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When you think of jeans, big brand names often come to mind. Calvin Klein, Armani, DKNY if you are thinking designer brands; GAP and GUESS if you are looking for mid-market all-American styles; Levi’s if it is the classics you want; and Topman and Topshop, ZARA, H&M and Uniqlo for high-street fashion.
Shoppers in Singapore, however, are particularly spoilt for choice because beyond these mega labels, there has been an ever-increasing number of multi-brand stores selling denim apparel. It is no wonder Singapore has been hailed a shopper’s paradise. These stores are great one-stop destinations if you are looking to compare jeans from different brands or discover new trends in denim.
If you are keen to slip on jeans from newer labels, here are where you can shop.
The name says it all. This is where you go to get denim wear and not just any denim wear but those from cool brands in Australia, Japan and Europe your friends abroad have been raving about but which were previously not available in the Republic.
They are best known for being the exclusive local retailer of Swedish cult brand Nudie Jeans. A best-seller, Nudie is a socially responsible label that creates 100% organic cotton denim outfits using sustainable and transparent practices. Their commitment to the environment has led them to offer free jeans repair services to their customers to battle the pervasive use-and-toss mentality. Ethical offerings aside, Nudie exudes an effortless cool vibe that is apparent in their designs and they are definitely pitched at a price point lower or equivalent to that of many designer brands.
The Denim Store carries several other sought-after brands. There is Cheap Monday, known for their skinny jeans. Freitag is another green label that boasts jeans made with natural, 100% compostable fabric. April 77 prides themselves on their edgy raw denim unisex jeans with an attitude that are mainstays for those into the underground scene. French label APC has been dubbed the French GAP and specialises in raw denim.
Japanese labels are big, too. Osaka-based Samurai Jeans offers selvedge and indigo jeans that are more durable. 70-year-old Big John is a pioneer Japanese brand from denim capital of Japan, Kojima. They are the makers of the first made-in-Japan jeans and the creators of the first Japanese denim. Japanese denim is prized because of the vintage weaving and dyeing methods, and the way the jeans are sewn together to create a denser more durable garment that still remains soft and comfortable. Pure Blue Japan uses a unique production method that involves a low-tension machine for slubby jeans with a rougher feel. Slubby denim fades beautifully and are wonderfully stretchy. The Flat Head takes American fashion and infuses it with Japanese innovation. They have won awards for their unique fading properties that result in vertical line fades associated with vintage denim. Studio D'Artisan has quality selvedge jeans and are famous for their nep denim which is made by mixing cotton fibres for a textured look.
This luxury labels store is home to top brands from the US, Europe and Japan. So named because they believe that denim wear is the bread and butter of any wardrobe, denimheads will love the range of designer and cult favourites offering finely crafted denim and high-street fashion all under one roof.
Among the popular American brands they carry are J Brand, which creates jeans that display timeless sophistication; Paige Denim, which features surprising details in their jeans; 7 for All Mankind, the jeans celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Alba favour; and Citizens for Humanity, prized for the special fit they call their “sexy universal jean” and new denim fabrics like multi-counts and comfort stretch.
European label Kings of Indigo that combines the minimalist beauty of Japanese denim with sustainable production methods; and Denham where fine craftsmanship and innovation are stitched into every of their creation are also part of Bread and Butter’s stable.
Japanese brands form a big part of Bread and Butter’s stock. They are the sole Asian distributor of KOhZO jeans outside of Japan. Although the brand is based in Switzerland, its origins are Japanese and they are widely acknowledged as an expert in denim, possessing a fine understanding of its structure, qualities and malleability.
High-end, quality casual wear is what this store proffers. Easy urban style with a spark of ingenuity are its hallmarks. Apart from Los Angeles brand Citizen of Humanity, MOTHER is the other American brand available. Effortless Californian chic is evident in all the label’s designs including the denim wear.
This locally-owned boutique calls itself an incubator for brands. Indeed, it is a haven for hip youths who askew the regular brands for more obscure names in the eternal race to stand apart from the crowd.
Within its stark industrial chic interiors decked out to resemble an avant garde art gallery are racks featuring a mishmash of Asian and European brands. There are 424, which has been labelled an upstart for their bid to reimagine streetwear; the Japanese-influenced Denim by Vanquish & Fragment, which is a line created in collaboration with Japanese musician, producer and designer Hiroshi Fujiwara; designer streetwear, Haculla; Japanese brands Visvim and AMBUSH; upscale skate-inspired Palm Angels; and Milanese streetwear brand Marcelo Burlon.
The people behind Singapore menswear brand Benjamin Barker are responsible for this multi-label store that has merchandise across various product categories, from apparel to accessories. Part shopping space, part chill-out place complete with a cafe, their mix of brands are carefully curated to let men express their individual style. Top your Cheap Monday jeans with sharp Benjamin Barker shirts for a smart casual outfit.