Why Comme des Garçons is bringing Dover Street Market to Singapore

SINGAPORE – Created by Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe of Comme des Garçons, the multi-retailer store Dover Street Market originated on the actual Dover Street in Mayfair, London. Since then, DSM has expanded to include locations in Tokyo, New York, and now Singapore.

DSM Singapore is housed in an old army barracks, with skylights that open the space to Singapore’s abundant natural light

With DSM, fashion icon and media darling Kawakubo aims to create an ‘ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos’; a kind of marketplace where various creators and creatives who are possessed by a strong personal vision can encounter each other.

There was never any doubt that Singapore would be the first-choice city in Southeast Asia for Kawakubo’s DSM dream to be realized. As invigorating or individualistic as Bangkok and Jakarta may be, nowhere in the region can match the energy – and per capita affluence – of the Lion City.

Located on Dempsey Road, DSM Singapore includes a careful selection of brands from Balenciaga to Thom Browne, Gucci, Comme des Garçons of course, as well as an exclusive DSM collection. The retail space opened a few days ago as the retail hub of Como Dempsey: a lifestyle destination that purports to cultivate creativity and inspiration in fashion, food, and design. DSM Singapore nestles alongside the Michelin-starred restaurants and artisanal food halls there.

Housed in a former army barracks, the building has the highest ceiling ever seen in any Comme des Garçons or DSM store, according to Adrian Joffe, president of Dover Street Market International. At well over 10 m at its highest, a contextual departure from the iconic aesthetic of the DSM hut was required. With design and creative direction by Kawakubo herself, a series of giant colourful arches pierce the ceiling area towards to back of the space, renouncing the usual DSM black-and-white palette.

Kawakubo designed the Comme des Garçons, as well as the general and common spaces, which required incorporating the individual aesthetics and styles of the other fashion brands within the overarching theme.

The general space for women’s clothing is articulated by wire mesh fences, whereas the men’s area features a series of freestanding metallic structures. Looking at the cage-like fences for women, the towers for men – is Kawakubo upholding or criticizing the status quo here?

The general women's area consists of smaller selections from various brands

The display units in the general men's area resemble playground towers for climbing

The Comme des Garçons Pocket area features polka-dotted polycarbonate shelving


The Row employs a Jacques-Henri Lartigue table to anchor the space to its DSM context

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