I love this site. In fact, I really want it to take off for the main reason that if people think Singaporeans are uncreative, Dennis Tay – the founder of Naiise – flies in the face of this annoying preconception. Naiise is his cleverly curated website selling beautifully designed, sometime quirky, things sourced from around the globe as well as locally.
Here’s my edit of the top five things from the site. There were so many lovely options, this list took no time at all and, in fact, I have made it a pick of six as I couldn’t quite stop at five.
The only other thing worth pointing out is that having spoken to quite a few of the brands listed on Dennis’s site, his prices are as low as they possibly can be. To achieve this he doesn’t squeeze the designers on their pricing but instead elects to take less his end. Pretty impressive when most people are doing the opposite.
(Note to my UK readers, this may look irrelevant to you but Naiise will ship internationally for a nominal, fixed sum. It’s also a great find if you’re looking for a good local source of presents to send Singapore-resident family members/Godchildren to cut down on the astronomical cost of international postage. There’s not yet a category on Naiise devoted entirely to kids, but there are plenty of things to choose from.)
1. Merry Go Round
I have a weakness for scarves, especially ones that don’t make you look ‘auntie’, (in truth, I even like the ones that do). This line is a result of a chance meeting between accessories designer Philippe Roucou and a young artist, M. Chérie, both passionate collectors of abandoned images. My favourite from collection (called ‘Merry Go Round‘ and shown both above and below) is printed with anonymous Polaroids, images lost, found and then used to create an imaginary story. Basically a sort of scarf instagram – love it!
(100% silk crepe, 130cmx130cm, S$220, Made in France)
2. A Canvas Tote from 60’s Singapore
A girl can never have too many bags. Naiise kindly comped me this 1960’s Singapore Museum tote which I have trawled all over SG but, in truth, is actually more fun to use abroad. It’s also the perfect present to give any Singaporean living overseas:
The mix of Chinese characters and English lettering is thoroughly Changmoh in spirit.
(Cotton canvas tote, S$22)
3. On/Off Clock
I lack a proper alarm clock in my life and instead use my iPhone, which I hate doing as it invariably leads to involuntary email checking before my feet have even touched the ground. This is what I need, in cheerful, Chinese New Year red. I love its clever design that lets you just flip it to turn it off/snooze/whatever. No fumbling for an on/off switch required.
(Lexon On/Off Clock, S$39, Made in France)
4. Aide de Camp Camera Bag
I’ve written about the range of Aide de Camp bags before here, and Naiise was where I first came across them. I am still in love with mine which is the Leighton model, pictured above.
(‘Leighton’ by Aide de Camp, S$369, premium nylon, genuine leather and 14kt gold plated hardwear)
5. Nyonya kueh…in paper form
Their ‘Go Local’ selection is inspiring and stocks some great gift ideas, either for people who live here or people that are leaving SG. This section also carries a list of emerging designers, featuring prints and works from young designers in Singapore who have not yet commercialised their work.
I LOVE this box of Nyonya kueh which are actually Post-it notes in disguise. They look good enough to eat and are a much better present to bring to the next lavish tea party I’m asked to, in place of real food which tables are usually groaning with. Also check out their Six Year Coupon Journal based on Singapore’s rather unique car coupon system.
(Nyonya Kueh Sticky Notes S$15)
Lastly, I couldn’t resist featuring something from this fabulous range:
6. PANTONE universe
A result of a collaboration between Room Copenhagen and the world’s colour authority that is Pantone. Together they have created a continuously developing collection of colorful products, all in line with the official Pantone color scheme. There are some great colour names including Anthracite (what?) as well as instantly evocative things like Macaw Green. I have my heart set on their sleek Classic Cups with a silicone band (pictured above in Tangerine Tango; S$37) as well as the PANTONE universe Bowl 2 which I just wish was a bit bigger – it would be perfect for pasta or salad in the middle of a big dining table.
(PANTONE universe Bowl 2 – below – in melamine, with silicone bottom rim, S$92, Made in Denmark)
For more information, log on to naiise.com. Naiise are also currently running a pop-up event on the rooftop (6th floor) of People’s Park Complex, in collaboration with NONG.