This month, our resident Hong Kong fashion expert shows you the hot spot to head to in Central for smart under-the-radar buys for men and women

Everyone knows Hong Kong as a shopper's paradise, but that wasn't always the case. For many years, residents had to make do with glitzy shopping malls lined with cookie-cutter stores, which, as glamorous as it sounds, was rather predictable. The shopping culture, however, is changing thanks to the rise of curated concept stores and homegrown designers who are adding a fresh new energy to Asia's most fashionable city.

Fashion by Blanc de Chine

Fashion by Blanc de Chine

One of the best places to discover them is The Landmark, a mall that is as renowned in Hong Kong as Fifth Avenue is in New York – and that is also home to The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Along with the neighbouring Prince's Building, just steps away from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, it boasts the usual round of Chanels and Vuittons; look a little deeper, though, and you will find the city's finest, all under one roof.

While most visitors to the city are already familiar with Chinese-inspired luxury brand Shanghai Tang, locals tend to shop at Blanc de Chine (Prince's Building). The Hong Kong-based brand specialises in sleek and contemporary ready-to-wear with a Chinese twist – think Zen-like cheong sams, minimalist mandarin-collar jackets and an all-black palette. Taiwanese designer Shiatzy Chen (The Landmark) also plays with traditional Chinese embroideries, motifs and inspiration, which she then fuses onto modern western silhouettes.

Menswear store The Armoury

Menswear store The Armoury

Men looking for a dapper suit should visit Ascot Chang (Prince's Building), a cut above the rest of the city's tailors. Chang is the closest you'll get to a Savile Row tailor in Hong Kong, having learned the trade from the masters in Shanghai. The family-run business first opened in the Fifties and is now manned by Chang's sons, who offer everything from bespoke shirts to suits made from luxe fabrics such as vicuna. 

Also outfitting modern gents is The Armoury (The Landmark), an old-school haberdashery founded by two Hong Kong men with a passion for classic styling and menswear. The products here are top-notch, with everything from handmade shoes to umbrellas. They also have trunk shows showcasing artisan tailors, including Florence's Liverano & Liverano.

Macarons from Sift Patisserie

Macarons from Sift Patisserie

Around the corner is another go-to place for men's accessories: OnPedder (The Landmark). Kitted out like a modern apartment, it is decorated with men's shoes and grooming accessories from hip names like Balenciaga, Lanvin and Common Projects.

While there is no shortage of women's boutiques in The Landmark, one that consistently stands out is Tabla (Prince's Building), which features timeless ready-to-wear and accessories inspired by the craftsmanship and heritage of India. Owner Tania Mohan has added a modern touch to each piece and everything is beautifully designed and artfully crafted. Celebs including Jodie Kidd and Kate Moss are already fans, so you know you are in good company.

Another celeb favourite is Carnet (Prince's Building), which was founded by talented local jeweller Michelle Ong in the Eighties. She has dressed celebrities including Kate Winslet in her diamond creations, which can best be described as objets d'art, combining traditional and modern materials with East-meets-West influences.

Jewellery retailer Plukka

Jewellery retailer Plukka

If you are looking for under-the-radar designers, then Plukka (The Landmark) is a must-see. This online retailer has opened its first-ever showroom, which, although small, carries some major bling by Hong Kong jewellers AS29 and Wendy Yue and international names such as Aurélie Bidermann and Yeprem.

Of course, such an intense shopping schedule requires some serious fuel. The mall has a number of Michelin-starred eateries, but Italian spot Otto e Mezzo Bombana (Alexandra House) caters to everyone with its cool vibe, freshly made pastas and incredible wine list. Also be sure to grab a cupcake from the local Sift Patisserie (Prince's Building). The Red Velvet is a bestseller and comes in a gluten-free version. The perfect way to round off a long day of shopping.

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Contributors

Divia Harilela

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Divia Harilela has worked in the fashion and lifestyle media for over 15 years. She was fashion editor for The South China Morning Post, where she remains a contributing editor, and contributes to publications and websites including The Business of Fashion, Vogue China, the FT’s How to Spend It and Departures. In 2011, she founded The D’Vine (www.the-dvine.com), Asia’s leading luxury and fashion source.

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