Review: Club 21 eShop

We try out the electronic shopping experience rolled out by Club 21, the Singapore-based purveyors of fine fashion

Singapore is a major shopping hub, with just about a million travelers checking in and out each month, and that’s mostly lovely for the country. Mostly. It is for this reason, among others, that we launched Luxury Locator: Singapore in the first place! If you live here though and have to jostle with the transient shoppers, you may understandably not feel quite so upbeat about it. When it comes to shopping though, respite is a mere electronic signature away…

Many of you, our readers, get your information about luxury from the Internet and from print magazines. Likewise, we know you are also keen on buying luxury goods online, if the response to our offer on fashion distributor Club 21’s eShop website is anything to go by. You may also have noticed various banners on advertising the new service from the Singapore-based firm. While this is certainly not the first time we have had such advertising, it is the first time the editorial team felt compelled to get into the mix.

As the head of the team, it fell to me to exercise my shopping muscles and put the new service from Club 21 through its paces. For the curious amongst you, this is why I am appearing as the model in the photographs and why there is such a personal angle here. Yes, I get all the hard tasks… Seriously though, given that some of you may also be exploring the new service, we thought it would be a good idea to apply our typically objective reviewing standards here. Never let it be said that we recommend services that we do not ourselves indulge in.

With the pictures to prove it, I bought myself a couple of shirts from the e-tailing service and have emerged unscathed from the entire experience.  No issues with fit, delivery or payment. For this particular story, I was the chosen guinea pig because I had never bought clothes or accessories online before. Armed with the advice of my team, I proceeded without trepidation. In fact, the only worry was writing this review, which is also the first new review format we have attempted in years.

The Look

Review Club 21 Eshop 10

First of all, a few words on the overall look and feel of the site. If you would like to skip ahead and read our conclusions, simply scroll down to The Wrap.

We are Internet content specialists ourselves so we cast a critical eye on design and navigation when we look at other websites. Happily, we found little to protest about here.

The home page is a model of simplicity. It is just a large image and some basic navigation. Unlike many other electronic shopping or e-commerce websites, Club 21’s e-Shop skimps on the random enticements, wisely. If you want to look at these, you’ll have to go to The Edit, Look Book and Trending Now.

Overall, the design is functional and serves to move you along with minimal hassle. We wish there was a better zoom option on individual products but that’s just nitpicking.   

The Direction

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Like the design, navigation is simple and intuitive. You can choose to shop by gender or by brand. If you’re feeling like some advice is in order, The Edit, Look Book and Trending Now offers it. Shop the Trend and Trending Now lead to the same page.

Our only gripe here is that there isn’t an explanation of what these sections are. A brief explanation that appears when one mouses-over the menu items would have sufficed.

Within any given section, say men’s shirts, you can organize what you’re looking for by brands, colors, sizes and price via the appropriate drop-down menu item. An ever-present but optional size guide is also highly useful given that the different brands use different standards.

The Wrap

I am very satisfied with my purchases – two shirts (PS by Paul Smith and Balenciaga) – and thankful once more that I am standard-sized!

Everything arrived in one box two days after placing and paying for the order. No complaints on that front. Shipping within Singapore (where the order was made and delivered) is free, which is important of course.

Just to mix things up, we had someone else pay for the order and used a different mailing address to the billing address. We are happy to report that we failed to trouble the system. 

The stated return policy is quite liberal but we had no reason to try it out. The only negative to report is about the selection itself. We wish there was more stuff on offer. This is true of the selections for both men and women. At present brands available include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Commes des Garçons Commes des Garçons, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, Lanvin, Paul Smith, Rick Owens, Jason Wu, Jil Sander and Balenciaga, as well as designer cult favorites Anne Valerie Hash, Carven and Sharon Wauchob.

  • Review Club 21 Eshop 4The very enticing box almost makes you want to buy more things from the eShop.
  • Review Club 21 Eshop 5My purchases revealed! The shirt on top is the very recognizable cornflower blue PS by Paul Smith. Below it is an altogether more formal olive green Balenciaga shirt.
  • Review Club 21 Eshop 6Trying on the PS by Paul Smith shirt. Was half-hoping I got the size wrong so I could test the return policy.
  • Review Club 21 Eshop 7Here an item from an upcoming story intrudes into the shot: the Bulgari Octo watch. Look out for the review in two weeks.
  • Review Club 21 Eshop 8Buying a shirt without trying it on first is a new experience for me. Fortunately, the Club 21 eShop experience is quite painless.
  • Review Club 21 Eshop 9At a media gathering in the lobby of the St Regis Singapore. That's the Balenciaga shirt making its public debut.

 Club 21 eShop

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