From choice vintage Rolexes on consignment to proper jackets, suits, trousers, Made-in-USA shirts, and down to special necessary sartorial details like pocket squares and socks straight from Japan, Club Monaco’s The Men’s Shop has expanded to a location close to you. What WAS supposed to be a 10-month long test Pop-Up on St. Frances Yard in Hong Kong, the Men’s Shop concept proved so successful, that it’s practically rolled out in every new Club Monaco fit out in major cities.
For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I love me some Club Monaco… it’s classic, it’s modern, it’s casual, well made, and best of all, non-pretentious… everything that I love about dressing well. And as you know I helped spread the message when Club Monaco launched their Men’s Shop concept here in Hong Kong last year (which I still shop in), so it was quite a surprise to discover the concept in Harbour City close to where I work.
I’ve also seen some photographs of the latest New York fit outs which incorporate the Strand bookstore which I think is pretty fresh. Anyway, just in time for the Holidays when you have to dress your best, there’s definitely a space for you at Club Monaco’s The Men’s Shop.
I’m a big fan of timber wall finishes, slate tiles, and persian rugs. Now where’s the whisky?
WEAR Club Monaco The Men’s Shop . Shop 2336, LVL 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui . T: +852-21185647
Shanghai is so glamorous these days. I don’t live there. I don’t wish to live there, but like Singapore… it’s fun to visit… for a weekend. And like Singapore, it’s glam, but the kind that Hong Kong is glam in the way it’s defined as a luxury brands destination multiplied by 100. Whereas Singapore is glam in a bigger-is-better and a there’s-so-much-green-space-and-fresh-air kind of way… which Shanghai is not.
In my last business trip to Shanghai in October I was able to check out this Esprit DIOR cocktail, previewing a special pop-up exhibition of Dior archived dresses and sketches at the MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai thanks to my pal Katrina. Actually it was a really unique week since most of us Hong Kongers were in Shanghai for our respective jobs and it just so happened to coincide with Shanghai Fashion Week, which culminated at the DIOR MOCA Cocktail and later on for the opening of the new 150,000 sq.ft. (4/5?) story tall Lane Crawford at the Shanghai Times Square. Even ZARA at the Shanghai Time Square had a cocktail party… I mean, ZARA? They never do any marketing of any sort. Who knows how much DIOR and Lane Crawford paid for such glam events, however if you’re a fashion brand, and you don’t Go Big or Go Broke in Shanghai, then you’re probably missing out on Shanghai’s consumer renaissance.
Apologies for these really poor photographs. My early flight made me forget two of my blogging cameras and had to rely on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to capture the “glam”. Enjoy the photos!
+ ESPRIT DIOR / MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai
I’ve never been to the MOCA in Shanghai, however as part of the museum’s desire “to promote artistic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world”, they were glad to host the House of Dior for three month exhibition to display their archives. The cocktail evening for guests and clients of DIOR was nice, and the sheer amount of dresses (100 in total) and sketches on display was quite special. I was shocked to learn that the exhibition was not free, especially since it’s essentially a marketing exhibition for fashion brand. However the standard rate at 30 Yuan is really not that expensive, and i’m sure it separates only serious patrons vs the masses. Plenty of photographs by iconic stylists and photographers, like Patrick Demarchelier, and beautiful collaborative works of art made for this exhibit by some of China’s top current artists curated by Florence Muller.
Video work by Qiu Zhijie lined the entrance ramp, and several paintings of Mr. Dior by Zhang Huan, Yan Peiming, and Zheng Fanzhi, were situated around the path amongst iconic dresses laid out in thematic sections like, Pink and Red, Versailles, Paris, and Garden (all Raf Simons.) I really enjoyed the presence of an actual beading practitioner from the French atelier. It was beautiful to see these pieces go from sketch, to application, to finished works of art. We had a great time.
VISIT Esprit DIOR . MOCA - People’s Park, 231 Naning West Road, Shanghai 200003, China . 13 SEP 2013 - 20 NOV 2013
+ LANE CRAWFORD SHANGHAI / Times Square in Xin Tian Di
After leaving the Esprit DIOR cocktail, the gang then went on to Time Square Shanghai at Xin Tian Di to meet up with a larger Hong Kong crew who just so happened to be in the city that night or who were collaborating the Lane Crawford Department Store for their grand opening… 7 years after it closed it’s last shop here. And “Grand Opening” was an understatement as our car pulled up to a red carpet which was complete with strobe lights on all sides. For a moment there I thought this was not a usual LC launch like you see in Hong Kong… this was a Lane Crawford Movie Premier!
It was surprising to see just how many from Hong Kong were there that night. People I saw (and i’m sure there were more I didn’t see since I was only there for an hour) included; Alex Daye and Ellis Kreuger, tailors of Moustache manning their themed bar, bag designer Michelle Lai of MISCHA (they carry her bags there), Tangram designer Paola Sinisterra, jewellery and accessories designer Kate Barnett, my blogger pals Denise Lai and Jason Lam (who are actually based in Shanghai now), style editor and blogger Diviah Harilela, online editor Avery Booker, photographer Laurent Segretier, and of course my buddies, Louise, Katrina, and Hammer & Needle’s designer Jason Reason.
On the run up to it, everyone was on the same crazy whatsapp thread trying to find a place to meet up before the event and after. We all ended up meeting around the Moustache bar on a section of the 4th Floor. Place all of us in a Lane Crawford party in Central IFC and we’d take up the whole party, but our group was only about 5% of who was there, since there was a guest list of about 4,000 people. As our buddy, PR Guru, Nick Cakebread of BBDO who ran the DIOR event said, they must have collated every guest list there was in town. Anyone in Shanghai who possibly went to events were all there that night.
In the age of online e-commerce, it’s interesting to see such investment in brick and mortars like Lane Crawford Shanghai plus the newly opened 10 Corso Como there, and re-opened Galeries Lafayette in Beijing. After all we still need shops like this to help educate “style”, “Taste”, “feel”, and “fit”, in the ever growing luxuries market there… something that’s hard to transcend via a computer screen.
SHOP Lane Crawford Shanghai . Time Square, 99 Huai Hai Zhong Road, Shanghai, China . T: 400-1201483 . H: 10am to 10pm M-SUN
My life as a style blogger requires me to depend on my tech… ie. my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and my iPad Mini. (But mostly the note.) The problem with going all tech, is that once a little piece breaks (the audio output jack), then the whole thing will need to get fixed and replaced. I took the phone to the Samsung Service Centre, where everything was fixed in two hours… but surprise surprise, everything else was deleted, especially my 30 minute one-on-one Brunch interview with the coolest man in Singapore, Anton D. Javier, star menswear blogger of ALPHABETICALIFE.
Everyone in Singapore within design and style circles know Anton and his menswear/lifestyle blog. He’s even one of DETAILS Magazines main contributors.
That said, to make a possibly long story short, Anton knows Singapore, and he knows the places to go, the places to shop etc. Just look at his blog, and he was kind enough to spend the afternoon with me, to show me around his Top 4 Favorite Spots at the moment in the city as well as answer some questions I posed about style / fashion and menswear in Singapore.
But since the interview was deleted from my phone… well let’s just focus on where he took me. But I think for the most part he seems pretty optimistic about men’s fashion in general, the selection and the choices that men have now in fashion versus years ago he believes are better… and lastly that Singaporean men (while slow to catch on), have begun to really try to get more stylish overall.
Now on to the hotspots!
It’s not a proper vacation to Beijing until you’ve experienced old and new world shopping unique only to this city. I’m talking about making time to visit the boutiques and cafes of Nanluoguxiang Hutong and the edgy and exciting retail experience found at Sanlitun Village.
Nanluoguxiang was built during the Yuan Dynasty in the 1700’s, and today is still home to many of Beijing’s residents. This hutong is also a popular venue for those who are looking for the quirky gift or unique fashion find that are design-oriented pieces original to the artists and craftsmen based in the city. Check out these cheeky porcelain figures.
… Or these funny postcards. Most of them are in “Engrish” (Chinese-English), but you get the general gist of the message.
Shops sell everything from authentic shoes worn by Beijing people for hundreds of years…
…To propaganda shirts which remix historic Chinese images to create new messages and designs that give their product that “contemporary art” edge.
There were so many lanes which branched out of the main street. It would take a whole day to visit all of them.
With so much to see, it’s easy to get a bit tired. That’s why it’s always good to take a rest and to have a sip of some hot Chinese Tea or coffee at one of the many establishments in the Hutong made for visitors and tourists. These cafes have plenty of character and allows one to recharge before continuing their shopping journey.
For lunch we had some “Dan Dan Min (Hot and Spicy Noodles)” at another local eatery, Red Ding Coffee.
They had a beautiful courtyard.
But for street food… you can opt for steamy yams.
Or Caramelized Fruits on a stick. This was divine.
This dessert is called Tanghulu and it’s a Beijing original. I had figs.
Other fashion finds for me include these original (read “real) Feiyue shoes for about 130RMB (18-20USD).
And this fashionable gentleman.
Across town it’s all about modern indoor-outdoor shopping experiences with Sanlitun Village.
Criss crossing glass planes, diagonal pathways, and a LED lights define this new shopping environment.
Every corner is a different discovery.
From Home furnishings…
To current fashion trends… it’s all here.
Vying for your attention.
New or old…
… There’s something in Beijing for every stylish individual, like this gent I spotted at Sanlitun Village.
Or this gent at Nanluoxguxiang who was channeling a young Woody Allen.
Also spotted… Fashion Blogger, Vanessa Hong at Sanlitun Village. Love the quilted jacket and ripped jean denim.
We hung out with Vincent from VICE Magazine China.
I’ll miss all this. Thank you Hilton Hotels & Resorts for such a wonderful and memorable trip!
This post was originally published on November 24, 2012 for CNN.com and Hilton Hotels and Resorts for the CNNGO Experience Asia Contest.
Above, me and Manila-based designer, Ito Kish.
This past October, our creative friends in Manila were able to celebrate the Fall 2012 Manila FAME Show, an industry oriented trade show focused mainly on Philippine made design items, from furnitures, gifts, and other home accessories. A friend, designer Ito Kish (founder of Kish), was lucky enough to help Directors, Budji Layug, Kenneth Cobonpue, and Josie Natori, put together this year’s Fall show. The opportunity to help formulate visuals for the fair was awarded to him fresh off his Katha Award win from last Spring’s Manila FAME with his new Balustre line of furniture specifically The Gregoria Chair (below).
That said, I just thought to myself that between Ito, Cobonpue, and Layug, the reputation for original design and craftsmanship coming out of the Philippines is quite solid. International designers and coolhunters tend to go to Manila or Cebu to see the latest creative locally-made handcrafted contemporary furnitures, generally marked by natural materials with uses for domestic and hospitality environments.
In my last trip back to Manila, I was able to do a bit of “site”seeing between visiting family and having a bit of R&R time, important especially when visiting a service-oriented city such as this one. We’re talking great dining, great nightlife, and great shopping at a great price that doesnt break the bank… unless of course you want to splurge a bit at Kish for top notch Filipino designed furniture famous the world round.
The photos posted are shots from my first and latest visit to Ito’s showroom, Kish. I’ve been going to his showroom for almost a decade… and while he still keeps stock of iconic modern pieces (the first in Manila to sell a Gehry Cardboard chair for example), he’s also pushing more original works by local designers under the radar now that there are so many mature works to choose from.
This trip was mid-summer so I’m sure his showroom looks way different know. But he was holding one of those rare annual mega-sales which attracted higher end Sunday crowds from socialites to politicians. I was watching people as much as I was “oooohing” furniture.
Ito is less an interior designer, more a spatial designer and master visual merchandiser.
He creates scenes, situations, spatial “events” from his collection of objects.
Thanks Ito for the tour!
As well as my John Robshaw business card holder in red (lower left). I love it.
For the rest of the trip when I wasn’t running around doing errands I hung out mostly at The Fort Bonifacio High Street, a retail corridor with plenty of green space, which feels like small town. Most of the green spaces I love, and was actually designed by a Landscape Designer friend of mine.
Does this look like a shopping mall to you?
We dont have grand outdoor spaces like this in Hong Kong, so I had fun hanging out here. Interesting when Private Developers have to take it upon themselves to work out projects that have a purpose from a town planning perspective.
I always make sure to have dinner at Cerveseria. I think one of the best Spanish places in the city. While Spanish places are the new-IT trend in Singapore and Hong Kong, Spanish food has been around in Manila… well ever since it was Colonized by the Spanish. The place is hip, cool, and has a bit of that haunted mansion vibe which works really well for the romance factor. The chef, Nobu-trained Chef Gilbert Pangilinan, keeps selections straightforward, and tastes uber robust for the Filipino Palette. Trust me, you will leave this place stuffed. (Image via @theWanderlister Instagram)
On Sundays, you can check out the scene and the sun at Greenbelt. Most everyone will probably be focusing on services at the open air Greenbelt Chapel designed by Architect Willie Fernandez in the early 80s. The bold dome shaped architecture represents a generation of architects in the Philippines who at the time were focused mostly on attempting to liberate the concrete form to a more iconographic level as the Marcos regime was continuing the formation of a national identity via its edifice projects. (Image via @theWanderlister Instagram)
After a walk around you can people watch at the central plaza via brunch at Cafe Breton for the best crepes in town. (Image via @theWanderlister Instagram)
I shopped a bit at Bleach Catastrophe, and checked out the latest goods from Heather Miss Grey, a collaborative line with friend and Blogger, Cecile van Straten of CHUVANESS.
I went to check out Adora for the complete selection of TOMS (this was pre-Lane Crawford/Pedder launching it in HK.) (Image via @theWanderlister Instagram)
It was great to meet up with my gal pal, Janina “Jenny” Dizon, who runs a jewelry line called Janina for Jul Dizon. Check out the her latest stingray fashions on her blog. She gifted me with her own version of a stingray bracelet for men, which J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons saw and absolutely loved. (Image via @theWanderlister Instagram)
This is a cool new building in Manila with ceramic frit on the glass, creating forest-like streaks on the exterior facade. It’s called Zuellig Pharma Building, designed by SOM.
There’s not many choices to stay in cool places for the price in Manila, unlike Bangkok where there’s a glut of boutique hotels at great prices. That said, Manila IS playing catch up. They did pretty well with The Picasso Serviced Boutique Apartments. I’ll definitely be staying here from now on. The suites are huge and the prices more than reasonable.
It’s supposed to be this Minimalist Chic Art Hotel vibe. Anyway, I loved the rooms.
If you’re in Manila, tweet me. I’d like to know what your experience is like.
STAY The Picasso / EAT Cerveseria / EAT Cafe Breton / SHOP Bleach Catastrophe / SHOP Janina for Jul Dizon / DESIGN Ito Kish for Kish / DESIGN Manila FAME / ARCHITECTURE The Greenbelt Chapel / ARCHITECTURE Fort Bonifacio High Street / ARCHITECTURE The Zuellig Building
Part of the allure of working with Club Monaco’s The Men’s Shop Pop Up on St. Francis Street is the ability to write a post or two about their exclusive collection with ACL (A Continuous Lean) Blogger, Michael Williams, to design and promote a collaborative capsule collection called Made in USA, highlighting the beauty inherent within American craftsmanship, tailoring, and manufacturing expertise.
Michael Williams is an idol of mine, and i’ve always enjoyed all his quirky blog posts, whether it be blatantly about fashion or just style related stories in general about American and American History. This coupled with his love of New York and Menswear, made him a perfect fit for Club Monaco’s endeavor to relate to American pioneering, especially in this day and age when most goods are now made physically in China.
Michael Williams (via ACL)
There’s just something interesting about purchasing clothes in Hong Kong, that are imported from the United States, especially in this day and age where everything is exported from China to the World. It’s like a tiny little paradigm shift. With these trends, American brands are now trying to tout heritage over mass production practices found all over the world. The marketing export… is expertise.
For this street style shot i’m wearing the Made in USA Seth A Blazer, a Made in USA Shirt, and the Made in USA Bandana with drawstring shorts from Uni Qlo.
+ The Top 5 Must-Have Picks from Made in USA Club Monaco
Just for fun, I drafted my own grocery list and picked out a “Top 5 Must-Have” picks from the Made in USA Collection, which is ONLY available in Hong Kong at The Men’s Shop, and nowhere else in Asia.
1_ Made in USA Sportcoat in Navy
Gents, a cooler season is the perfect time to find the right jacket to go with absolutely everything. You can wear this Navy Sportcoat with a White or Grey T-Shirt and any solid or patterned long sleeve shirt you may choose. Try to keep to cooler colors, although a touch of red, like a maroon colored v-neck wouldn’t look to shabby with this jacket. These suits were made in Westminster, Maryland.
2_ Made in USA Edward Shirt in Pink Rose
Yes. Call it Rose, call it Salmon, call it what ever you want… it’s a Pink Shirt. And guess what? Pink goes with everything, and works as neutral as a blue oxford. AND it goes with the jacket above. Give it a try. These shirts are made in Ashland, Pennsylvania.
3_ Made in USA Patterned Ties
Power ties come in all shapes and sizes. No matter if you’re Team Blue, Team Read, Team Democrat, Team Republican, Team China, Team USA… none of it matters without the right tie to make the right statement. The ties are made in New York.
4_ Roncourt Penny Loafer in Brown
Not a Made in USA capsule brand, The Mens Shop however carries this special bespoke shoes by Roncourt, designed and produced exclusively in Maine. Penny Loafers are comfortable, sturdy, and strong. For business wear them with silk socks, for fun, leave the socks at home.
5_ Made in USA Denim in Black
Here we spot Club Monaco Designer, Aaron Levine, dressed in his signature Fruit of the Loom Tees and Black Made in USA Denim that’s neither baggy nor skinny, nor is it even called “regular”. It just is. These are denims that are built and constructed to wear just like trousers. They wear the right length, and taper the right way. Hard to move on to anything beyond this one. (via GQ)
BONUS_ Smathers and Branson Flask in Variety of Colors
Do I even REALLY need to explain this 6th must-have fashion accessory? If you drink anywhere BUT a bar or at home, drink discretely… and stylishly with one or all five of these Flasks made for true Gentlemen. I’m torn between the pup and the duck.
Although I admire the complete collection from Made in USA, there are also other pieces available at any of the Club Monaco locations in Hong Kong that I totally dig.
This is my favorite pullover of the season from Club Monaco. Wool and I do not usually mix too well, but this Fair Isle Sweater is pretty soft on the skin. What I like about the sweater is that it looks like a its worn inside out, which is just one of the interesting quirky touches by Menswear Designer, Aaron Levine, who will be here next week to help celebrate the Men’s Store’s Hong Kong arrival. I’m also wearing the Slim Chinos in Blue.
Club Monaco is just one of a small select brands Style Blogger, Michael Williams, is working with. The others are Tim Adams, Batten Sportswear, H.W. Carter & Sons, Canvas, New Balance and now Carhartt. Some of the unique pieces can be seen here.
Check out this great video with both Williams and Levine about Club Monaco’s Made in USA Suits.
READ A Continuous Lean / SHOP The Men’s Shop by Club Monaco, Shop 4B, Upper GF, Bo Fung Mansions, No. 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai
CLUB MONACO is a BRAND PARTNER of theWanderlister+ and BrewandPost
For those of you who follow me on Instagram @theWanderlister, you may have seen this photo I’ve just uploaded this week…
What’s The Men’s Shop? Never heard of it?
Well it’s because Hong Kong is the site of the first ever Menswear pop up concept from Club Monaco… yes Club Monaco, the urban chic division of Polo Ralph Lauren with design and production offices based in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery district.
It’s not complete yet, but when it IS done sometime next week…. this is probably what the new pop up will look like.
Yes… it will be located in St. Francis Yard… as in comfortably right between KAPOK Design Boutique and the Monocle Magazine Hong Kong Bureau… an area dubbed as the Star Street District on the edge of both Wanchai and Admiralty.
For me i’ve always worn Club Monaco, ever since university when I went to architecture school in upstate New York. Its where my school mates and I used to buy clothes on holidays when we made it back to the City. The label offered smart clothes which helped us look like the urban-chic architects we aimed to be when we finally “grew up”.
"Architect-Chic" via Club Monaco.
And now that I AM an Full Time Architect, I’m happy to be able to STILL have access to Club Monaco, even now that I live in Asia. And with the Men’s Shop popping up, it’s cool that the brand has ACTUALLY reached out to Brew&Post blogs; theWanderlister+ and TOUGHLOVE.hk to help spread the word.
From Club Monaco:
The unique new men’s only shop concept will feature a meticulously selected, “best of the best” assortment of product including exclusive Club Monaco Made in the USA, launched in November 2011 as a partnership with Michael Williams, the founder of prominent men’s blog A Continuous Lean, and includes a limited edition line of suiting, shirts, ties, outerwear and denim, all of which are sourced, designed, washed, and fit in the United States.
The store will also offer many third party products, including specialty items such as outerwear from Aether Apparel, Ernest Alexander bags, Gloverall toggle coats, Golden Bear varsity jackets, London Undercover umbrellas, Printed Image bandanas, Smathers & Branson exclusive needlepoint items, Terrapin Prints stationary, and an assortment of footwear by Pro Keds, Trickers, Wolverine and Mark McNairy New Amsterdam.
That’s a full Menswear shop.
The pop up shop is intimate at 600sq.ft, and is excited to be a part of the Star Street collective of shops, bars, galleries, cafes, and home design stores, which reflect the vibe and energy of its home headquarters in Ne York City.
From Aaron Levine VP of Club Monaco Men’s Design:
This new store in St. Francis Yard is the natural evolution of menswear at Club Monaco in terms of both product and concept. The space is small but concentrated with our own product and merchandise from some of our favorite makers from all over the world. What makes it even more thrilling for us is fact that the shop happens to be in Hong Kong, a place where a great number of stylish people will get a chance to experience these heady days of Club Monaco menswear first hand.
Portrait of Aaron Levine, courtesy of Club Monaco
Watch out for my tweets and posts and find my hashtags #TheMensShop.
SHOP The Men’s Shop / Shop 4B, Upper GF, Bo Fung Mansions, No. 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai
CLUB MONACO is a BRAND PARTNER of theWanderlister+ and BrewandPost
Iconic design store, KAPOK, helped formulate the vibe and tone for Start Street in Admiralty and the folks at K11, HK’s first “Art Themed” Mall in Tsim Tsam Tsui, also hope that KAPOK’s satellite concept located there will too give the mall a similar heart and soul which design geeks can rally around.
Of course, this is not the aim of KAPOK.
KAPOK’s sole purpose is simply to curate all the world’s newest and best design “stuffs”, all collated into a general store one-stop-shop wasteland never before scene in Hong Kong… which then eventually makes its way everywhere else… from Lane Crawford to various boutiques all over the city.
The newest pop-up concept found at K11 is called, TOOLS. The pop up, is basically the older concept, SAILOR, but with more products typical of an “American General Store”, selling everything from food, tableware, and everyday garments, modernized to bring in that extra KAPOK touch.
From Arnault Castel, proprietor of KAPOK:
KAPOK TOOLS is not about trends, we are really looking for the classics of tomorrow.
All products we sell here share the same timeless design, and can be used to bring a touch of style and good design for your everyday life. The idea is to make sure we are always using well designed, beautiful objects for our work our leisure !
Obviously this is a French interpretation of a US General Store. If this really WAS a general store from the the United States, you’d find trucker caps, and t-shirts that are 5 times the size of the t-shirts found here. That said, however you frame a KAPOK store, it’s still a KAPOK store, which i’ll take over any other design/boutique/general store whatever any day. Expect brands by Makr, Saint James, Baxter of California, Nodahoro, Duralex, and Rivieras.
SHOP Kapok TOOLS / Shop 101, 1/F, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, TST, Hong Kong / T: +852 3122 4113