Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Joyce Hu Fashion Diva

On Hong Kong Island, one of the shopping meccas of the world, keeping up with the latest luxury trends takes up all of many locals’ leisure time — and paychecks. Navigating this fashion maze efficiently can be overwhelming, especially in a city with three times the population density of New York City. Moreover, duty-free shopping in Hong Kong can send you dangerously over budget if you aren’t discerning.

After two weeks of interviewing local fashion slaves and conducting some serious fieldwork, I have compiled my top shopping highlights for my fellow Tango Divas. From the glitziest to the underground and right down to the real Chinatown fakes, here is some of the best shopping, by district

Central District

Hong Kong’s central business district and urban core is one of Hong Kong’s oldest urban neighborhoods.

International Finance Centre (IFC)

This Hong Kong landmark includes two skyscrapers (one of which is the 7th tallest building in the world), the IFC mall, and a Four Seasons Hotel.

Store: Lane Crawford
This is the most fashion-forward, sophisticated luxury department store in the city. “Better than Barneys” is how one shopping aficionado described it. You can find a Lane Crawford in almost every major shopping mall, but locals prefer the IFC location.

Soho

In addition to great shopping, this nearly one-block area offers a buzzing nightlife that attracts many expats.

Stores: Systermoon and Twist
There are too many great boutiques in Soho to visit them all, but Systermoon and Twist are standouts. Systermoon offers an eclectic range of avant-garde designers from all over the world, while Twist carries only the best selection of handbags from your favorite luxury brands. There’s also a See by Chloe boutique nearby.

Causeway Bay

Causeway Bay offers a large shopping district that includes big-name department stores, an Ikea, and high-end restaurants in addition to local joints and hipster hangouts.

Fashion Walk

Fashion Walk is by far my favorite area to shop. Home to Hong Kong’s young hipster scene, you’ll also find all the major luxury brands along with unique, exclusive boutiques, including a Y-3. A couple of can’t-miss spots:

Store: Shine
The first high-end boutique to introduce premium denim to Hong Kong, Shine has since become the go-to spot for style-conscious Hong Kong celebrities and models looking for one-of-kind pieces from emerging designers around the world.

Store: D-Mop
The most popular commercial version of D-Mop with a higher-end shop called I.T, which carries more Japanese designers.

Times Square and Surrounding Streets

Times Square is a huge, multistory mall in Causeway Bay that that houses Lane Crawford, I.T, and the common luxury brands. Don’t miss the nearby Yiuwa Street with its tiny storefronts that carry exclusive and local designers.

Store: Milan Station
This high-end chain boutique sells second-hand designer handbags for about half or three-fourths of the price of a new one. Think eBay storefront specializing in designer handbags.

Milan Station has also recently added clothing, accessories, and shoes to one of its two Causeway Bay locations. Shop with caution, however: Some insiders have told me that the store purchased “A-quality” (ei huo) knock-offs from them, thinking they were real. (Yes, the copies are that good; this is China, after all.) While you won’t find too many fakes in Hong Kong, Shenzhen — the fake Gucci capital of the world — is just an hour’s train ride away.

Kowloon Peninsula

Situated between Hong Kong Island and China’s New Territories, Kowloon Peninsula also offers a great selection of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui

Look for cheaper, yet trendy and fun boutiques across the Bay in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Peninsula. Don’t miss Granville Circuit Street, where you’ll find the Rise Shopping Center. This nondescript building in an alley off Granville Road holds five floors of tiny stores selling lower quality trendy pieces copied off the runways.

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