Hong Kong editor of indesignlive.com, Ben McCarthy, this month explores the underground business of vintage and ’pre-loved’ goods.
September 12th, 2008
Hong Kong is a well known shopping hub. Most high profile western brands have a presence in the city. But where Hong Kong thrives in brand name availability, it lacks in vintage dealers and underground peddlers of pre-loved goodies.
I recently visited my favourite vintage store in Hong Kong, Select 18 in Sheung Wan to ask owner Thomas Lee his feelings on the lack of vintage dealers in Hong Kong, compared to the thriving institution in neighbouring cities like Tokyo.
“People in Hong Kong like new stuff” he eloquently explained to me holding a beer in one hand. “People may see something and think… ‘oh, that’s nice’ but when they find it’s second hand, they won’t buy it.” Culturally, Chinese look condescendingly at recycled goods and vintage objects don’t have the perceived character and thus value that new ones do. “Which is why I try to find some brand names second-hand,” explains Lee, showing me an 80’s style Lacoste polo in an ‘uber fly’ lime green.
From glass pendant lights, to a spherical TV, and a Chinese riot police shield; the two Select 18 stores are full of hidden gems, but more importantly, they offer a ‘quality filter’ and give some prestige to the vintage market that is distinctly undernourished in Hong Kong.
The shop also offers support to some boutique Hong Kong brands and designers, like hand made hats, stencil art painted ‘live’ at a local bar and ‘Void’ watches, which exhibit a nod to the 70’s, yet is beautifully balanced in proportion and blend of materials.
Lee’s lackadaisical approach to business is also admirable, “I’m thinking about starting a bar here,” he explains looking around the already cramped store, “but it would feel weird selling drinks to people who come here to hang out.”
Such is representative of the store’s atmosphere – come, hang out, tell a story and buy something if you fancy. Oh and Lee’s former training as a hair stylist is also offered by appointment. The ultimate boutique-bohemian Hong Kong experience.
Select 18: 18 Bridges street and
Select 18*: Corner of Peel street and Hollywood Road.
A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
Bidding farewell to mundane and uninspired office spaces, colour has transformed our workplaces into layered and engaging environments. So we sit down with Karina Simpson, Hot Black’s Workplace Lead, to talk about the influence colour has on the workspace landscape through the prism of Herman Miller’s progressive colour philosophy.
Australia’s leading producer of solid-engineered oak flooring has recently launched a new suite of innovative resources to support creativity and ambition in the architecture and design community.
The workplace has changed – and it will continue to evolve. With dynamism at the heart of clients’ requirements, architects and designers at leading practices such as Elenberg Fraser are using and recommending Herman Miller’s OE1 products for the future workplace.
Four inimitable Australian design teams have been officially announced as the finalists in the bid to design NGV Contemporary.
What happens to a pop-up when the six weeks is over? Designed by ArchiBlox, House of Häagen-Dazs, Melbourne, questions the role of design within ‘throwaway’ culture.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
In this comment piece, Graeme Spencer, national director of science and education at HDR, discusses the state of scientific and technological innovation across the design industry.
In our own backyard, the Western Parkland City Authority is tasked with creating Sydney’s third city, the parklands city. We speak with its CEO, Sarah Hill, about what it takes to shape a city.
The upcoming Blak Design Matters forum in Melbourne will explore First Nations design with panel discussions on ownership of identity, cultural appropriation and misappropriation more.