To many of us, pieces stamped with “made in France”, “made in Italy” or other well-known foreign fashion or design destinations are the height of quality, but there’s something special about products designed and crafted with care right here in Hong Kong. (I can’t forget the excitement of travelling in Japan and discovering clothing with “made in Hong Kong” labels at a vintage market.)
We’ve rounded up five local brands creating exquisitely designed products, from innovative upcycled furnishings to nostalgic prints.
Ming and Stephanie have such a love of vintage lamps that they decided to found their own brand taking inspiration from all things vintage and industrial to create a variety of lighting pieces, from floor, wall and table lamps to standalone bulbs. Their hand-crafted Edison collection features almost steampunk-style bulbs that you can mix and match; check out their DIY light accessories if you’re looking for a crafty project to work on yourself.
In Cantonese, this brand’s name means “a laid back lifestyle with nothing important to do” – a feeling that founder and designer Sisi Ng evokes in all the clothing, hats, bags and other accessories she creates. Her hand-made hats are the stars of the show; she also sources quality fabrics from America and Japan, designs the prints, and customises them with additional decorations on request. Her bags, modeled after paper lunch bags and plastic shopping bags, will also add a playful touch to any wardrobe or ensemble.
When founder Mads Westendahl came to Hong Kong from Denmark, he was so influenced by the local culture after travelling and working here that he decided to work on projects celebrating Hong Kong at his design house, Yawn Studio. The Graphia Project and The City Book – a series of graphic maps and a collection of artworks and personal stories by local artists, respectively – seamlessly combine Scandinavian aesthetics with distinctive Hong Kong elements.
Founded in 2012 by three local designers, Alchemist Creations exemplifies the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, converting recycled soda cans into stylish wristwatches. The brand not only supports sustainable development, but also hires primarily underprivileged workers, offering them a chance to show their talents. We particularly love the Can-Watch line, which was awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best award in 2013.
Megumi Takami, a Japanese designer living in Hong Kong, depicts iconic Hong Kong landscapes – from the mesmerising view of The Peak to the Victoria Harbour – in her Farewell My Hong Kong collection of prints. Conceptualised as a farewell gift, either for expatriates leaving Hong Kong or locals looking to explore other corners of the globe by living abroad, the pieces capture the notion of transience as they are printed on a special paper called pachika, which becomes transparent upon heating. Their understated, graphic look also means that they mingle easily with existing aesthetics in any room at home or at the office.