When it was handed again to China in 1997, town retained its vibrancy and worldwide flavour, because of that heritage and to the success of its monetary markets.
However the procuring was fairly restricted. Chinese language from the mainland got here for tax-free western items, resulting in a plethora of designer manufacturers and watch retailers. There was little with its personal identification, significantly in menswear.
I visited Hong Kong repeatedly between 2005 and 2009, and it was arduous to seek out a lot of curiosity, past the 48-hour tailors that marketed their providers on the streets of Kowloon.
That every one modified in 2010, when The Armoury opened. A small retailer on an higher flooring of the Pedder Constructing, it introduced effective European tailoring and craft manufacturers from world wide to the native marketplace for the primary time.
The Armoury’s curation and styling gave it an affect not simply in Hong Kong, however world wide – and right this moment has impressed retailers as far overseas as Toronto and Tokyo.
Hong Kong has blossomed since. There are actually half a dozen shops catering to fans of basic menswear, and practically all inside a few blocks of one another.
Once I was in Hong Kong final week, I used to be struck as soon as once more by the focus of males with the cash and the skilled justification for good tailoring.
It has spurred all these shops, and results in an environment the place everybody bumps into their clients within the espresso store, and tendencies unfold like wildfire.
Native artisans have additionally responded, albeit slowly. Tailors like WW Chan are adapting to tastes for softer tailoring, and clients of bespoke are working with native tailors to replace their output.
All of it makes for a heady combine that justifies a visit to Hong Kong, even when a lot of the manufacturers are literally from Europe, the US or Japan.
1 The Armoury
307 Pedder Constructing, 12 Pedder Road, Central
and B47 Landmark Central, 15 Queen’s Street Central
The Armoury provides a intently curated vary of basic menswear. Though most of the manufacturers have since grow to be well-known, they have been usually launched by Mark, Alan and the staff, and the choice stays a really private one. They vary from factories like Frank Clegg in Fall River, Massachusetts to bespoke artisans like Ortus in Tokyo, Japan.
The smaller Armoury retailer at 12 Pedder Road is the cosiest, and tends to host the trunk exhibits by visiting bespoke tailors, shoemakers and different artisans. Should you’re excited about bespoke, it’s price visiting right here first, as you’ll get an inside line on artisans and the small print on different specialty items in-store.
Should you’re new to The Armoury, nevertheless, and maybe most of the manufacturers it carries, then begin within the bigger retailer within the decrease floor flooring of Landmark Central, simply throughout the road.
2 Apparel Home
4/F, Duke Wellington Home, 14-24 Wellington St, Central
When Apparel Home opened in Hong Kong its most blatant level of distinction was the approach to life additions: a cocktail bar (run by Japan’s Bar Excessive 5) and a barbershop (from Korean firm Herr) alongside its menswear.
In addition they rapidly had among the greatest names in bespoke menswear doing their trunk exhibits on the retailer, together with Anderson & Sheppard from London, Cifonelli from Paris, and Solito from Naples.
In 2018 the Home moved to a brand new location a block away, abandoning the bar (all the time a bit separate, on the ground above) however including a cigar lounge. The texture is now cosier, and there may be room for the inventory reminiscent of sneakers from Cleverley and ties from E.Marinella.
3 Bryceland’s Co
7/F, Luk Yu Constructing, 24-26 Stanley Road, Central
Ethan Newton’s tackle menswear is an attention-grabbing one, combining because it does a dedication to effective tailoring with a deep love of American workwear. The result’s fits in heavier, hardier cloths, made by tailors reminiscent of Dalcuore in Naples however usually to Ethan’s designs and specs; and in parallel, denims that replicate classic Levi’s alongside denim shirts minimize to be worn with these fits.
Ethan stays accountable for the primary Bryceland’s retailer in Tokyo, whereas enterprise associate Kenji Cheung runs Hong Kong. The ambiance right here is barely totally different, with a clubby really feel that comes from being on an higher flooring and providing a beautiful bar and personal space.
The inventory in Hong Kong is analogous although, with sneakers from Saint Crispin’s, silver jewelry from Purple Rabbit and ties from Sevenfold. The tailoring is made-to-measure, by Dalcuore in Naples (once more to a Bryceland’s block) and trousers by WW Chan regionally in Hong Kong.
Among the many most attention-grabbing issues are the items designed by Ethan and Kenji themselves, such because the high-waisted boxer shorts with adjustment buttons on the again, and the favored Sawtooth denim shirts.
4 WW Chan
Unit B, 8/F, Leisure Constructing, 30 Queen’s Street Central, Central
Hong Kong is known for its tailors – however largely the fallacious kind. Retailers and hawkers will provide a bespoke go well with in 48 hours, and at very low costs. However the outcomes are often poor, with usually a variety of handwork however sq. cuts and poor match. It’s often greatest to stay to extra established names, and settle for the usual bespoke strategy of a number of fittings over a interval of weeks.
The most effective within the metropolis is WW Chan, which has been in Hong Kong since 1952. It descends from the unique ‘Purple Gang’ of tailors that started in Shanghai, however has refined and up to date its types through the years, not like many such conventional homes.
As we speak it’s actually the progressive among the many massive tailors in Hong Kong, with softer Italian-style shoulders on provide, typically with simply double-layered canvas within the shoulder fairly than padding. Helpfully for worldwide readers, WW Chan additionally repeatedly travels to the US, Australia and Europe.
5 Ascot Chang
4 Hong Kong areas together with:
Store 2031, Podium Stage 2 of IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Road, Central, Hong Kong
and MW6, Peninsula Lodge, Salisbury Street
As with fits, so with shirts. Any low-cost tailor in Hong Kong will provide to chuck in just a few shirts to sweeten the deal, however there are only a few high quality bespoke makers round.
Ascot Chang is certainly one of them. The founder additionally started in Shanghai, earlier than establishing in Hong Kong in 1949. As we speak there are shops within the US, China and the Philippines, largely run by Chang’s apprentices and providing bespoke shirts whose measurements must be communicated to HQ via a posh note-taking system. There are additionally trunk exhibits in Japan, Europe and the Center East.
In Hong Kong, the oldest retailer is within the Peninsula Lodge on the Kowloon aspect of town, however there may be additionally a department within the Landmark Prince’s Constructing, near everybody else. It’s a retailer for Isaia and Brioni tailoring in addition to its personal shirts.
6 Drop 93
B01, sixth Flooring, Cheung Lung Industrial Constructing, 10 Cheung Yee Road, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Drop 93 is a retail idea launched by The Armoury, aiming to seek out new houses for clothes not worn by its clients, or spare items made by different manufacturers.
Most exercise is on-line, the place there’s a wide array of tailoring, sneakers and equipment – and typically in a number of sizes. However there may be additionally a showroom outdoors the centre of Hong Kong in Lai Chi Kok, the place anybody excited about items on the positioning can go to strive them on in individual.
3 Shin Hing Road, Central
Prologue is the latest impartial, classically minded menswear retailer to arrange in Hong Kong. It has centered on some extra uncommon visiting artisans, reminiscent of Japanese shoemaker Bolero, and by itself line of tailoring.
The tailoring was how two of the founders, Chris and Jerry, acquired began. Though clients of Orazio Luciano, Liverano and others, they lacked the funds to purchase western bespoke repeatedly, and specifically to advocate to their pals.
After many makes an attempt, they lastly discovered a mainland Chinese language tailor that would produce an analogous product, and labored to create a mode that mixed their favorite parts of Florentine, Neapolitan and Japanese work.
Though early days, they’re making a tailoring providing that has a lot of the attraction of Italian masters visiting Hong Kong, and at a fraction of the worth – fits begin at £850.
The third founder, Maslow, beforehand ran his personal shoe retailer and focuses on the shoe choice on the store, which incorporates Spanish maker Yanko.
Store B64-65, The Landmark, Central
and sixth Flooring, SOGO Causeway Bay Retailer, 555 Hennessy Street, Causeway Bay
A basic males’s shoe retailer, Tassels is an effective native possibility for well-known manufacturers. It shares English manufacturers reminiscent of Crockett & Jones, Edward Inexperienced and Cheaney, Italians Bontoni and Rivolta, and Alden from the US.
It holds common trunk exhibits with made-to-order choices, and has two branches in Hong Kong, within the Central and Causeway Bay areas, in addition to one in Beijing.
1/F 17 Cameron Street, Tsim Sha Tsui
Take 5 is a mecca for denim in Hong Kong, stocking an enormous vary of Japanese manufacturers. Though not simple to seek out, and never essentially sartorial in type, it’s price a visit purely for the wall-of-denim show.
Alongside names reminiscent of Iron Coronary heart, Momotaro and The Flat Head, there are a number of collaborations Take5 has finished with totally different makers, and a spread of leather-based jackets.
3 St. Francis Yard, Wan Chai
The marketplace for classic menswear in Hong Kong is nowhere close to as developed as Tokyo, however is rising. A current addition is that this store run by Quinton (under) and Jan, the previous a watch seller and the latter an worker at The Armoury. A small however pretty retailer, it’s often open on the weekends however is formally solely accessible by appointment.
There’s a good vary of classic watches, significantly Rolex, of Southwestern jewelry from the US, and a smattering of clothes together with shorts and leather-based jackets.