While efforts to boost traditional businesses in Kampong Glam have improved footfall to the area, more must be done to persuade shoppers to spend, said business owners interviewed by The Sunday Times.
For batik textile merchant Warda Basharahil, the events held in Kampong Glam such as the outdoor fashion show yesterday, which is part of a series of events during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) period, has drawn relatively larger crowds to the precinct. But she was circumspect when asked if this meant a boost to business in the long term.
Only time would tell, said the managing partner of Basharahil Bros Batik, a third-generation business specialising in batik tulis, or writing.
"Normally, when there are these kinds of activities, the cafes are the ones that do better. But at least there's some improvement, with more people walking by," she added.
Basharahil Bros Batik is one of nine textile merchants in Arab Street.
Yesterday, the outdoor fashion show featured designs inspired by the architectural features and history of Kampong Glam, using textiles sourced from these Arab Street merchants.
The outfits were designed by local designers Feayn, Lulu Alhadad, Azni Samdin and Sherry See of Utopia, and Ada Goh of Martini G.
Several featured batik in their designs.
Ms Basharahil said she was heartened by the resurgence of batik in modern fashion designs, and hoped that it was not just a passing fad.
"We will continue to take on more of these events and hopefully, they will boost awareness of traditional textiles like batik," she added.
The ProjeKGlamway fashion show organised by precinct association One Kampong Glam is part of the GSS Experience Singapore activities.
From now till July 14, live cultural performances will be held in the ethnic enclave, as well as a home and lifestyle bazaar, from 10am to 10pm daily.
Correction note: An earlier version of the article said the name of the fashion show organised by One Kampong Glam is ProkGlamway. This has been corrected.