Mannequins in a shop window in a Kowloon shopping mall.
Hong Kong, in case anyone wasn't aware is a very fashion conscious city. This is something which I have noticed the few times that I have been there. Indeed, on my recent trip there I made a mental note that the shopping malls are clean, chic and modern. This accompanied by malls which are full of designer shops and immaculately dressed Hong Kong women dotted about makes for an exciting shopping experience.
A wander into the shopping mall in the International Finance Centre (IFC), gives you a taste of the Hong Kong shopping experience. For one, it is markedly different from the one in this country. The shopping malls are clean (if not ruthlessly so) and the shops look extremely presentable. This may seem of small matter to a lot of people, but I think that well-furnished, impeccable shops help the shopper to have the ultimate shopping experience. The clothes do not necessarily sell for themselves. Sometimes the whole look of a shop can impress you, making you want to buy something.
A Lane Crawford store in Kowloon looking immaculate.
A coveted designer shop in Hong Kong is undoubtedly Lane Crawford which are dotted everywhere in Hong Kong. Lane Crawford is a real selling point for the Hong Kong fashion scene because the brand was founded there and is recognized internationally for selling the latest chic clothes and accessories. The Chinese are clearly very proud of the brand, something which is reflected in the big glowing 'Lane Crawford' logos and the fabulous window displays.
Another great fashion export of Hong Kong is the Armani shopping mall in Central. In Britain a whole shopping centre stuffed full of Armani stores would seem extravagant, but somehow it fits well into the fashionable climate of Hong Kong. In fact, this particular shopping mall prides itself so highly on a presentable appearance that I was told off by a concierge for sitting against an Armani campaign board.
If you're sat there thinking, well Hong Kong is only for the rich who have the money to spend in all those designer shops then you're wrong. Some of the shopping malls stock British high street favourites such as Zara and Accessorize. There are also markets over there where you can get some fantastically cheap but chic purchases. Hong Kong has lot of markets such as one's in Lan Kwai Fong, Stanley and Kowloon.
Kowloon night market: a real treasure trove.
A popular market for tourists is the night market in Kowloon which I went to and found some great purchases. Among them were an "I heart Hong Kong" top (ok, it just had to be bought), and a cute little silver cocktail ring. Admittedly, just like any other market you will have to haggle as much as possible and do some rummaging for the really cool items.
I found myself staring blankly at a whole case of rings that all looked funky and hip only to decide that none of them took my fancy. But, that's just all part of exploring a market, there's a lot of odd tat to sift through, but once you've done that you can find some real gems! Some of my most unique and treasured items have come from markets abroad so I cannot recommend market shopping enough.
The cocktail ring I found at the Kowloon night market.
Detail of the scarf I found at Stanley market.
Another great market in Hong Kong is Stanley market. There are a lot of stalls selling fantastic items which you will be hard pressed to anywhere else. The fun of going market shopping is that you never know what you will find. Whilst I was stood at a scarf stall at Stanley market, I looked over fleetingly at a scarf rack and BAM a scarf caught my eye and that was it...I had to get it!
So, if you're a fashion conscious woman, or just simply love shopping then Hong Kong is definitely your place. Whilst most people think of cities such as New York or Paris as the best place to shop, I think that there is something special about the Hong Kong retail market. Before you're planning your next trip abroad to a fashion forward city, I would urge you to think again and consider the fantastic shopping facilities that Hong Kong has to offer.
So what do you think...are you tempted to go to Hong Kong or are you a New York shopper through and through? If you have any questions about Hong Kong and what there is to see and do then Tweet me @Fearon91 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.