The exterior of PMQ’s Hollywood wing // © 2016 Hong Kong Tourism Board
Feature image (above): PMQ’s elevated courtyard connects the Hollywood and Staunton wings. // © 2016 Hong Kong Tourism Board
To tourists, Hong Kong is regarded as one of Asia’s best shopping meccas for big name international brands — there are three Louis Vuitton shops, for one thing — yet its homegrown fashion, accessories, crafts and creative home goods seem to get lost in the shuffle.
When the PMQ development opened in 2014, that all changed. Formerly the Police Married Quarters, this heritage site was reinvented as a multilevel retail and “creative hub” with flagship stores for some of Hong Kong’s best and coolest designers, artists, craftspeople and brands. Entailing two separate wings, Hollywood and Staunton (named after the streets they run parallel to), and connected by a lovely elevated courtyard, the PMQ is a must-visit for unique local products and gifts. Its eclectic array runs the gamut from high-concept runway fashion and clever home goods to a classic teahouse and a cooking school.
In fact, it can be hard to determine where to begin browsing, especially if on a tight schedule. To make the most of your visit, we’ve curated a guide to the PMQ’s 10 best offerings, arranged by their respective wings.
Three Artisans (4th floor, H407)
Shared by three different vendors, Three Artisans stocks Eyepopper’s nostalgia-inspired, bespoke eyeglasses, fashion designer Janko’s urban takes on traditional Chinese clothing and Jino’s 3D Hong Kong street scenes. In addition, shoppers can find perfect gifts for kids and adults with a crafty streak.
Mall852.com (3rd floor, H313)
Hong Kong iconography gets transformed into eye-catching home and wearable goods such as cloth sling bags that look like HK’s iconic rectangular mailboxes, tissue dispensers fashioned from classic cream cracker boxes, miniature double-decker buses and T-shirts that proclaim “I’m a Hong Konger and I’m f*cking proud of it!”
tong-chao (3rd floor, H304)
Translating as “children’s dynasty,” this 5-year-old fashion brand’s PMQ flagship offers cool, urban and quirky kid’s clothing and accessories such as a hoodie with dinosaur scales.
Kapok (ground floor, HG10-12)
The brainchild of French expat Arnault Castel, Kapok entails a superbly curated, trendy lifestyle shop chain — PMQ’s store is its sixth location — with an equal emphasis on international and Hong Kong-made goods, from sneakers to backpacks to soap.
Tai Lung Fung (1st floor, H107)
Meant to evoke 1960s era Hong Kong, this cafe-restaurant-bar serves classic tea and coffeehouse fare with a twist, including wasabi black fungus, fried pork ribs with aged tangerine peel, cocktails utilizing home-brewed spirits and edible takeaway souvenirs.
See Through Craftsman (5th floor, S507)
Curated by an NGO dedicated to preserving Hong Kong’s heritage, See Through Craftsman offers rotating selections of classic home and design goods, including teaware created by seasoned local artisans.
BlkSheep Empire (3rd floor, S310)
An Aussie expat, Jen Webb creates beautifully printed, textured leather “kickass shoes for kickass women,” including a series with designs by Hong Kong’s female street artists Bao and A.M.T. BlkSheep plans to launch a men’s line by 2017.
Harrison Wong (2nd floor, S206)
One of Hong Kong’s best-known men’s fashion designers, Wong whips up edgy urban collections inspired by pop culture, graphic art and Japan.
Vivienne Tam (ground floor, SG03-07)
Internationally recognized for her East-Meets-West aesthetic, Tam is regular presence in the pages of Vogue Magazine and her fashion work can be found in NYC’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tam’s annual Lunar New Year collections are especially worth checking out — at the register.
Goods Of Desire, aka G.O.D. (ground floor, SG09-11)
Like an Urban Outfitters with Hong Kong-centric design inspiration, G.O.D. first became known for its cheeky “Delay No More” T-shirts — said aloud phonetically, the phrase means something very nasty in Cantonese. Now G.O.D. offers all manner of home, fashion and gift goods. End your PMQ crawl at the shop’s adjacent Sohofama restaurant and bar, which whips up hydroponic craft cocktails.