Shop for design at K+

Six prominent home-grown design and retail brands have brought their merchandise under one roof.

K+, a multi-concept shop which opened last Friday at Scotts Square, features products from BooksActually, GoodStuph, Pomelo, Supermama, Tofu Design and Kinetic Singapore.

Shoppers can find a mix of furniture, lifestyle items, books and jewellery from both Singapore and international labels.

K+ is curated by Kinetic Singapore, a design and advertising agency.

Apart from the retail area, there is a gallery space.

There are also plans to host workshops and talks in the store.

To encourage shoppers to hang out longer in the store, there are sofas and seating areas as well as free Wi-Fi.

K+ started out last year as a gallery, with its retail and workshop components added later.

It was next door to its current space and more than one-third smaller.

The new and supersized K+ is spread out over 4,300 sq ft.

Ms Carolyn Teo, 43, co-founder of Kinetic Singapore, says it brought on the other brands to create a one-stop store to house design- centric products.

She adds: "Malls always approach the same few brands to open stores in their properties. Why not join forces and consolidate our resources, instead of competing with one another?"

Each brand has designated display shelves around the store.

At a bookshelf that wraps around a column, you can browse Tiong Bahru indie bookstore BooksActually's offerings from Singapore and international writers.

At Pomelo's long cubby-hole shelf, you can pick up small furniture items such as chairs, stools, side tables and lights from brands such as San Francisco's Pablo and the Modernica fibreglass rocker.

Pomelo is a multi- label furniture store in the industrial Tan Boon Liat Building in Outram.

This is the first time it is venturing into a mall setting.

At other displays, check out lifestyle store Supermama's popular porcelain wares with Singapore motifs such as the Housing Board flat and social influence agency GoodStuph's inspirational posters.

Also in the works for GoodStuph is a Huat Clock which, in addition to telling time, doles out four numbers each day that you can buy 4-D with.

The clock will go on sale in about six weeks.

Creative agency Tofu Design is launching its own lifestyle brand, MadebyTofu, featuring stationery and homeware items.

Besides making its own products, the brand will work with illustrators and makers to collaborate on capsule collections.

For its first one, MadebyTofu worked with Polkapom, a lifestyle label by an illustrator who goes by the name Vanlim, to design scarves, cushions and pillows.

As for Kinetic Singapore, Ms Teo and her co-founder Pann Lim picked brands such as the London-based homeware label Donna Wilson and a series of hyper-realistic resin and acrylic artworks by Singapore artist Cheok Keng Lye.

Both had exhibited at the old K+ gallery.

Prices for products in the store range from $2 for a postcard to $19,260 for a resin artwork by Cheok.

Besides these five brands, Kinetic Singapore also hand-picked smaller labels such as Chubby Bunny, which makes handcrafted dolls, and Still Wares, which makes limited, small- batch editions of ceramic products.

These items are placed in smaller "kiosks" around the store.

New products for all brands will come in every six weeks, and some are exclusive to K+.

Besides the store, a gallery space has been set up to showcase works from artists and designers.

The first exhibition at this K+ is by celebrated Singapore furniture designer Nathan Yong, 45, who has created two limited-edition collections for the gallery.

The first, Construction, is a series of multi-functional shelves that makes use of unused corners.

The second is Constellation, an 11-piece capsule furniture collection in which the designer steps away from his usual materials of wood and steel and opts for marble and velvet.

His work is on show till Aug 14 and the pieces will be sold in K+ after.

Yong, who co-founded multi-label furniture store Grafunkt with Mr Jefery Kurniadidjaja, says: "K+ is a good effort to promote Singapore designers and their work. I wanted to support Kinetic's idea of pushing local content. Designers here may not always get such spaces to show their work."

Ms Teo hopes K+ will become Singapore's version of the popular Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Design Stores.

Known for their stylish and curated wares, MoMA stores are in New York and Tokyo.

She says: "K+ is a place for all things design, whether it is a Singapore-designed piece or from an international brand."

•K+ is at Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, 03-11

This article was first published on July 4, 2016.
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