Fashion and lifestyle blogger and journalist Babette Radclyffe-Thomas lines up her pick of best designer shopping and best independent shops, Hong Kong

I spent my formative teenage years in Hong Kong, so after my MA in fashion journalism in London, I decided to return to this concrete jungle of creativity as a bilingual journalist with a mission to discover the latest fashion hotspots.

The temperature in Hong Kong over winter only drops to an unfestive minimum of 10°C, but its inhabitants don’t let that get in the way of some enthusiastic holiday spirit and a packed schedule of party-going over Christmas and New Year – and if you’re visiting over the holiday season, shopping for yourself and the family is an unmissable treat.

The glitzy department stores

As a writer on fashion and lifestyle, I like to think I know just where to go to find the dress that no-one else will be wearing. My first stop in Central is cool department store Joyce, where you’ll find luxury collections as well as interesting new Chinese designers like Xander Zhou and Yang Du. Across the road is menswear store The Swank, housed in the Landmark’s basement. This sleek department store has recently unveiled an exciting new roster of up-and-coming international designers, delighting the city’s extremely fashion-conscious shoppers. Next I head to the multiple, glistening floors of Lane Crawford in IFC (the International Financial Centre; though it has other great locations around the city, too). A Hong Kong institution since 1850, Lane Crawford is famous for stocking some of the city’s more niche labels. A visit to the famous Pacific Place mall is also a must of course. It’s particularly great for beauty brands – the swanky gallery includes the first standalone boutiques of Natura Bissé and Yves Saint Laurent in the world.

The independent lifestyle stores and designers

Shopping the local design scene and seeking out local makers ensures I find a unique gift to send to family back home. Head to Aberdeen Street in SoHo to check out the quirky and charismatic homewares by local designers Douglas Young and Benjamin Lau, like the ‘double happiness’ candles at their store Goods of Desire, or adorable accessories label Chocolate Rain. The aptly-named Konzepp, one of Hong Kong’s coolest concept stores, is a creative hub located in the hipster haven of Sheung Wan (the city’s local creatives are often to be found at the neighbourhood’s not-to-be-missed parties). A recent pop-up store from the brand was located in the luxury shopping mall The Landmark and used bamboo shelving in store to showcase their cutting-edge designs by brands such as Berthold, Faye Woo and TandT Bangkok.

The boutique luxury retailer

Nearby in Central, the stylish Shanghai Tang Mansion on Duddell Street is housed in a restyled store that effortlessly blends the brand’s Western aesthetics with Eastern detailing. It’s stocked full of sumptuous wares which always go down well with the extended family (think Ginger Lily perfume and Mongolian cashmere decorated with Chinese prints and symbols).
The top floor is also now home to cultural destination Duddell’s. A beacon for creative and artistic types in the business-minded Central district, the rooftop cultural hub serves delicious, innovative Cantonese cuisine as well as hosting a year-round art program of cutting-edge exhibitions including a selection of fascinating Chinese 20th century propaganda posters from Victor Lo’s MK Lau collection of art.

The up-and-coming creative quartier

Heading eastwards across the island, Wong Chuk Hang has unexpectedly become the latest emerging creative neighbourhood. The area is now home to Editus, a menswear lifestyle boutique located in a repurposed industrial building with exposed ceilings and a distinctly New York-loft style vibe. It shares the space with famed restaurant Butchers Club Deli, who serves up some of the most delicious charcuterie in town.

When you're all shopped out

A happy day of shopping completed, head to one of my favourite new places – Bibo. An experimental, lip-smackingly good cocktail menu complements quirky artworks by internationally-renowned artists such as Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami. My cocktail of choice is the sinisterly-named Coffin Varnish, a potent mix of Early Grey Imperial and Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne – the perfect way to wrap up a long day of pounding the pavements and checking out what Hong Kong’s festive fashion scene has to offer.

Photo by Olaser / Getty

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