You know homegrown label Ling Wu for its buttery soft bags made from sustainably sourced exotic leather and its ultra chic retail store Le Salon at Chip Bee Gardens which opened in 2017. The brand calls it an apartmentique – a portmanteau of a boutique in the form of an apartment.
Now, the brand has just opened its first online store – and you can expect much of the same finely curated selection of both fine and vintage jewellery, artful lifestyle objects and of course, the brand’s signature leather bags.
There’s also a 20 per cent discount for first purchases on the site, though if browsing pieces in person is your thing, customers are still welcomed at the physical store located at 43 Jalan Merah Saga (do make an appointment before going down).
When we first attended the store during opening night in 2017, one couldn’t help but feel like it ran along more the lines of a house party rather than a media presentation – such was the intimacy of the 1,500 sq ft space.
“The way we shop is changing – people are buying less and better. They are more emotionally invested in their purchases.”Goh Ling Ling, Ling wu founder and designer
Le Salon houses Ling Wu’s bags (and her office) but it also plays hosts to other niche, Singapore-based labels such as fine jeweller Alexandra Alberta, artisanal fragrance house A Dose of Something Good and vintage specialist Dark Horse Vintage.
Vintage furniture dominate the space – but if you’re thinking fuddy duddy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Stylish touches such as this vintage star burst clock abound in the apartment and they’re not all designer goods either – this eye-catching clock was bought for only $5 at Melbourne’s famous Camberwell Market.
Besides the aforementioned labels, Ling Wu will also be retailing some of her own vintage pieces, such as rare Elsa Peretti for Tiffany’s pieces from the ’70s.
Overall, Le Salon definitely feels like you’re stepping into the house of an extremely discerning friend, rather than into your standard boutique, which is apparently what Ling Wu intended for.
“The way we shop is changing – people are buying less and better. They are more emotionally invested in their purchases and Le Salon provides a platform for me to connect personally with shoppers and share the stories and craft behind the brands,” says Ling Wu founder and designer Goh Ling Ling.
With everyone bemoaning the lacklustre state of retail in Singapore, going intimate might just be what we need right now. Le Salon is located at 43 Jalan Merah Saga #02-78, Singapore 278115. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm.
This article first appeared in 2017 and has been updated for currency