Mini malls, big personalities
Ysabelle Cheung and Maddie Gressel snake around Hong Kong’s independent malls and discover boutiques which are full of character and treasures. Photography by Michal Garcia
This Hong Kong fashion brand has an easy, relaxed atmosphere that appeals to the good ole Hong Kong Joes. The duds are an old-school, Americana-infused mix of stripes and plaids, denims and cottons. Go for the varsity jacket ($720), a colour-blocked tee ($420) and a canvas belt ($190), and work your way through the rails and shelves to complete the look. Shop 210, 2/F, 24-26 East Point Rd, Causeway Bay, 2252 3522.
A Day with Poet
Come for the creative window displays and stay for the dandified menswear and accessories. The store presents a cohesive lifestyle concept that’s both classic and fun. Dress-shirts, spiffy suits, ties ($398 below), Oxbridge-style cufflinks, tortoiseshell spectacles and aged leather Oxfords ($980 below) and purses are all at your disposal. Their motto says it’s ‘fine and dandy’, and we think it is. Shop 217, 2/F, 24-26 East Point Rd, Causeway Bay, 3421 1732.
If you’re searching for a snazzy pair of spectacles ($450-1,050 each), look beyond your regular Canton Road staples. Elements Eyewear serves up a mix of funky frames, ranging from metal-flecked to simple tortoiseshell. Owner Doris Wong imports all her materials from Japan and Italy, and each style is handmade in only 100 pieces, ensuring that you won’t be staring into your own glasses everywhere you go. Shop 155, 1/F, 24-26 East Point Rd, Causeway Bay, 2890 8089.
Bangles and baubles and bags, oh my! Everything at Cocoon incorporates a sophisticated bohemian twist that’s rare among the glittering mess of mass-produced jewellery in Island Beverly. Take your pick from the beaten metal tribal necklace, embellished leather bag ($958), embroidered gingham clutch, Aztec-inspired drop earrings ($208) and the plastic jewel encrusted kaleidoscopic necklace ($268). Shop 136, 1/F, Island Beverly, 1 Great George St, Causeway Bay, 2808 2348.
This classic Hong Kong cosmetics legend beats its shinier international cosmetics conglomerates hands down with its old school, local approach to no-fuss makeup and skincare. The story goes that founder Fung was wandering around Central one day in 1898 and spotted two Chinese girls with impeccable skin dressed in white traditional cheongsams. The Two Girls classics – Living Rose Face Cream (40g, $40), Florida Water (200ml, $45) and Lavender Hair Oil (160ml, $38) – are still as popular today as they were more than a century ago when the line was first presented to the masses. Shop 207-208, Causeway Place, Hong Kong Mansion, 2-10, Great George St, Causeway Bay, 2861 5808.
Unlike its namesake, Rabbit’s shoes may not be vegetarian, but they certainly are local. Owner Brian started the brand in order to provide affordable and stylish leather goods to Hong Kong fashionistas. The shoes, feminine boots and flats in rustic, earthy leather tones (the ballerinas below are $428), are a needed relief from the towering plethora of cheap neon replicas. Rabbit also carries some simple leather bags and wallets. Shop 862, UG/F, 1 Great George St, Causeway Bay, 2890 2126.
This eclectic and surrealist fashion design house pops out between rows of blank, characterless outlets that invariably stock Japanese or Korean clothes. Timbee Lo is a one-stop-shop for gifts and conversation starters, selling everything from zoo-inspired scribblers to intricate hand-customised straw hats (from $500). Timbee Lo also stocks surrealist and kitsch accessories such as the eyeball ring ($180), the ever-popular lens-less frames with purple plastic puffins ($500-800) and the tiny Marlboro packet stud earrings. They also have a range of funky women’s and menswear. Shop 106, Causeway Place, Hong Kong Mansion, 2-10, Great George St, Causeway Bay, 2803 4444.