American Apparel at Lane Crawford – does the shirt fit?

american apparel hong kong store HK

OK, we’re catching up on things that happened over the last few weeks. American Apparel has finally landed in Hong Kong, curiously housed under the roof of high-fashion retailer Lane Crawford.

Will the basics-brand-with-attitude be a success?

If the turnout for the launch event is any indication, American Apparel will be a major hit!


Let’s stop and think about why.

The first thing to consider is that Lane Crawford’s core clientele are tapped into what’s happening in the greater fashion world. Many of them are of dual nationality, or have lived abroad or traveled extensively. With nearly three hundred stores in over twenty countries, it’s likely that they have encountered the American Apparel brand before.


American Apparel has built up a loyal following over the years in part because of their slimmer-fits. Their cuts are actually better suited to Asian bodies than the baggy, super-sized garments that used to dominate the market.

american apparel hong kong hk

American Apparel has cultivated a certain trendy image over the years that fashion followers are likely to embrace.

But there’s another key differentiator that will help drive sales at Lane Crawford – price. At around $190 HKD per t-shirt, American Apparel clothing is downright inexpensive compared to everything else in the store!

american apparel hk


  • lol its like h&m first opened…. æ·± 圳 have American Apparel ages ago….. to me i think its more like giordano… -.-” just a bit better than topman

  • lol really it has to be in lane crawford, why? it’s not even any high fashion stuff. wat’s the hype abt it?

  • come on….even if their tee is 190hk they r still overpriced…we all know tat….shudve bought more wen i was still in van….sigh

  • Mister Hustle,

    Did you also check out Monocle mag’s pop-up shop in Lane Crawford? Am curious, gonna drop by this weekend.

  • Hi Soph,

    I’m working on a post about that right now… I attended the launch last Thursday. Stay tuned! 😉

  • I guess there are a few facts that make American Apparel at Lane Crawford a big deal.

    – First is that the brand wasn’t available in Hong Kong, apart from limited batches in a few smaller shops which only lasted a year or so.

    – Second, it’s very interesting that it would appear in Lane Crawford, since they are primarily a high-end fashion retailer.

    – Third, it’s fascinating that American Apparel would chose to retail their clothing through another party, since they have turned into a vertically integrated company (meaning they both manufacture and sell their own clothing.) They typically have their own shops, and do not just place their product in other stores.

    – And last but not least, it’s a brilliant retail strategy since their clothing is relatively expensive for basics, but will seem extremely cheap compared to the other merchandise in Lane Crawford.

  • My outlook on this is that it will do well for the first few months but it wont take the city by storm. Since it’s HK culture to flock to the hype, it will probably die down after people get sick of it or until the next big thing lands. It’s a smart move by Lane Crawford but probably not a long term staple for the retailer. More of a strategy to generate some hype and bring people into the store.

    Great insight on the topic!

  • It’s going to be a flash in the pan hype thing just like most other HK fads. Why pay that much for plain items when there are lower cost options like Uniqlo? HK people are notoriously brand conscious as well. American Apparel is already flailing in the US market with poor 4th quarter sales. They’ve already laid off much of their LA-based manufacturing work force. Sad.

  • I have plenty of friends who buy American Apparel now online and have it sent to Hong Kong. I don’t see the brand as a trend, but rather filling a void of a missing staple. In that case, there won’t be explosive growth, but I think the demand will remain constant.

  • LOL, I love these comments that complain that AA is expensive. Everything they produce is higher quality than other clothes in its category, their cuts are well done, and everything is sweatshop-free made in U.S.A.

    Take that to your Made in China, low wage, sweatshop produced Juicy Couture bag for 4000HKD!

  • I agree with you that the cut of the shirts is a differentiating factor, but I don’t think the quality is that superior these days.

    You bring up an interesting point though about being ‘sweat-shop free’ which American Apparel has always capitalized on as part of their image. I would argue that this isn’t a selling point at all in China. In fact, it’s a little ridiculous if you think about it.

  • are you kidding blooper?? sure AA clothes look great, with all the colour and style variations, but sometimes only while in the store. their quality is unremarkable. some garments are notorious for stretching out in minutes. more often than not, although depending on what you stock up on, pieces will eventually end up with holes, and soon enough. For quality, AA is way overpriced.

  • i gotta side with kandee on this one. the way its laid out and the presentation in their ads deserve an A+. in terms of the actual quality, it isnt as great as people say it is and til today, i havent been convinced to purchase a single item from them as hard as i’ve tried.

  • Perhaps in an economic downturn, fashion does shift towards cheaper alternatives.

    Regarding the bigger picture of contemporary fashion, I think we’re seeing the eco-system split into two different worlds. Smaller, crafted brands like Visvim, Kitsune, CLOT and others of that size, and then the large mega-brands.

    For me personally, the mega-brands have lost most of their appeal since they’re now available all over the world. They really just come across as a corporate business, with their multiple-tiered lines and their collaborations with sportswear companies. Though sometimes the offspring are interesting, they often don’t give off the passion that you used to associate with high fashion.

  • @Administrator: Quality in its own category e.g. H&M, Uniqlo, etc… compared to H&M quality its much better, actually, H&M is a piece of sh*t regarding quality. Love much of their design and buy often from them, but as soon as the new season starts, the clothes seem to not fit, break, etc…
    And yes, maybe ignorant ‘plastic’ people, with no basic understanding of true values in life, and only working their ass off to afford their LV bags, do not get the point of ‘sweat-shop free’ production. But you will see, people are developing towards a more ‘global citizen’ thinking, see organic coffee, fair trade, etc, but once again, HK is again 10 years behind.

    @kandee: its not always about quality you know. besides, personally, I never had a problem with AA clothes. Then again, I am a guy buying T-shirts only…

    @phil: you are speaking about taste….

    I don’t want to sound like a f**king hippie or something, but personally, I do like to be aware where my products come from and how they were produced, so all in all, I do not mind paying 2500HKD for a nice v-neck shirt, where I am sure its not made under horrible conditions.

    Have a read here:

  • Late to comment..i have AA tees but they tend to shrink a bit after 1st wash though i think they’re aware about this.

    There’s a good and bad in AA.

    Good is that compared to other fast fashion shops, they’re more dependable in terms of fit, availability etc. The others also have basics but most of the time when u come back to buy more, they’ll have that style in a diff fabric and fit which is a bummer.

    Bad is that it has this hype that can sometimes create a negative vibe towards it as seen in the posts

  • @administrator

    the reason that i avoid purchasing from mega brands is that it’s quite readily available anywhere as you say. finding a unique item, whether vintage or from a boutique brand, provides that thrill of the hunt to pick up something dope. some of my favourite items have been passed on from my father and grandfather – timeless pieces which live on forever.

  • Just a tip. You can buy nearly the entire American Apparel line on Ebay at “TuffyMcPuggles.” I’ve been doing it for years here in HK – at a 50% discount from what you would have to pay at Lane Crawford.

    I’ve always been curious about Hong Kong consumers’ hesitancy to purchase things on the internet. For example, Macintosh products that you find in stores and computer centres have such an absurd markup that I wouldn’t imagine anyone every buying them (yet they do!). I just don’t see how it’s reasonable to pay an extra 3-4K for something that you can get directly from Apple in 8-10 business days.

  • Hi Carlos,

    Thanks for the tip, however, according to their eBay page, it seems that “Tuffy McPuggles” MUST now print a logo on all of their American Apparel clothing. It states that they are no longer able to sell the clothing blank.

    If that’s the case, it wouldn’t be worth it. Their logos are wack! However, I’m not sure whether they actually print the logo in practice. Check it out for yourself here.

  • Oh my god, Admin. Say it isn’t so!

    My pipeline has dried up!

    Those logos are wacker than wack.

  • Don’t be too sure. Something tells me that they wouldn’t actually put the logos on every shirt… and if they were really slick, they could print them using water-soluble paint!

    Actually, I can empathize with American Apparel’s point of view, these people are undercutting their retail pricing, so I can see why they’d want them stopped.

  • Hi Cannis,

    The American Apparel mini-store was inside the IFC branch of Lane Crawford. I haven’t been there in a while, so I’m not sure if it’s still up.

  • no, it’s gone…
    the AA sub-shop inside lane crawford was just a temporary promotion.
    obviously, it garnered plenty of hype…
    so totally worked for both AA and LC!

  • I’m a big fan of American Apparel and Lane Crawford. When I went to check out the collection at the store, I found that the sizes were absolutely ridiculous. They were selling the hoodies at a very large size!

  • highly recommend all AA fans make an online order from the official AA website under US region, we all can get want we want by shipping in a week. really good with some special price for many items…..over us 100 can even enjoy free shipping . how nice!!

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