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Hong Kong is my favourite city for boutique fashion shopping in Asia

Shopping in Asia is legendary and nowhere more so than in Hong Kong, where Asians and expats alike make pilgrimages to the wonderous twice annual sale periods to stock up on designer fashion. Hong Kong is packed to the gills with epic shopping malls like IFC, Pacific Place, The Landmark and more… But what I enjoy most, and also what is hardest to find in other Asian cities, is the fashion boutiques in the areas of Soho and Central, Hong Kong. While a department store presents known brands in expected array of colours and sizes, boutique shopping is a bit more adventurous and idiosyncratic. This is because you have the owner’s perspective on what is cool and interesting to him / her and this could easily be a mix of known designer brands as well as quirky new local and foreign designers with fresh points of view. Coming from New York where boutique shopping in places like Intermix and Scoop is the norm, I have adjusted to the idea that in Asia, the shopping mall is ubiquitous and therefore king. But for me boutique shopping, especially when in Hong Kong, is always soooo much more interesting.

The Soho and Central areas of Hong Kong are known for their shopping, wine bars and art galleries. This is truly a walking city (wear flats though, it’s as hilly as San Francisco) in that you can spend a day meandering about and wandering in and out of coffee shops and stores. I thought I would share with you a few of my favourites where I tend to have a great deal of success with both Western friendly sizes as well as an excellent selection of cool international and up and coming brands.

Ocho
The lovely Chilean owner Mariela is super attentive and honest about what looks great and what doesn’t. Ocho carries sizes 4 – 12 US and has a well edited mix of American brands and other international brands. I scored a Valentino blazer, some Rock & Republic jeans, a sequined tank top and some really cool and classic cubic zirconia hoop earrings.

25 Staunton Street, 1st floor
Phone: +852 2801 5988

Ozzie Cozzie Co
An Aussie swimwear shop with suits for Women (sizes 8 – 18 AUS), Men and Kids. They carry well known Aussie brands like Seafolly, Miraclesuit, Baku, Chillies, Moontide, Sunseeker and more.

17-19 D’Aguilar Street
Phone: +852 2810 1356

One Design
This is the place to come for custom made cheongsam dresses and tops. My friend Anne had one made for S$350…not cheap, but a good value for a custom made dress in Chinese silk and lace. They have all manner of Chinese silks and handmade laces and the dresses are made with an exquisite level of detail using these fine materials.

g/f 15 Old Bailey Street
Phone: +852 3622 3222

Mint & Lemongrass
Another favourite boutique with a combination of edgy & feminine styles. There are lots of international brands not otherwise found in Hong Kong. They have a great collection of flirty dresses and quirky accessories.

32 Staunton Street
Phone: +852 2868 2380

Love It!
The Aussie owner Catherine typically takes “appointments-only” to visit her boutique tucked away in an unobtrusive apartment building. Sip champagne as Catherine helps understand your needs and style your outfits if you so desire. Western friendly, offering sizes from 2-16 US, you can also throw fashion parties here for your girlfriends. I have a pair of pants I practically live in that I bought on my last trip to Love It!… Catherine had advised me to go one size down because they stretch and you know what? She was right. They would not be my current favourite trousers without her expert counsel. I also emerged with a sequined top and a sexy day-to-evening dress.

3/f 10 Gage Street
Phone: +852 2545 2162

MTC – Miss T. Company
One of those places that is hit or miss, but in a good way, thanks to designer factory seconds. You never know what or what size you will find. I emerged with a cool Marc Jacobs dress

:)

25 Staunton Street
Phone: +852 2525 2060

Indigo
Nothing but denim (all brands…shorts, shirts, skirts, and jeans) in lengths up to 34 inches. Need I say more?

32A Staunton Street
Phone: +852 2147 3000

Message
Loads of feminine and flirty skirts, dresses and tops. My friend Mariona bought the cutest pink tweed skirt and I got what is now a “go to” necklace for me, a chain with gold and silver discs that seems to make every outfit look better.

34B Staunton Street
Phone: not available

And when all is said and done, don’t forget to celebrate your shopping success with a glass of bubbly and some snacks. Surely, you must be exhausted.

Bacar
Bacar has a wonderful location by the escalator in Soho (right across from True Fitness), so it is as fantastic for people watching as it is for its tasty tapas and Prosecco. Sit and have a glass or two of bubbly, try the zucchini and halloumi fritters and Moroccan spiced tuna skeweres, and rest your tired feet while planning your evening out.

g/f 2 Shelley Street
Phone: +852 2521 8322

Hong Kong is an amazing city for many things and its place on my cities-I-would-like-to-live list moves up with every visit, certainly aided by the dynamic boutique, gallery, and such shopping scene. So next time you are in Hong Kong, consider skipping the typical mall circuit and explore Soho and Central shopping.

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