Design Instincts: SHOUTEN by biro

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

Japanese products, tradition, and techniques take centre stage at SHOUTEN by biro

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. Here we have brothers Kenghow and Kage Chong, the founders of SHOUTEN by biro, who walk us through the evolution of their brand.

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Tell us a bit about SHOUTEN by biro and why you started it.

SHOUTEN by biro is a compact concept space that is built with naturally produced indigo-coated wood from Tokushima, Japan. Our aim here is to showcase the beauty of imperfection, simplicity, modesty and appreciation of both objects and spaces.

People’s lifestyle these days is so fast-paced and we wanted to provide individuals with a means to slow down and appreciate quality of life through spaces, environment, products and feelings. In addition, SHOUTEN is also a channel for us to develop quality products beyond men's clothing. We offer a capsule collection of unisex garments, as well as interior and architectural materials using the indigo dyeing method from Tokushima.

Finally, SHOUTEN is also a small extension of the biro brand's core beliefs in craftsmanship, appreciation of details, story telling and a quality way of life. It doubles as a platform as well, which showcases these elements to a wider audience through the use of the space and curated products.

What makes you say yes before stocking a particular brand?  

The key factors are the artisanal value, quality and story behind the making of the product. They also have to be consistent with the boutique’s overall aesthetic as well.

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

Definitely the natural indigo wood — as installation and as a product that our customers can buy. We feel that the natural scent that subtly comes from the Japanese cedar wood, as well as the different hues of natural indigo, creates a great feeling and brings you back to a living world.

Fill in the blanks: “Good design is…”

…is giving a well-made product worth and value.

What’s in store for SHOUTEN for the rest of 2017?

For the store, we will be looking at holding at least one trunk show/pop-up for interesting products and activities per month. We will also develop a "portable" version of SHOUTEN and showcase it around in Singapore as pop-up, eventually leading up to a second store. We will also continue to develop new collections for seasonal drops and planning interesting collaborations. We are also working on the idea of opening a store in Japan and possibly a new café concept in Singapore.

Visit SHOUTEN by biro today at 809 French Road, Kitchener Complex, Level 3, Tel: 9748 7347. For more information, click here.