Today orchard road is synonymous with fashion and jewellery. It’s Singapore’s premier shopping destination, lined with fashionable boutiques and malls such as Tangs, Ion Orchard and Wisma Atria, but this wasn’t always the case. In the early 19th century, the road was home to fruit orchards and plantations, giving it the name orchard road. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century and the arrival of residential development that the street began to see retail shops moving in.
First Department Store on Orchard Road
Tang Choon Keng known as CK Tang was a Singaporean entrepreneur who founded Orchard Roads’ first department store, named the CK Tang Department Store. In 1958 Tang bought a 1351 square meter piece of land at the corner of Scotts Road and Orchard Road against the advice of his fellow businessmen who felt the location was unfashionable. The site faced the Tai San Ting Cemetery at the time but was on the way into the city for Tanglin area residents’ which made it a convenient location. The department store established orchard road as a premier fashion district in Singapore. When the Singapore government decided to develop Orchard Road as a shopping and tourist district, the land price soared dramatically. Eventually, in the 1970s, the original department store was demolished to make way for a new Tangs complex, including the 33-story Singapore Marriott Hotel and the Tang Plaza. Like the original store, the Tang Complex remains a landmark on Orchard Road. Tangs complex’s architecture pays homage to the forbidden city with its jade green pagoda-like roof and iconic red columns.
Where to Find the Trend Fashion? Of course, it’s Orchard!
The 1960’s fashion explosion, with its epicentre in London, reverberations were felt around the globe. The hugely influential ‘mod look’ landed on Singapore’s Orchard Road, bringing new fashion establishments with it. If you wanted to find the hot fashions of the day, you needed to head down to Orchard Road. One of the influential new fashion stores was Hilda’s. It was an early fashion boutique initially located at 176 Orchard Road across from present-day Orchard Central and 313 @ Somerset, where the Centerpoint mall now stands. Hilda’s was located on top of Singapore’s first and oldest supermarket, Cold Storage. In the 1960s, Hilda’s and Cold Storage is where the most fashionable people shopped for groceries and the latest imported dresses, buttons, and accessories from England. Hilda’s boutique was known for their fashion shows that featured the latest trends, in need of more space, the store famously put on a show in the Grocery store downstairs.
International Brand Boutiques
Glamourette was another early fashion outlet located at 300 Orchard, where the Paragon shopping mall now stands. The high-end fashion here started to define the street as a fashion destination. When Glammourette first opened in 1958, it introduced new European brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant, Biba, and Valentino to Singapore for the first time. Glammourette pioneered the new concept of ready-to-wear fashions directly off the rack. The boutique was the first luxury multi-brand boutique in Singapore and became a destination for trendy off-the-peg luxury fashions and accessories. The success of Glamourette and the opening of other Boutiques and fabric stores like the influential Pavilion Silk Store (210 Orchard Road), which provided fashionable new prints to the local tailers, helped propel Orchard Road to becomes fashions most happening street.
Trend and Quality Jewellery Shops to Find
One of the first Jewellery stores on Orchard Road was located in Tanglin Shopping Centre along the Orchard Road shopping district in 1973. With another following at Far East Plaza in 1975. At the time, these jewellery stores were Singapore’s most prominent diamond wholesalers and manufacturers. Many luxury fashion retailers and jewellery stores have established themselves along Singapore’s Orchard Road in the years following. Today you can find Jewellery Street at ION Orchard’s basement level featuring numerous fine jewellery retailers. Located in Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City you can also find branded and unique jewellers. The Orchard area is undoubtedly the best place to look around to see the options and find your taste. All these shops are conveniently located within walking distance of each other and can be reached easily from Orchard MRT. A basement walkway connects the three malls with access direct from the station.
Today Orchard Road is a bustling shopping destination and the perfect place to find the latest fashions and jewellery. Visit us at VENUS TEARS for a wide variety of high-quality, hand-crafted in Japan engagement rings, wedding bands, and GIA-certified diamonds. Our friendly and professional staff will help you find the perfect match.
VENUS TEARS <Wisma Atria>
435 Orchard Road, #B1-28 Wisma Atria,
Tel: +65 6694 1663
VENUS TEARS <JEM>
50 Jurong Gateway Road, JEM #01-54,
Tel: +65 6659 6100
VENUS TEARS <Tampines1>
10 Tampines Central 1, Tampines1 #01-35,
Tel: +65 6481 2042
VENUS TEARS <Bugis Junction>
200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction #01-22/22A,
Tel: +65 6250 9962