For the last year and a half, avid hunters of vintage fashion and supporters of indie cult brands would have known Spades as a multi-label store housing vintage and Singapore labels like Reduxing and Solars Rebirth.
Fast forward to this month and the brand has changed its M.O. and gone through a rebirth of sorts.
The first major change is a move from its former home in Thomson to 48 MacTaggart Road which is situated a stone’s throw away from Tai Seng MRT station. At a little over 1,300 sq ft, the new space is almost three times the size of its previous location. The store officially opens its doors on July 16.
The new Spades store comes with a cool loft vibe.
“It’s a gem hidden in an industrial area that is not saturated by surrounding retail stores,” describes Moh Ee Jin, one of the five Gen-Z co-founders who also holds the role of director of design and curation. “This allows us to focus on our own growth instead of competing with others.”
Other members of the Spades team are founder and creative director Shane Tan who had previously ran several vintage pop-ups; Gloria Liew; Greg Tan; and Harry Chow. Aged between 19 and 23, they bring with them prior experience of working in sales and retail management.
Reminiscent of its roots, Spades still stocks vintage pieces. As Tan notes, about a third of the store is made up of items from Reduxing and Solar’s Rebirth.
The former has built a fan base for reviving archival pieces from the likes of Raf Simons and Alexander McQueen. Meanwhile, the latter is a favourite of those looking for grunge chic merch like T-shirts and varsity jackets.
However, the team envision Spades to a multi-label collective that seeks to represent up-and-coming brands and creatives. To wit, there’s more diversity in the range of brands, with natural dye labels like Stilnook and handcrafted accessories like Visual Jargon in the mix.
The store currently stocks 16 under-the-radar labels from Singapore and the region.
At present, 16 brands are stocked at Spades, including under-the-radar labels that are fast gaining traction. They include Singapore labels like Veblen Supplies, Koterie, Cherub, Wildflower wax co., Mobius Mise and Flipside, as well as Malaysian brands like Ghostboy and Notinlist, and PIN SKTBS from China.
While the majority of the brands are currently from our shores, the folks here hope to ride the segregation between “local” brands and bigger, internationally recognised ones.
“We believe that all brands are someone’s hard work and dedication invested over time, and the terms ‘smaller’ and ‘local’ stifle brands from expanding into something more,” explains Moh.
Spades also hopes to ramp up efforts in building a sense of community, seeing the space as one where people and various subcultures bond over their shared love for design and creativity.
Shoppers during the soft launch of the store, prior to its official opening on July 16.
As Moh and co. observes, there exists a sense of animosity and competitiveness in Singapore’s general climate. “With the way people are brought up here, competitiveness is ingrained in us as Singaporeans,” he says. “When it comes to things like fashion, we feel there exists this sense of exclusivity that people may feel is intimidating.”
He adds: “People want to be the best, to have the nicest pieces, the perfect music taste and live up to these unspoken standards of being ‘cool’. The animosity comes when people start to create impressions of each other based on trivial things such as materialistic desires, wealth and status.”
Ahead, the team tell us more about what we can expect.