Retail - Hong Kong - Travel | Monocle


Kapok, Wan Chai

When Frenchman Arnault Castel decided to open a mixed-retail space in 2006 he called it Kapok after a native tree known for its shady crown. “We are a unique roof under which people can meet and find inspiring quality goods,” he says. After 13 years, he combined his two Star Street shops into one big two-storey shop at the tail end of Saint Francis Yard. 

You’ll find fashion labels such as ONS, Common Projects and Maison Kitsuné here, as well as accessories and homeware from Native Union and Hay. Together with sister outlets at PMQ design complex and K11 Musea, Castel hopes that Kapok’s emphasis on well-designed products will be “the antidote to shopping-mall boredom”.

8 Sun Street
+852 2520 0114

Igloo Homeware, Sheung Wan

After working in the advertising industry for two decades, Nigel Keung and Dennis Chan decided it was time for a change. Drawing from their expertise building sets for commercials, the duo made a jump into the furniture business by opening Igloo Homeware. Many Hong Kong apartments lack space so Chan and Keung consciously selected a range of products that would suit smaller homes. 

The shop’s minimalist aesthetic is reflected in the wood furnishings and fixtures on sale. Beautifully crafted pieces made from solid oak and walnut imported from Japan sit alongside modern Scandinavian-designed lamps in the well-lit space. As well as furniture, smaller items such as cookware, decorations and tableware are available.

46 Sai Street
+852 2520 0580

The Armoury, Central

“We call our look ‘international classic’ because we take the best from different parts of the world,” says Mark Cho at The Armoury. The Malaysian-born former property analyst founded his menswear retailer with Hong Kong native Alan See in 2010, converting a derelict third-floor unit of the Pedder Building into a cosy library of suits and shirts. Alongside its house-developed products, everything else on the racks and mannequins comes from small ateliers from around the world. 

“We avoid designers who do not make their own products,” says Cho. Customers can use the tailors, cordwainers and other artisans flown in especially to take orders. There is also a larger ready-to-wear shop in the Landmark.

307 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street
+852 2804 6991

Vein, Causeway Bay

Inspired by the minimalist sensibility of the Scandinavian aesthetic, designer Melinda Wong launched womenswear retailer Vein on Star Street in 2011, introducing Hong Kong to fashion brands from Sweden, Denmark and Finland. In 2014, Vein moved into bigger premises at Lee Gardens One. 

“We’re presenting a new form of luxury, not only in a material sense but as it relates to qualities of grace, taste and peace of mind,” says Wong. She’s not just referring to the products for sale: the shop’s clean interior design and white tiled walls echo her penchant for understated elegance.

Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue
+852 2528 4988

Kubrick, Yau Ma Tei

Housed inside the beloved arthouse cinema Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei, Kubrick is not your typical bookshop. In fact it doubles as a café, a record shop and a gallery. Lectures, talks and workshops with writers and film-makers are regularly hosted in-store. 

English, Chinese and foreign-language books, ranging from novels to self-help manuals, are available alongside more obscure titles. The shop stocks a variety of CDs and DVDs and there is even a collection of vinyl tucked away; weary customers can drop by the café for a caffeine fix pre- or post-browse. A rare find in Hong Kong, Kubrick should feature on any cinephile or book lover’s go-to checklist.

Shop H2, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street
+852 2384 8929

Images: Wilson Lee, Lit Ma

Go back: Hong Kong


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