Strolling through the third floor of the IFC mall, I was surprised to see the denim brands: Evisu, 7 For All Mankind, True Religion, and Lucky Brand Jeans, all occupying the same corner of the shopping center. In a pamphlet nearby I read that this area is dubbed the ‘Denim Zone‘.
In Hong Kong you traditionally have similar businesses clustered together in the same district. This means that lighting stores will be next to lighting stores, restaurant suppliers next to restaurant suppliers, sneakers shops next to sneaker shops, fabric stores next to fabric stores and so forth.
Was the placement of the denim brands here an example of an old technique in a new setting, or something different altogether? If it works for kitchen sinks, will it fly for fashion?
I grew up thinking of the mall* as a suburban phenomenon. I typically picture a setting that sacrifices competition for convenience. Most suburban shopping centers will have one cinema, one home improvement center, one electronics store, one bookstore etc. But that’s not how it works in Hong Kong. Throughout the city you can find shopping centers that specialize in one particular product. There are computer malls, camera malls, video game malls, and toy malls among others.
This being the case, there is no stigma attached to being located next to someone selling the same or similar products**.
Thinking back to the Denim Zone, when consumers evaluate jeans, are they looking at simply the nuts and bolts of the garment, such as the dye of the fabric, or the stitching? Or is part of their purchase based on the perceived value of the brand, the image that the designer cultivates? By lumping brands offering essentially the same product together does it encourage the shopper to become desensitized to the back story*** and think of them as more of a physical commodity?
Should companies that work hard to create a particular image and ambiance be sandwiched together?
Occasionally there may be conflicts. For example, Evisu jeans contain Japanese imagery, so what happens when Lucky Brand Jeans puts their latest line in the window featuring similar patterns or iconography? How about the logos? As a casual passerby it’s difficult to discern where Evisu ends and True Religion begins… the logos are quite similar. (What if this was Nike and Li Ning?)
I can see the issue going in several directions.
People are traumatized by Hong Kong’s retail panorama. Walking with a friend who has lived in N.Y. but is from China, she remarked how she liked things all under one roof because the choice of shops here is simply too dizzying. In a way, this grouped placement provides both convenience and competitiveness. Situating similar shops adjacent to one another might also allow shoppers to become more discerning and begin to have a better appreciation of quality.
Denim jeans differ from one another by fit, so perhaps this formula is genius. Because you can try on many different pairs at once without having to leave the mall, you feel confident that you’ve comparison shopped, thereby upping the chance of an actual purchase! (Perhaps this is the psychology that drives businesses to be clustered together in the first place?)
(* My negative view of malls is the opposite of contemporary urban Asia. People aspire to live above the shopping center. It’s the ultimate controlled environment. Especially for the nouveau riche, high-end, landscaped malls represent picture-perfect modernity. Living there means having escaped the unkempt chaos of the city.)
(** Unfortunately, this holds true in Hong Kong’s restaurant scene as well, with inferior copycats opening up in the same vicinity!)
(*** Perhaps shoppers from Mainland China, where nearly all brands are new, do not have the same hang-ups about a label’s back story. Maybe that’s why even small luxury brands are in a land grab expansion in China trying to establish their names and introduce their heritage / pedigree / provenance.)
The Denim Zone
Evisu, True Religion, 7 for All Mankind, Lucky Brand Jeans, Christian Audigier, Juicy Couture
Podium Level 3 (near the corner of Two IFC)
Shops 3077 to 3085B
8 Finance Street
Central, Hong Kong
If you want to highlight real denim in HK, check out both the Yamane Store and Take 5 Jeans on Granville Road in TST
Hi L Jeezy,
Thanks for your comment. I guess my point wasn’t about highlighting the denim brands, but rather if it was an efficient way of selling them. I can think of several good places to shop for denim in Hong Kong.
I’m interested in the good places to shop for denim in Kong Kong, can you tell me the places?
Was just wondering, could you tell me what are the price ranges of the denims in HK in this particular mall? Im planning to go hk this summer, and am thinking of buying some denims from there…
Hi Angela, your question is a little too broad! There are so many stores selling denim in that mall! I’d say they go the full range, but this particular area is focused more on designer denim, which is rather expensive.
Rather than be “sandwiched” in a mall, miner49er will be opening its first HK store this month, on November 18th, as a stand alone denim concept shop for serious denim fanatics. If you’d like to join us at the opening, please e-mail to [email protected]
Do you know where you can buy G-STAR RAW clothing and Rock & Republic in Hong Kong? My hopes are rising since a true religion store has finally been built 🙂
Hi, Will anyone know what r the price range for True Religion denims in HK?
where can i buy lucky brand jeans in hongkong?the store in ifc mall is closed!
They used to have a store in ELEMENTS shopping mall in West Kowloon, but I just checked the directory and it wasn’t listed, so perhaps they closed that store too?
gonna be in HK in December, looking for well priced jeans and sneakers, original stuff. What are the prices like for mens True Religion, Levis, Puma ect etc in HK. Also want to make a nice suit, there are so many tailors, altho very expensive, any suggestions on a great tailor for around 1500HKD for a suit.
In general, Hong Kong isn’t cheap for denim brands, however, there are sales going on right now, and perhaps you can find something for a good price. Puma also has sales, occasionally offering big discounts.
There might be a decent tailor offering a suit at that price, but I believe it’s more common to pay closer to $3000.
hello, i would like find the brand Rock & Republic for man, for jeans
do you know where there are 1 store?!
I don’t believe that Rock & Republic has a store in Hong Kong. Doing a quick search, it seems that Tokyo has a shop, but not Hong Kong.