Singapore's Ann Siang Road: The insiders speak up

Singapore's Ann Siang Road: The insiders speak up

The natives of the boho-creative neighborhood pipe up on the Ann Siang attraction
Ann Siang Road and Ann Siang Hill
The district of Ann Siang Road and Ann Siang Hill is well-known as the gathering ground for contemporary designers and fashion in Singapore.

Ann Siang Road stands out in Singapore’s financial district for its bohemian vibe. Hidden behind the old shophouse facades are designer fashion boutiques, niche bookstore Books Actually, concept shop Asylum, Scandinavian designer brand Style:Nordic, French cake shop The Patissier, and the Screening Room which is a cinema with rooftop bar.

Check out what the local business owners have to say about Ann Siang Road, Singapore, and themselves.

Chris Lee of Asylum

Fred Perry LaurelFred Perry Laurel

CNNGo: What do you like about Ann Siang Road?

Lee: Ann Siang Road is one of the most charming streets in Singapore with lots of heritage and character. We were the first shop here in 2005 when the street still had associations and old people played Mahjong in the afternoons.

Chris Lee, owner of creative studio/gallery/retail store Asylum and Fred Perry Laurel, is a well-recognized figure in Singapore’s creative industry, as evidenced by his 60 international awards. Chris loves to explore new restaurants.

Asylum retail store, 22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore. tel +65 6324 8265. www.theasylum.com.sg
Fred Perry Laurel, 19 Ann Siang Road, Singapore. tel +65 6325 3018. www.fredperry.com/shops/singapore

Jonas Ericsson of STYLE:NORDIC

NordicStyle:Nordic

CNNGo: Why did you set up shop in Ann Siang Road?

Ericsson: Ann Siang Road is in the heart of Singapore, and it's a lovely neighbourhood where a lot of creative people have their offices. Now there are many small stores doing their own design -- a kind of independent design retail district in town. I would like to show that Scandinavian blends very well with the Southeast Asian style if you do it carefully, and with a twist of mind.

Jonas Ericsson, owner of STYLE:NORDIC, brings in "the best of designer brands from the far north." Think of it as a designer’s answer to Ikea. And Jonas lunches in "Maxwell food court and the new Fou de Fa Fa in Capital Tower for their organic stuff. So good!"

STYLE:NORDIC, 39 Ann Siang Road, Singapore. tel +65 6423 9114. www.stylenordic.com

Ann Kositchotitana of Front Row

Front RowFront Row

CNNGo: What’s your take on Singapore?

Kositchotitana: It’s still a relatively young country in terms of the fashion scene and cultural trends... so there are lots of opportunities to start things and have fun doing it. Plus, my team of young staff and I get along very well, so they make me enjoy my stay in Singapore. (Note: I’ve been in Singapore for only five years. I was born in Bangkok, and grew up in Los Angeles and New York.)

Ann Kositchotitana, owner of Front Row, created the store to showcase the fashion collections of progressive young Singapore designers and "I shop at my own store! I wear a lot of A.P.C. and I really like the young designer pieces..."

Front Row, 5 Ann Siang Road, Singapore. tel +65 6224 5501/5502. www.frontrowsingapore.com

Books ActuallyBooks Actually

Kenny and Karen of Books Actually

CNNGo: Where would you go in Singapore?

Ross: Most shophouse areas in Singapore breed independents, which are where we would highly recommend Ann Siang Road, Chinatown, Arab Street, Little India, and Holland Village. The once-heavily forested suburban areas now sprout beautiful restaurants and even farms.

Kenny and Karen, owners of Books Actually, started their little bookshop because there’s a dearth of "artists, musicians and writers who choose to produce works by themselves or in collaboration with small publishers" in the big bookshops.

Books Actually, 86 Club Street, Singapore. tel +65 6222 9195. www.booksactually.com