You know Ling Wu for its buttery soft bags made from sustainably sourced exotic leather. Now the brand has just opened its first store, Le Salon, at Chip Bee Gardens. The brand calls it an apartmentique – a portmanteau of a boutique in the form of an apartment.
Attending the opening last week, 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. 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 andshare the stories and craft behind the brands.”
With everyone bemoaning the lacklustre state of retail in Singapore, going intimate might just be what we need right now.