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Can DSM be the revival shot for dull local retail scene

With all the hype about the much-anticipated arrival of Dover Street Market in Singapore, the forth outlet in the world following their openings in fashion capitals London, New York and Tokyo, we can’t help but feel both a little excited and a little skeptical. Certainly feeling privileged to be their forth chosen city, but Singapore though known to be pioneering in many things is hardly associated with ‘fashion capital’ given our young and dulling fashion scene, and hence begets the question of ‘Why us?’ and ‘Can it survive the odds here?’

Photo : DSM IG

Regardless, there are still reasons to rejoice their opening here, for one we are glad that DSM are exposing us to a new concept of retail space – or say their ‘retail DNA’. Dover Street Market started thirteen years ago in 2004, a brilliant idea conceived by the renowned Rei Kawakubo, designer of Comme des Garçons, and co-managed by her husband Adrian Joffe. What Rei defined of DSM is a – Beautiful Chaos. These are two words you would hardly associate with retail and commerce, but perhaps with design and art, which are precisely the two key elements that makes up DSM’s unique retail concept. In fact we guess it’s probably their intention to have you mistaken that you have entered an exhibition space while shopping in their stores. It is said that all the interior designs of every store is by Rei herself and each brand plays with the retail space under her guidance. We love the fact they do not forget about the novelty factor, a great learning point, as the spaces will be revamped every half a year.

Here are some of our favourite designs and art installations, great source of inspirations. 

At Dover Street Market London 

Raf Simons. An eye-catching and intriguing installation.

JW Anderson. If all playgrounds were like this, we will be envying little kids' bags.

Celine. Little Secret Garden.

Photo : DSM , JW Anderson

Dover Street Market Ginza

Gucci Elephant Room. An anchoring installation, the Elephant Room by the British artist Stephanie Quayle, is pretty in pink dressed by Gucci

Bear Cave Ceiling. Installation by Coudamy Design.

Interior Bookshelf. A dose of literature with fashion, lovely.

Photo : DSM WWD, Wallpaper

Dover Street Market New York

Interior Cafe. Popping with vibrant colours, the rainbow pillar standing tall in the middle of the store is absolutely iconic


Photo : DSM Architecture Magazine

With its rather hyped-up opening, we do hope that DSM will be here to stay though there will be challenges. The hardest has to be the dying retail scene in Singapore, and its off-mainstream location is not helping. Lacklustre response from the local masses who aren’t really into fashion, and gradual preference for e-commerce among the fashion-savvy here are points to consider too. But on a more optimistic note, we hope to see homegrown local brand collaborations #supportlocal.  And we look forward to more creative interior designs and art installations, that will hopefully inspire other retail spaces and rejuvenate the local retail scene.

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