Hong Kong is famous as a bustling bargain center, but the city also is the capital of chic and sophisticated styles. Pricey boutiques sell the top designers and prestige labels from France, Italy and Japan, plus Hong Kong's own fashion moguls.
Concentrated in the Central District, in the vicinity of Star Ferry Terminal, among Hong Kong's towering office buildings are three glamorous shopping arcades filled with boutiques. These well-stocked shops offer top-quality merchandise in posh surroundings.
But don't expect inexpensive merchandise, even though Hong Kong prices on designer goods are 10% to 20% less than elsewhere due to the fact that Hong Kong is tax-free.
The Landmark Building, a modern, five-story atrium between two soaring office towers (the Edinburgh and Glouster Towers), has a fine collection of multilabel boutiques. Tops is Joyce, with fashions for men and women.
Two spacious salons (202 and 214, Landmark Building) feature an extraordinary and varied selection including the finest by Missoni, Romeo Gigli, Genny, Complice, Thierry Mugler, Bernard Perris, Lolita Lempicka, Sonia Rykiel, Patrick Kelly, Oscar de la Renta and Tarlazzi.
Styling for women ranges from Alaia's clinging clothes to the roomy drapings of Issey Miyake, from the sleek tailoring of Jil Sander to the amusing frills of Franco Moschino.
Men's fashions include the trendy suits of Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto, sweaters and chic casual suits by Byblos, Armani and Missoni and leather wear by La Matta. Expect to pay about $250 and up for slacks and skirts, and $300 and up for sweaters. Dresses are about $380 and up; suits begin at about $500.
Blue Suede Shoes
Three Landmark Building shops are terrific for men's trendy Italian fashion imports. Studio Ray (location B-20) has soft-as-butter leather jackets for $700, sweaters with bold, colorful patterns for $120 and blue suede loafers and other shoes for $160 and up.
Pace (location 212) has men's leather belts in wild pinks, greens, purples and other colors ($45), cotton dress shirts ($75 and up), corduroy trousers ($150) and tweed sports jackets ($400 and up). Pop 84 (at B7) has sport coats made of interesting textural fabrics ($180 and up), quilted denim jackets ($140 and up) and sweat suits with brass buttons (about $55).
More conservative men's styles are available at Givenchy (location 102A). M. Julian (at B-59) has fine-quality woolen Italian-made suits ($500 and up) and velvet trousers ($90), plus all the accessories. Cerruti 1881 (at B19-B) offers Italian sports jackets ($500 and up), cotton shirts ($65), flannel shirts ($70), crew-neck sweaters (about $100), bathrobes ($185) and black patent dress shoes ($243), among other items.
Intermezzo (location B19A), despite its Italian name, has a variety of Japanese labels for men. Trendy wool jackets sell for $230 and up and are beautifully tailored, but most of the sizes in this shop are small.
Not Just Clothes
A wide variety of men's accessories and gift items are sold at the Tie Shop (at 203A). Fendi ties sell for about $50, letter openers that look like miniature tennis rackets cost $52, pens are $20 to $35 and lighters $21 to $50.
Women's top shops at Landmark include the well-stocked boutiques of Christian Dior (location G43), Celine (at 9), Courreges (G15), Gianni Versace (G19-20) and Krizia (242), plus Mondi (204), with its comfortable and versatile tunic tops (about $100), silky shirts with big shoulder pads and self belts ($125), tiered skirts ($150) and sweaters ($150).
Michel R'ene (at B11) has reasonably priced women's sweaters and other fashions, including cream-colored and pastel sweater dresses ($50 and up) and roomy turtlenecks in black and vibrant colors (about $45).
Birds (location B18C) has clingy, gathered dresses ($225) and tops ($75) for slender women, plus basic slinky little separates ($20 and up) in hot colors. This is fun and innovative fashion. Try Me (at B36) is similarly trendy, with silk bolero jackets with elaborate snaps ($50) and lots of fun sweaters ($90 and up).
Bally (location 216A) has ladies' suede loafers ($180) and pumps ($130), men's oxfords ($150) and loafers ($165), plus belts, handbags and briefcases. Vincci (at 217 and 227) has shoes by Balenciaga ($90 and up) and other modish labels, plus a sale rack ($20 and up).
For Leather Lovers
In addition, the Landmark has a "Who's Who" of leather clothing and accessory boutiques: Hermes (location G14A), Gucci (G1), Louis Vuitton (G14), Loewe (9A) and others.
At Swire House, the office building/arcade adjacent to the Landmark Building, leather goods are sold at Fendi (location 21), with all of the very pricey "double F" signature goods selling for about 10% less than elsewhere.
Swire House also offers Japanese designer boutiques. Issey Miyake's (location 107) exciting costumes are a frenzy of contrasting plaids and layers of cut garments.