Beloved in its native Hong Kong for tongue-in-cheek interpretations of local design and culture,
(G.O.D.) recently made its first foray into international markets, opening a flagship at Singapore's Central. Firmly establishing itself as an arbiter of Cantonese cool since being founded by Benjamin Lau and Douglas Young in 1996, G.O.D. currently operates eight locations and one outlet in Hong Kong, and in recent years has made strides to enter new markets outside of its home city, eyeing mainland China and now Singapore.
With its Singapore flagship, G.O.D. looks to be in a position to speed up that international expansion. The more than 6,000 square foot flagship, located on the second floor of Central in Clark Quay, is decorated inside and out with Hong Kong heritage-inspired motifs that include massive red lanterns, apothecary chests, antique Chinese coins, and shophouse gates reminiscent of old Causeway Bay. It's this interweaving of old (local) and new (global) Hong Kong that infuses the company's apparel, furniture, accessories and gadgets. G.O.D. never takes itself too seriously as a brand, yet its products consistently stand out as some of the most interesting and distinctly Hong Kong Chinese out there.
G.O.D.'s new flagship is notable not only for its massive product mix and sheer size -- the brand has come a long way since its first retail location in Ap Lei Chau -- but also for its interesting interior design, with each collection specifically highlighted. As Alvinology noted of the store's design:
The Goods of Desire Singapore flagship store has been distinctively zoned, with each zone aiming to project a different vibe and character. Douglas Young explains, “As you step into each area, you will experience something different. For instance the homeware section replicates the look-and feel of old tenement homes in Hong Kong. We looked at the layout and design of the store from every possible perspective to provide the best retail experience.
Also notable in G.O.D.'s international expansion is the company's plans to localize its products for different markets. According to co-founder Young, an upcoming collection slated for the last quarter of the year will be created specifically for Singapore, inspired by the city's distinctive shops and architecture. Said Young, “Shining a new and interesting spotlight on Asian heritage and culture has always been something close to my heart, and we wanted to celebrate the opening of the first Goods of Desire Singapore store with an initiative that will showcase the local heritage. I believe architecture is the most discernible part of any culture and was deeply inspired by the shophouses in Singapore."
Added Young, "I hope Singaporeans will see my interpretation of the buildings as being fresh and original but at the same time authentic.”