They say people don’t change, which means that on our first day in Hong Kong, Rob took a picture of every building he used to idolize in the city (and every place where he used to skateboard), and I got to know it by way of its retail. For those of you who are familiar with the city, we’re staying in between Wanchai and Central, adjacent to one of Hong Kong’s myriad malls, Pacific Place. Honestly, there are times, particularly in Central, where Hong Kong struck me as a more tropical, hill-y, and exotic Las Vegas: There are something like seven Louis Vuitton outposts within maybe as many blocks. But there are some independent gems amongst the mix—and pretty epic dim sum.
I’m making a Google Map of shopping, but thought I’d boil our first day down to its highlights.
MALLS: You can’t really miss them (or skip them):
Pacific Place: Bottega Veneta, Celine, Chanel, Chloe, Diane von Furstenberg, Fendi, Gucci, Harvey Nichols, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Joyce, Lane Crawford Home, Lanvin, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Prada, Theory, Villebrequin, Zadig & Voltaire, Zara, etc.
IFC: American Vintage, Apple, Atsuro Tayama, Bobbi Brown, Club Monaco, Diptyque, Lane Crawford, Reiss, Repetto, Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Tsumori Chisato, Valentino, etc.
On Pedder @ Joyce: Both Hong Kong institutions (Joyce for clothing; On Pedder for accessories), the offerings here are rarified and avant-garde: There are mini-boutiques for Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, and Pierre Hardy, plus an excellent beauty apothecary (Laura Mercier, Nars, Bond No. 9, etc.).
D-Mop: There are a lot of D-Mop’s in Hong Kong: 8, I believe. We stopped by the one located across from Rupert Sanderson, and next to Christian Louboutin on, On Lan Street. It’s three steep levels and neatly divided by designer: There are a lot of hard to find lines, like Prairies des Paris and Notify, along Camilla Skovgaard booties and Stella McCartney for Adidas workout gear. (It’s a pretty random mix, and there’s lots for guys, too.)
Moustache: This was actually closed when we stopped by, but it looks rad: Menswear, plus a smattering of home goods. Also take note of the fact that its south of where it should be according to the map (look out for the mustachioed sign).
Mushroom: Ummmm…adorable! Old-fashioned bread boxes, eensy stuffed animals, loads of ceramics cast in the shape of animals. I mistakenly assumed they had e-commerce, otherwise I would have bought a lot to smuggle home…website is in the works.
A Boutique: Rainbow-striped pants from House of Holland, Hansel from Basel socks, strangely appealing terry-cloth tops from Rodbejer: It’s small, but it boasts a list of strangely hard-to-find designers, so take the time to pick through the racks.
Petit Bazaar: The prospect of having a kid someday terrifies, if only because I go into stores like this and freak out: I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to afford to be a mom. Bobo Choses onesies, Liberty of London towels, lion costumes so adorable I almost bought one to hang on the wall, and the eensiest of backpacks. One of the cutest boutiques for little ones I’ve seen anywhere.
Mr. Blacksmith: Dark and dimly lit, this homewares emporium feels like an industrial spin on an old-world general store: There are bronzed hooks in the shape of horses, locker-like shelving systems, and shelves of sweetly-gothic Tokyo Milk lotions. Unsurprisingly, it’s part of the Homeless family (see below), one of Hong Kong’s most booming chainlets.
Homeless: Sprawling across multiple storefronts, the emphasis here is on fun homewares from design houses like Suck UK, Artecnica, and Tim Dixon: There are clocks inset in embroidery hoops, grizzly bear poufs, loads of unusual lighting fixtures, plus tons of kitchen accessories should you actually choose to relocate.
My Gallery: Helmed by Central St. Martens grad Vanessa Tao, Gallery exclusively deals in the eponymous line of shoes: They’re colorful, they’re artfully embellished, and they generally ring in at under $150.
Deem: Blue enameled demitasse spoons, paper-thin ceramics, and collectible, turn-of-the-century pottery live amidst a sea of mid-century modern antiques at this newcomer—which looks and feels different than everything else in the city. There’s not a lot that’s suitcase worthy, but what is available is exquisite.
Breakfast: They say it’s the most important meal of the day. We wanted to go to Maxim’s at City Hall, one of Hong Kong’s more famous dim sum parlors but were thwarted by its 11AM opening, so we took solace at the Mandarin Oriental instead. (Hey! We’re on vacation.)
Lunch: Thanks for a rec from Fathom, we went to Mak Noodles on Wellington, which is frills-free (no napkins!) but delicious and cheap (I think lunch was about $15 for both of us).
Dinner: We had a drink at The Pawn, a three-story bar/restaurant that lives in a successfully renovated pawn shop (usually things just get torn down in Hong Kong and built fresh), before trying to get a table at Yardbird. It was too packed, so we had a quick meal up the street, a drink at The Globe, and then passed out hard.