Hello everyone! With National Day happening tomorrow, I felt it would be appropriate to round up 15 of my favourite local brands to support, especially as lockdown restrictions in Singapore gradually ease.
As such, below is a list of 15 of my favourite local brands, each offering great products that will come in handy as we all venture outdoors again.
One of my favourite perfume brands, Scent by SIX creates perfumes inspired by locations.
Why support: Scent by SIX is helmed by perfumer Jason Lee, who previously worked at renowned fragrance house Givaudan. Just like how the sixth sense is often an emotional experience, Scent by SIX wants to create that same magical, almost inexplicable experience for those that try on their perfumes. It seems they are on the right track, as they have steadily cultivated a loyal following locally – personalities such as Hossan Leong swears by them. Amongst its current offerings, the Ujong 2065 – described by the brand as its interpretation of Singapore in 2065 – is perhaps the most appropriate for this National Day.
Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase from the online store here. As Scent by SIX is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Singapore Memories offers a wide selection of perfumes and room fragrances, inspired by the Singapore orchid.
Why support: As its name suggests, Singapore Memories is a local perfumery that seeks to harness the fragrance of local orchids to offer unique perfumes. One of its most interesting products has to be the Singapore Girl, which is a recreation of the popular Singapore Girl perfume that was immensely popular in the 1970s. It also won the “Best Fragrance for Her” award by Beauty Insider, which speaks to the quality of the fragrance. That being said, perfumes are fairly gender-neutral products, and I did find myself applying the Singapore Girl as a night scent on certain occasions.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its online store here. As Singapore Memories is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Gnome & Bow offers storytelling bags and wallets – perfect for the discerning customer.
Why support: Gnome & Bow is one of my favourite local brands – I love how they seamlessly weave literary elements of iconic fables into the design of their products. The brand’s latest offering is the Hitchhiker Space Capsule backpack, which is Gnome & Bow’s interpretation of the ultimate travel backpack, inspired by the novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Hitchhiker backpack features tons of nifty compartments, is terrifically priced (it’s actually the brand’s most affordable backpack to date), and is a great backpack to travel around with, especially as pandemic restrictions are being gradually lifted.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. As Gnome & Bow is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all products online!
Faire Leather offers products packed with functionality.
Why support: Faire Leather Co. was founded by the pair of Joseph Lor and Ryan Choy in 2017. The is perhaps best known for their initial Kickstarter campaign, which blew past funding goals to become the most funded Singaporean project on Kickstarter at that point in time. Faire Leather’s initial offering, the Bond Travel Briefcase, received critical acclaim by many established media outlets, with inventory selling out almost instantly. Since then, the brand has iterated its iconic briefcase, with its latest offering being the Neo Soft briefcase, which was launched to commemorate its 2020 anniversary. With many of us slowly returning to the office, why not purchase a sleek and functional briefcase as well?
Where to buy: Interested readers can order from its web-store here. As Faire Leather is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all online orders.
Obbi Good Label is a Singaporean company that specialises in offering rugged, durable leather products.
Why support: Founded in 2008, all of Obbi Good Label’s leather products are made in-house in their Geylang workshop by their team of artisans, all of whom possess at least 10 years of experience. I’ve personally visited the Obbi Good Label workshop, and I must say that I’m blown away at the brand’s dedication to making leather products that will stand the test of time. It’s important to note that its products – like the above-pictured Scout125 leather belt – are produced locally in Obbi Good Label’s workshop by local artisans, and not outsourced to some developing country for cheap. Let’s support our local leather artisans!
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. As Obbi Good Label is an official partner of Wah so Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all non-promotional products store-wide!
If you need an affordable, no-frills suit, Mohan’s is one of your best bets.
Why support: The Mohan brand and Max Mohan has become so recognised here in Singapore that the government (more specifically, Gov.sg) actually did an entire episode on Max Mohan and his work as part of their feature series on the Merdeka generation. Like most of the older generation tailors – and unlike most affordable tailors – production for their garments are done in-house locally, overseen by master tailor Mr Koh (who also appears in the aforementioned video). Overall, I think that Mohan’s Custom Tailors is a great value proposition. For just $350, you get a mixed wool suit, as well as a shirt (after the promo code below), which is pretty good bang-for-buck.
Where to buy: 14 Scotts Road, #02-73 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213. Just for my readers, Mohan’s is offering a free shirt with every suit purchase from $350 and up! Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst making your appointment or flash this post while at the store to enjoy the complimentary shirt.
Hwa Seng Textiles (HST) was established in 1960, making it one of the oldest tailoring establishments in Singapore.
Why support: Both Mr Goh (current owner of HST Tailors) and master tailor Ye shifu are part of the Merdeka/Pioneer generation, and have been practising their craft for decades. Their vast experience, combined with their fabric expertise (HST is short for Hwa Seng Textiles, and the brand started out as a purveyor of fabrics) results in a top-notch tailoring experience. To date, I’ve been to over 30 tailors in Singapore – none has wowed me upon the first impression more than HST tailors. For those looking for an affordable Saville Row experience, I highly recommend HST tailors. In addition, HST also offers custom jeans for denim fanatics and those looking for well-fitting casualwear.
Where to buy: 07-12 Gemini@Sims, No 2 Sims Close, Singapore 387298. Readers can enjoy an exclusive 10% discount off all products from HST Tailors – simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” whilst booking your appointment or flash this post when at the showroom to enjoy the discount.
Located within the luxurious premises of Pan Pacific hotel, Meiko Tailor pays homage to the art of tailoring.
Why support: Run by Head Tailor Uncle Chung – who has over 50 years of experience in tailoring – Meiko Tailor is perhaps the personification of the maxim ‘old is gold’. It’s a true bespoke tailor, where everything is custom-made from scratch, based upon an individual’s specific measurements. Part of the pioneer generation, the experience of Uncle Chung (who has been doing tailoring longer than even my parents have been alive) shone through during my experience at Meiko Tailor. In addition, Meiko Tailor boasts a local in-house production, which translates to higher quality control and a shorter lead time. Furthermore, Uncle Chung has recently been joined by his daughter Adele in the business. Adele, being a trained image consultant, brings modern styling advice to an established lao jiao tailor, ensuring that customers get the best of both youth and experience. If you’re looking for an affordable bespoke tailor with an emphasis on craftsmanship, or simply need a well-crafted suit in a jiffy, I highly recommend paying Meiko Tailor a visit.
Where to buy: 7 Raffles Blvd, #02-01 The Pan Pacific, Singapore 039595. Currently, Meiko Tailor is running a National Day special – enjoy $56 off made-to-measure shirts with every order of tailored pair of chinos or linen pants. The offer is valid through the month of August.
For those searching for bang-for-buck dress shoes, Arden Teal is a great option.
Why support: If you’re searching for well-made dress shoes that won’t break the bank, I’ll highly recommend Arden Teal. The brand offers a wide variety of designs starting at a little over $100, while blake-stiched options (such as the Carlota Blake Stitched Oxford pictured above) are one of the cheapest in the market at $179 (after promo code below). The walking experience in them is surprisingly comfortable as well, with rubber swathes applied to key areas of the outsole to aid traction. In addition, Arden Teal includes accessories such as a dust cover and a shoehorn with every purchase too – something uncommon at this price point. What better way to return to the office than with a new pair of shoes on your feet?
Where to buy: Arden Teal shoes can be bought online here. As Arden Teal is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all shoes store-wide!
Dubbing themselves “Singapore’s leading Artisan Shoemaker”, W.H.Y & CO have been offering handcrafted shoes to the Singaporean masses since 2015.
Why support: W.H.Y & Co’s shoes are labours of love, with all being hand-painted and finished manually. Its offerings are blake-stitched for added durability and utilize only European calf leather. The brand’s competitive advantage however is probably in the design of its shoes, which includes unique grey patinated ones (like the Quarter Brogue Chiseled Grey pictured above) and Bottega inspired hand-woven loafers. If you like your shoes to have a bit of character, W.H.Y & Co is the perfect place to shop at.
Reviews: I reviewed the above-pictured Quarter Brogue Chiseled Grey here.
Where to buy: W.H.Y & CO shoes can be bought online here. As W.H.Y & CO is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all shoes store-wide!
If you’re on a tight budget, Aries Gold provides great value at the $200+ price point.
Why support: Founded in 1970, Aries Gold is probably Singapore’s oldest watch brand.Today, Aries Gold is an international brand sold in a whooping 28 countries – that’s no mean feat for a homegrown watch label. Despite its global expansion, Aries Gold continues to stay true to its Singaporean roots by having its production in Singapore, instead of outsourcing manufacturing to China as the vast majority of local watch brands do today. The brand currently offers a wide variety of interesting designs, including the eminently striking Black Sea with its corroded dial.
Reviews: I reviewed the above-pictured Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Jolter here, the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, and the Aries Gold Diplomat here. I also did an article on why I believe that they are one of the best watch brands under S$200 here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from its web-store here. Aries Gold is also a partner of Wah So Shiok – readers can enjoy 20% off all products on their web-store. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy the discount!
Reverie is a Singaporean watch brand that makes guilloche a mainstay in their designs.
Why support: If you like guilloche, you will love Reverie’s watches. A guilloche dial is key to its design language, and all of the brand’s watches will utilise guilloche in some form or another. The brand’s latest offering is the Reverie Diver, of which the red-dial variant pictured above is my favourite, and the most apt given the National Day context. Affordable dive watches are a dime a dozen, but the Reverie Diver manages to stand out with its luscious burgundy red dial.
Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Reverie’s web-store. Reverie is also a partner of Wahsoshiok – readers enjoy $40 USD off products on their web-store! Just quote “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy the discount.
With a wide variety of straps to be had for as little as $3, there’s bound to be something for everyone at Nomad Watch Works!
Why support: NomadWatchWorks is arguably Singapore’s largest strap retailer, with two physical outlets, and a third in the pipeline. Though most of its straps are extremely affordable, the quality of the straps are actually pretty decent, and punch way above their price range. In my opinion, Nomad offer the best leather straps one can find for under S$40, with my favourite being its Pueblo strap. The brand have a huge variety available as well, from silicone straps, to Horween leather straps, and even exotic straps made from python leather.
Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase here. As NomadWatchWorks is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all straps store-wide!
As its name suggests, Cozy Handmade specialises in handmade leather straps.
Why support: Firstly, the team behind Cozy Handmade actually overseas the leather straps themselves, so each strap is handcrafted by a local leather artisan. Despite the painstaking nature of the craft, the brand offers two-piece handcrafted leather straps from just $58, which is terrific value for money. Its leather quality is quite good as well, given the fact that Cozy uses full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather from Tuscany, Italy. Given the price point, bang for buck the straps from Cozy Handmade are hard to beat. Interestingly, the brand stock an extensive range of straps for the Apple Watch as well.
Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase here. As Cozy Handmade is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all straps store-wide!
Yi Leather has garnered a sizeable customer base these past few years by providing high-quality handcrafted straps at affordable pricing.
Why support: Yi Leather is helmed by one tremendous leathercrafted named Shu Yi. She has appeared numerous times in mainstream media publications, and has leathercrafting experience in spades. Yi Leather also has several intriguing leather options available, such as the abovepictured sharkskin strap, as well as straps with more unique stitching. In addition to straps, Yi Leather also makes handcrafted leather goods such as cardholders, watch pouches and bracelets.
Review: I reviewed Yi Leather’s straps here.
Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase here. As Yi Leather is an official affiliate partner of Wah So Shiok, simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all straps store-wide!
That rounds up this listicle on some of my favourite local brands! Many of the abovementioned brands have suffered from declining business due to COVID restrictions, so as Singapore opens up let’s support our homegrown efforts – the crux of our national spirit is unity, after all!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.