It’s been quite some time since I was in Singapore and on a recent trip to the Lion City I visited a number of shops that were focused on filling the void in menswear retail. Of all the shops I visited there was one that stood out: Fiftyfive. It is a multi-label boutique that brought together three different entities each with their own speciality: Cumulus for their curated range of carry goods, Ed Et Al for their handcrafted shoes and Kevin Seah for his ready-to-wear and bespoke clothing. I would like to describe Fiftyfive as a casual haberdasher even though those two words don’t seem to go together. It has all the essentials a man needs for his wardrobe but they made sure to throw in something different here and there to set themselves apart.
Cumulus has been in the retail scene for a number of years now with their multi-label boutique at Wheelock Place along Orchard Road. They have an expertly curated selection of carry goods which led me to buy the Bellroy slim sleeve wallet from them a few years back. They have brought that same expertise to Fiftyfive with some very good looking bags from Jack Spade (a personal favorite), Brady Bags, Qwstion, Seventy Eight Percent and Knomo. These brands are casual in nature and can work in dressed down office environments. Aside from bags they also carry Bellroy wallets and Dodocase for iPads and iPhones.
Ed Et Al is a Singaporean shoe company that started in 2010 as a bespoke only shoe service. Later on they used their expertise and experience in shoe making to offer ready-to-wear shoes. Their ready-to-wear line is reasonably priced at around SGD 300 (~Php 10,152) per pair making them a relatively easy purchase. The construction looks solid and the quality of the leather is decent. I’ve read that they’re made in Vietnam to better standards. For those who’ve got the time and money to spare their made-to-order and bespoke service are worth checking out.
Kevin Seah is a well-known Singaporean tailor and designer who started out in women’s wear. His made-to-measure tailoring service K by Kevin Seah is available here. There is a ready-to-wear line available but discerning clientele might prefer to get measured up for a custom shirt or suit. Kevin Seah also has his own line of neckties and carries pocket squares from Simonnot-Godard.
Fiftyfive is nestled amongst the colonial shophouses in Boat Quay away from the major shopping district of Orchard Road. When you enter you get this sense of old world charm due to the dark wood and metal furnishings. The shop was dimly lit with the bright sunlight shining through the windows during my noon time visit. And although the space is designed to recall a bygone era most of the goods on display are modern and casual. They have the right mix of seriousness and youthfulness that men will easily be able to embrace. I’d be hard-pressed to find another boutique like it in Singapore so if ever you’re in this part of the world it’s worth paying a visit.