Design Instincts: Emporium of the Modern Man

by Anton D. Javier
Photography by Chino Sardea
09 Mar 2017

The ultimate one-stop-shop for those who take design seriously

They saw a need and they responded. These Singaporean design retailers are out to change lives with mid-century Scandinavian furniture, classic stationery and Japanese indigo-dyed wood. We sit with them and find out what their raison d’être is. Up first is Winnie Li, the founder of Emporium of Modern Man (EOMM).

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What’s the story behind EOMM?

I’ve always had a strong interest in designer objects and goods, but these were either too expensive or unavailable in Singapore. With that, I decided to set up a store that fills this gap in the local market. I also envision EOMM as a platform that links consumers to makers or makers to designers, and as a place that inspires and pushes forward this idea of community — not just locally, but globally as well.

EOMM is also an exploration of the lifestyle of the modern person. I believe our generation values many things, but I think the human quality of products is also important. It’s not just about luxury items anymore — it’s about the tactile experience and little quirks and imperfections that make these items stand out. Some might look ordinary, but you will find that they are well made, durable and shows ingenuity and creativity in their design.

What is your earliest memory of design?

My earliest encounter with design was with magazines such as IdN and Wallpaper during primary school, and album covers like as the graffiti Blur’s Think Tank. The album covers of Radiohead like OK Computer, Hail to the Thief and Com Lag were inspiring too and opened my world to aesthetics and design.

Out of all the products you carry, what is your favorite and how does it fit your everyday life?

I love the candles and I use them on a daily basis. I really like how the scents change your mood, providing a temporary escape from worries and problems. Another one would be the “EOMM Select” series. These items are carefully curated — they might seem ordinary, but are actually quite unique.  As our contemporary culture continuously pushes forward, I’ve selected them in hope that they wont disappear with the times. These items are useful and reliable, and include items like scissors, clips and stationery.

Fill in the blanks: “Good design is…”

…a balance of an excellent concept with quality craftsmanship or ingenuity in design.

Anything exciting coming up for the rest of 2017?

We will be opening a creative space in Orchard Central called “The Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones”, or SRPS in short. It’s a multi-concept store with food, retail and art, with EOMM operating the retail portion on a collaborative basis. Our space will have a strong visual atmosphere and it is our desire for the space to inspire creativity in all of us. We want to build a stronger creative community and it will not just be a place to hang out, but also a place to take ideas home.

Visit EOMM today at 60 Somme Road, Tel: 6291 3006. For more information, click here.