Last night I was walking along Queens Road, one of the main thoroughfares in Central and I saw a huge camouflage wall covering the side of a building. The writing on top of the camo boldly announces the arrival of Hong Kong’s first Bathing Ape store. The location is interesting. It’s on the same block as the Joyce boutique, one of the pioneers of high-end fashion retail in Hong Kong. It’s also across the street from Harvey Nichols and a new flagship Gucci store that is under construction. It’s a rather conservative blue-blood location for a brand aimed at the trendy youth market. Perhaps this illustrates their H.K. strategy – extending the brand to a wider demographic. This makes sense in Hong Kong where older people tend to be more concerned with appearing fashionable, and donning contemporary brands, than in other parts of the world.
I’m sure the shop will be created to be a destination, rather than simply a store that people amble into. If it has enough spectacle, it will grab everyone from the office-workers in the neighborhood to the younger crowd who would normally shop in Causeway Bay.