Jun 30, 2012|
Designer Alex Daye owns Moustache, a small shop that specializes in bespoke tailoring and ready-to-wear clothing. In addition to chic, classic attire, Daye also sells “The Moustache Guide to Hong Kong”—a round-up of his favorite haunts.
Where Hong Kong: How did you get the inspiration for your guidebook?
Alex Daye: A lot of our customers never venture outside their hotel rooms at the InterContinental or only have lunch at Pacific Place. They always only visit the scripted, high-end parts of Hong Kong. When they come to our store via word of mouth, they always ask for authentic places to visit.
WHK: How do you choose these places?
AD: We always wondered where the “real” Hong Kong was. So we set out to find the cool neighborhoods with the little institutions that have been around for 50 years. We try to stay true to the original spirit and find some interesting, traditional local establishments, and balance that with some cool new shops that just opened.
WHK: So how did the guidebook eventually grow and evolve?
AD: People would get 10 copies for their friends in the States, and gradually it just took on a life of its own. When people travel around the world, especially to the big cities that are starting to become very similar to each other,
they start going to the same stores, and increasingly the same restaurants. So I think people truly appreciate places that have their own histories and traditions.
WHK: What are some of the places you would recommend for shopping?
AD: It’s a very cool vintage furniture store that is fairly new. It is a high-end but interesting shop, which sells art objects and has a nice collection that you don’t see so much of in Hong Kong—so they are quite expensive.
41 Gage St., Central, 2851-8144.
AD: This is one of my favorite family-run local shops, which sells inexpensive and quintessential Hong Kong-style pajamas, T-shirts, sneakers and more. The quality is good and it’s no-nonsense.
180A Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, 2546-3671.
AD: This local brand sells their own brand of underwear, t-shirts, knitwear and cardigans. They even have their own factory in Sheung Wan.
111 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 2543-8579.
AD: This store has been around since the 1950s, and they sell contemporary Chinese paintings. They have ink and big calligraphy brushes, scroll paintings and Chinese landscape paintings.
2/F, Harvest Building, 29-35 Wing Kut St., Central, 2544-6965, www.manluenchoon.com.
AD: It is an Edwardian building full of shops that have been there since the really old days, but there are also new cafes and restaurants. I will go purchase silk linings for our suits and coats from the fabric market. It is also great to enjoy a cup of drip coffee at Barista Jam (Shop D, G/F, 126-128 Jervois St., Sheung Wan, 2854-2211) nearby.
323 Des Voeux Rd. Central, 6029-2675, www.westernmarket.com.hk.
AD: This is going to sound a little corny, but I love going to the Indian groceries and restaurants there [a multi-story cacophony of hostels, money changers, electronics wholesalers and South Asian food purveyors].
40 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.
The 3rd edition of The Moustache Guide to Hong Kong ($100) is available at Moustache, 31 Aberdeen St., Sheung Wan, 2541-1955, moustachehongkong.com.