Interviews • 25 Nov 2013
Ethan Koh: My Singapore
Ethan Koh, Singapore’s very own consummate designer who designs his eponymous brand of exotic skins, speaks with New York Times about the country that he was born and raised in. We share the interview from New York Times here.
His collection is retailed in Harrods in London and Dubai. Malmaison by The Hour Glass in Singapore carries his men’s range exclusively.
Q. What is your favorite part of town?
A. When I’m back in Singapore my time is usually packed out in meetings so I don’t get to explore it as much as I did when I was growing up there.
I love to visit the Botanic Gardens. It’s a place where I can explore the beautiful flowers, fruits and spices which have inspired the colors I have tanned my precious creations in. Also my new collection, The Wizard of the Secret Garden, is based on my walks through the beautiful gardens in Singapore.
Q. Favorite restaurant?
A. With Singapore being a food lovers’ paradise, it’s difficult to choose from the variety of great places to eat.
I really love eating at The Fat Cow, a Japanese-inspired steakhouse, because I always leave feeling really happy. I also love taking friends to the Long Beach Seafood Restaurant for Alaskan Singapore chilli crab, a “must eat” in Singapore. Also, to Yantra for haute Indian cuisine.
Q. What’s a great music place?
A. Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel has some amazing D.J.’s coupled with great drinks and an really incredible view of the Singapore skyline. I always take friends visiting Singapore there. Also, to Bar Stories on Arab Street.
Q. Where do you go to chill out?
A. Without a doubt it’s the Capella Resort. It feels like you’re in a secret garden drenched in colonial heritage. At the same time, it has spectacular views of the ocean and a constant feeling of calm, especially as Singapore is so fast paced.
I often go to there to relax and sketch whilst drinking green tea, and I often have some of my best ideas whilst taking in the beautiful sunsets there. Also, the Raffles Hotel, which portrays the colonial heritage of Singapore and its romantic past.
Q. What about for shopping?
A. My favorite place to shop in Singapore is Malmaison by The Hour Glass, which has a really cool vibe. It’s definitely a place to explore with its niche selection of designers who display their products in a way to really capture your imagination. (Ethan K men’s collection is exclusively stocked there, along with Patek Philippe, Harry Winston and other luxury labels.)