JAPANESE mall operator Parco opened its new department store at Millenia Walk yesterday. The retailer’s $10 million, 85,000 square foot Parco Marina Bay occupies the space formerly occupied by DFS Galleria, which was later replaced by several smaller shops including piano and dance studios.
Parco has set aside 6,000 sq ft of space on the second level for the government-backed next Next Fashion Incubator Zone, which showcases apparel and accessories from 25 emerging designers.
Mall developer and manager Parco is best known here for launching Bugis Junction in 1995, which it then managed until 2006. Between 2006 and 2009, it was retail manager for The Central at Clarke Quay.
The next Next fashion incubator will be a highlight of Parco Marina Bay, Parco said.
The project aims to groom young fashion designers by providing critical infrastructure and business support. These include retail space, one-on-one business and fashion design mentoring, training in skills such as retail merchandising and exposure to overseas best practices.
Over the next three years, the fashion design incubator programme aims to nurture 50 selected designers. Some 25 designers, who have already been identified for focused grooming, have taken up space at Parco Marina Bay. Enterprise development agency Spring Singapore has given a grant to Parco, which will charge the designers reduced rental rates.
Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport, urged Singapore textile and apparel manufacturers to tap the pool of talented young designers.
‘With their contemporary solutions and understanding of consumer needs, you can further enhance the value proposition of your positioning,’ she said at Parco Marina Bay’s opening. ‘For Singapore to become a vibrant fashion city, we need the industry and creative talents to come together and collaborate.’
Source: Business Times, 1 Apr 2010