully wore before. Dave's considers the design of clothing as an art and does not take details lightly. You now suddenly became a noticeable gentleman... or lady: as Dave's also dedicates to women's fashion.
Once your fittings had been carefully made (by appointment only) on the premises of the centrally located shop (at the so prestigious One Raffles Place Tower 2, one of the three tallest skyscrapers in Singapore), your selected piece of clothes will be designed and hand-cut to accentuate and flatter your figure. Any professional custom tailor will confirm that a nicely cut suit, making you look like a millionaire, is the actual key to social success and personal seduction. Looking wealthy means that your business is successful, and that you can be trusted. Nice watch, nice shoes and nice suit are the three main symbols of social climbing. You obtain the later at a price well within your reach. This is why lots of clients order their wardrobe from Dave's, having it designed according to their profession, business, casual and social needs.
Now a global fashion powerhouse, Dave's is reputed for keeping its promises in term of quality... and delivery: it might take a maximum of two weeks -and no more- to get your suit 100% ready. Though we do advise you to wear and double check it in the shop for any eventual alteration, it can also be delivered to your country if you were only on a transit in Singapore. Once Dave's gets your measurements in his files, he can duplicate anything suits, pants, jackets, shirts...), anytime by e-mail order, and send your caddy by post or DHL in less that three weeks. There is no extra cost for this (only packaging and delivery, which is not expensive from Singapore).
Last but not least, please note that you don't need to visit Singapore to deal with Dave's master tailors: he has dedicated teams travelling around the world to meet you in your country, with regular trips scheduled all year long to Europe (UK, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland), Japan and PR China (Shanghai).
DAVE'S EXCLUSIVE FASHION: One Raffles Place, Tower 2 Singapore 048616
PHONE: +65 6736 0218 CELLULAR: +65 9844 8026
MOST LUXURIOUS HOTELS IN SINGAPORE