While the rest of Jewel Changi Airport opened to great fanfare in early April, a few stores remained hidden behind hoarding. One of these was Urban Revivo, the fast fashion brand with hundreds of stores in China, whose first overseas outpost opened right here in Singapore in Raffles City in early 2017. Back in April, the Jewel store's massive duplex facade was not yet ready to meet the world. But the shutters were finally removed in late July, and you could say the "Chinese Zara's" third store in Singapore is worth the wait.
The store concept is a grandiose-sounding "architectural reinterpretation of a forest" inspired by "the naturalistic elements of Singapore", but there's not a tree or hint of green in sight. Designed by Fabrikr, the Seoul-based artist duo behind many of Gentle Monster’s store art installations and some of Seoul's hippest spaces, the 9,139 sq ft, two-storey space is stark white and features a striking series of arches, which are meant to depict "canopy-like foliage", which pay homage to Jewel's lush gardens and landscapes.
Floor-to-ceiling plasma screens play a hypnotising montage of blue water droplets tumbling and crashing, inspired by none other than the ever-mesmerising Rain Vortex. It's supposed to create a sublime and multi-sensory retail journey.
That's all good, but how are the goods? After all, you walk into a shop not just to gawk at its amazing interiors, but also to buy stuff, right? How do the dresses, shirts, bags and shoes in "China's Zara" compare to the real Zara in terms of price, quality and style? 8days.sg investigates. By shopping, of course.