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City Shopping Guides

City Shopping Guides: Hong Kong

Former Fashion Director at Tatler Asia and Hong Kong native, Rosie Lai knows a thing or two about where to shop in Hong Kong.

Read on for her insider tips on where to find the best vintage pieces and the best shopping streets to discover hidden gems in Hong Kong.

Best area or street for shopping…

Because it’s so hot and humid most of the year in Hong Kong, the best shopping takes place in shopping malls. You’ll find all your usual suspects from top luxury labels at IFC and Landmark in Central, Pacific Place in Admiralty and, K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui. Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay is your best bet for street-level shops, as well as Granville Road in TST, but don’t forget to look up! There are often two-to-three floors of boutiques stacked on top of each other.

When it comes to Hong Kong’s famous street markets to find local souvenirs and trinkets, Ladies’ Market in Mong Kok is where you’ll get the famed rows of street stalls selling everything from cheongsams (traditional Chinese dresses) to handbags.

My personal favourite streets with chic, artisanal boutiques are the ones tucked behind the bustling ones, like Tai Ping Shan Street and the area around Star Street. That’s where you’ll get the hipster shops and cafes beloved by expats and locals. 


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Where can you find the best vintage shops?

Vintage is still not a very developed space in Hong Kong. While you can find the occasional hole-in-the-wall shop like Bang! Bang! 70’s on Aberdeen Street where there could be some gems, I’d actually suggest going to The Hula’s warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang—a whole loft filled with second-hand pieces in great condition (yes, we’re talking about old Celine and Chanel!)


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One place only locals know about…

Something quite unique to Hong Kong, and to a certain extent some other Asian cities, are these mini-malls that are often not easy for tourists to find unless they accidentally go up the wrong escalator. They’re peppered around the busiest commercial areas like Causeway Bay (look for micro-malls called La Foret and Island Beverly Centre) and Tsim Sha Tsui (Rise Commercial Building). Mini-malls are packed with tiny local boutiques hidden underground or in converted industrial buildings, mostly selling contemporary clothing designed locally or sourced from China so the price points often reflect that.

PMQ, now a sort of mini-mall, was once the living quarters of married policemen. Today you’ll find plenty of design studios, artisanal boutiques and local coffee shops. 

What are your favourite local brands and boutiques? 

Joyce is where my mum and I spent most of our Sundays when I was growing up. Founded by socialite and Hong Kong fashion icon Joyce Ma, the boutique is considered an institution for being the first to truly import leading fashion brands into Hong Kong. It was the first place to stock Dries van Noten in all of Asia, for example, and its curated edit of the hottest brands from Jacquemus to AREA NYC makes it one of the coolest places to shop in the city and discover global brands. 


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Best overall shopping experience? 

I’d say at K11 Musea is an experience, just for its sheer size and number of rotating pop-ups. It was created to be an immersive shopping destination. You could spend an entire day there and not see the same shop twice. But The Landmark is probably where the city’s Tai Tai’s (aka Ladies Who Lunch) like to shop, with its old-world luxury charm and location next to the Mandarin Oriental so you can pop over for a spa or lunch. 

Best store design?

Again, I’d say K11 Musea. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox’s team, with green walls and urban farms all along its walls and roofs, and now-iconic honeycomb glasswork. The atrium is completely aluminium panels and features a bronze oculus so you can really enjoy the interior design. Even the stores within the mall like Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto have interiors exclusive to K11. 


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Best pit stop for lunch or a coffee?

There is no shortage of delicious places to make a pit stop at. Cova in Landmark Prince’s Building is where my mum and I used to get Mango mousse cake. But for first-timers in Hong Kong, you must go to Sevva for a coffee or drink, just for that iconic view on the HSBC building. 

Souvenir to take home?

The best souvenir to take home from Hong Kong is hands-down some kind of food, if you can manage. Writing this is making me crave egg tarts! But something fashion-related could be a piece of jade from the Jade Market in Jordan or even Cat Street Market in Sheung Wan next to Man Mo Temple.


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