Delay No Mall opening / 24 Herbs album launch!

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Thursday night was the grand opening of the Delay No Mall in Causeway Bay. The event also featured the album release and mini-concert of the local group 24 Herbs. Packed with trend-setters of all different stripes, the night was an important step in introducing the new shopping center.

On my way in I stopped by the Justin Davis boutique on the ground floor. One of the last shops to open, it’s been creating a buzz around town. The American jewelry designer, who specializes in silver, is extremely popular in Japan. His creations are equal parts attitude and luxury. The necklaces and bracelets are real conversation pieces. Definitely worth a look.

The party was held on the mostly vacant third floor. As I strolled around the mall on my way up, I noticed a few new areas that were previously closed on my last visit. One large section I found particularly interesting was selling used designer clothing. This must be where Bathing Apes go when they die! The racks were filled with high-end street wear mostly by Japanese designers. This is an ideal spot to look for that limited release that you could never get your hands on. Everything on the racks was in top condition and the range of designers was broad. There was also an area selling shoes and sneakers that’s worth browsing. I read that this is a temporary part of the store, set up for charity, but it’s something significant. The long held belief that Hong Kong people don’t buy used clothes is being tested. The prices ranged from a modest $50 HKD to $500 for premium label shirts.

Heading up to the event, I passed by the 24 Herbs as they were being interviewed.

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Arriving at the third floor, guests went through a checkpoint, then were channeled through a shop selling Delay No Mall branded merchandise. After this room there was a display of several over-sized vinyl figures.

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A few more steps and you reached the raw, warehouse-like space that was converted into the party venue.

Against one wall was a line of barely clothed male and female models standing on podiums. They posed, flaunting their Delay No Mall underwear in the slightly chilly room.

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The odd part was that the models were wearing boxes on their heads. Though I’m sure there was a concept behind this, it was lost on most of the guests and it came across as somewhat demeaning.

On the far side of the room there was a stage and d.j. booth set up. A projector focused on the wall nearby was showing video clips from the Delay No Mall advertising campaign. One particular episode had a stone-faced model undressing to reveal multiple outfits on a moving MTR train! This was obviously inspired by the Chiseen episode featuring my friend Marit who shaves her legs and gets dressed for work on the train! Regardless, it was witty and in-line with the image that the new mall is striving to project.

One interesting thing I learned Thursday night was that the 24 Herbs logo was designed by Eric Haze, an old school graffiti artist turned graphic designer. He’s responsible for some of the most well known icons in early Hip Hop including the Public Enemy logo! (Many years ago Haze visited Hong Kong and gave a talk about design at an event that also featured a d.j. set by B-More enthusiast and clothing designer Aaron LaCrate.)

The 24 Herbs showcase got under way at around 10:30. They started off obscured by lights and smoke, and when the lights went on, the crowd went wild with enthusiasm.

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Their selections for the night were party rockin’ cuts with easy to remember choruses.

24 Herbs got the crowd moving right away. The densely packed audience was swaying with their hands up for several of the songs.

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Each member of the group seems to have a different personality which creates a lively, freewheeling repartee when they perform. Occasionally during their set they came together as one to maximize the sound. It worked! 24 Herbs songs are a mixture of rapping in Cantonese and English.

Music lovers and music makers were in the house including M.C. Yan, D.J. Tommy, Sam Lee, Edison, Hanjin, and Jun Kung. The near capacity crowd was also heavy on movers and shakers in Hong Kong’s fashion scene.

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There is a strong creative streak that runs through the Delay No Mall and differentiates it from other retail venues in Hong Kong. It’s the attention to detail and small things that add up. This carries over to all sectors of the mall – including the restrooms! The walls identifying the male, female or handicapped bathrooms are done in different mosaics of Pac Man.

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When you add a fun and creative flair to something as mundane as the restrooms, it says something about the identity of the place and the creator’s vision.

Though it’s been partially open since before Christmas, the event was a success in familiarizing guests with the slightly off-the-beaten-path location of Delay No Mall. With a great turnout, good music and a diverse crowd, they’re bound to come back again to shop!

Delay No Mall address:
68 Yee Wo Street
Causeway Bay
(across from the JIA Hotel on 1-5 Irving Street)

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