“I’m interested in preserving the humanistic element – the design and consideration that go into the making of a product – as well as the relationship between the maker, product and user,” says Winnie Li of EOMM.

It’s easy to mistake EOMM – short for Emporium of the Modern Man – for a menswear boutique, but the lively store at 60 Somme Road also trades in womenswear and a wide assortment of elevated lifestyle products. Think non-slip hangers and goat-hair brushes from Germany,  and artisanal knives from Japan. Every label was personally curated by proprietor Winnie Li, and new to Singapore when EOMM opened in 2015.

Come September, Li intends to reveal a completely revamped space with a new line-up of environmentally friendly, sustainable labels. It’s an approach already applied to her own women’s wear brand Ultramarine Studio, in which salvaged fabrics from Li’s family business are transformed into minimalist dresses and separates. For now, it’s business as usual (so yes, you can visit), with the store being transformed into a pop-up art gallery for two months starting July.

Product education

“I am a strong believer that (when we purchase something), we are not only consuming the goods, but also the ideas and thoughts (that brands put into them). So to me, stores that educate their customers well on their products – albeit in a non-intrusive manner – will do well.”

Being open to customer feedback

“Customer participation and communication are very important – it’s a two-way process and,
a lot of the times, the relationships you build with your customer is really what keeps them coming back.”

A new way of collaboration

“(Different stores should) be working together towards a non-zero-sum game.”

This story first appeared in Female’s June 2018 print issue.