Earlier this year I waxed lyrical about my retail crush on Hong Kong's institution of a specialty store, Lane Crawford. After a number of longing glances from across the ocean, this blossoming long distance affair took a surprising turn with the age of my new love coming to light. This season, Lane Crawford is remarkably one hundred and sixty years old. Founded in 1850 by Thomas Ash Lane and Ninian Crawford, it has evolved to become a leading luxury specialty store offering a wide selection of mouth watering brands. Celebrating its one hundred and sixtieth anniversary, Lane Crawford proudly launched Heritage 160 for AW10. To honour the rich history and unique past of the store, as well as its strong relationships with top brands, designers and talents from around the world, Heritage 160 featured a series of programmes and events throughout the season. The celebrations culminated last Thursday with with a ceremony and a launch event at its mind blowing flagship store at IFC mall. It was a celebration to remember and thank the many generations of families who have worked and shopped with Lane Crawford, and ultimately woven the fabric that has built 160 years of traditions and community in Hong Kong. Thankfully, I was invited out to join the celebrations.
The theme for the day was Play and play we most certainly did. The flagship space was transformed in to a dream like arcade park. Guests and celebrities alike all lined up to play favourite games, including ping pong, air hockey, car racing, pool and testing their skill at the claw machine. I tried my luck on the air hockey and ping pong tables. I came up short with a racket in my hand but Susie delivered the goods with her vicious puck bashing. Now, I rarely win anything. Having grown up losing pound after pound in the slot machines that preyed on the young and the bored of Margate it felt good to win and win big. My prize came in a special blue box...
That special blue box that so many crave.
Now, if I did win anything in my previous life the winnings would normally still leave me short on what I ploughed in to the machine. Here however my luck changed for the better. A pair of embroidery adorned Lanvin cufflinks were found inside. I'm undecided whether they are a pair of skulls or monkeys but either way, I love them dearly and thank Lane Crawford (included eagle eyed accessories buyer Marco Lau) greatly.
A closer look of the cufflinks inside.
Having raised our glasses and partied with this Hong Kong institution our appetite for gifts was undoubtedly whet. The following morning (with a pair of slightly sore heads) we returned to the IFC store to explore the space in its returned state. After admiring the brand packed menswear floor (highlights include Nigel Cabourn, Kolor, Junya Watanabe, AI and the Cambridge Satchel Company to name but a few) we headed to the shoe department. It was here that I fell head of hi top heel for a pair of Lanvin's. Top of my footwear lust list has always been a pair of Lanvin hi tops.
My latest shoe obsession.
Now, you might recall that when I hit the quarter of a century mark, Susie knew me all too well and bought me the best present ever. Fast forward a couple of years and Susie saw that my eyes had lit up by a wool and leather combination for AW10. Having had the fires of gifting ignited within by the Lane Crawford party, she opted to treat me to a pair of these flocked grey, navy and maroon weave hi tops. Amazing. An early Christmas gift. I have been spoiled rotten and it feels good. Let's take a closer look at this pair of pulse racing, texture rich trainers...
A texture rich close up.
And another. Oh, I'm in love.
Later that day, we ventured to another retail favourite of this bustling city, Kapok. This small but perfectly formed store is an arbiter of good taste. With each visit there is temptation everywhere within its four walls. After recently featuring the latest offering from local accessories label Seventy Eight Per Cent I could not resist taking a closer. This closer look then led to a purchase of the real highlights of the new Harrison Fold collection, the Gustav. Having been treated by Lane Crawford and then by Susie, it was only fitting for me to treat myself, right......right?
As Shai Levy conceded in our recent interview, Harrison Fold was an interesting collection to design in several aspects. Firstly, it was a collaboration between himself and Harold Poon, a young talented designer who joined Seventy Eight Percent after graduating design school in Australia. Secondly, it had to meet the high expectations following the success of the Back To Old School Collection but at the same time be different. The inspiration initially came from waterproof outdoor bags that have roll top closures (hence the Fold in the title), and was influenced by Indiana Jones' shoulder bag.
Gustav itself is a designer Messenger Bag, designed to carry your belongings in comfort and style. It is spacious and well organized with pockets to stash my everyday essentials. The bags are engineered to fulfill people’s practical needs and are built to last. The Japanese wax coated canvas and Italian vegetable tanned leather are designed to age gracefully (far more so than this blogger). It makes for a fine present for myself.
One utterly spoiled me. Gustav messenger by Seventy Eight Percent and hi tops from Lanvin worn with black trousers from Tim Soar and a crombie coat from ASOS Black.
Happy birthday Lane Crawford and thank you for igniting the flames of this gifting frenzy. Now, having been spoiled, I better make a start on my Christmas shopping.