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Boys shop, too: A day at Hong Kong's Landmark Men
JJ. Acuna spies shoes, glasses and a damn fine Bloody Mary at Hong Kong's destination shopping mall for men
Landmark Men, an entire floor in the basement of the Landmark, is dedicated to gentlemen.
The energy invested into the mall makes it evident that the male market is not a niche market. More than 5,500 square meters is dedicated just to men, from clothes, to accessories, to grooming and gadgets.
Chinese gentlemen have money to burn and are spending more of it on themselves. According to Bain, men in China spent RMB 7 billion on clothes in 2010, far more than the RMB 2.8 billion spent by women.
To be honest, I found the whole venture quite impressive. At this level of attention, I’ve seen nothing close to it anywhere in Asia.
The location is accessible (right next to the MTR), the shopping atmosphere relaxed and stress-free with a varied tenant mix (Fuel Coffee, gadget store and spa all on one floor), making for a whole day of dude shopping very easy.
The trends I spotted at Landmark Men suggest that, in Asia, gentlemen consumers are more comfortable wearing a tailored fit than their Western counterparts. And in Hong Kong, the mix of European bespoke and Asian edginess give men more variety to play with.
Here are my favorites from a day at Landmark Men:
There are great barbers at the Mandarin, yes, and there are those men’s slimming centers in Causeway Bay, but I think Gentlemen’s Tonic is a spa that Hong Kong has needed for a while.
All the treatment areas are private rooms. From the barber chair to the spa bed, you won't have to share your grooming experience with other people. The atmosphere is luxurious and no-fuss. We like no-fuss.
I tried the Hemingway, a two-hour aromatherapy massage with a men’s facial -- perfect after “a heavy night of drinking and bull fighting." It starts off with a glass of the freshest Bloody Mary I’ve ever had.
During the session, the therapist answered questions only when asked and didn’t go around blabbing and chatting with you trying to sell you products and things throughout the whole treatment.
The owner of Gentlemen’s Tonic, Olivier Bonnefoy, is an ex-banker. Apparently much of the traffic to his spa comes by word-of-mouth and his clientèle is basically made up of bankers, traders and lawyers. Prices range from a private room barber’s cut at HK$550 to my two-hour tailored treatment at HK$1800.
Gentlemen’s Tonic, B47-B48, Landmark Men, +852 2525 2455 www.gentlemenstonic.com
Cutler and Gross flagship store
Direct from the UK, Cutler and Gross sell designer eyewear for men and women who want to look chic, bookish, classic, on-trend or all of that at once.
The brand has also just launched a new bi-annual magazine that is available at the Landmark Men location and the first issue is dedicated completely to Hong Kong.
I was only allowed to take photos of this gorgeous store from the corridor but I can tell you the collection of glasses and styles were completely impressive and downright impeccable in its craftsmanship and design -- which equates to some massive sticker shock when it comes to prices.
Cutler and Gross, shop B20A, Landmark Men, www.cutlerandgross.com +852 2730 3300
Kelly & Walsh
What’s the use of glasses if you have nothing to read? While I’m ultimately a fan of the the Swindon Bookshop in Tsim Sha Tsui for their selection of art and design books, I have to say, Kelly & Walsh has been impressing me as of late with their very focused specialty titles available in their unique boutique bookstore.
Kelly & Walsh carries books for consumers with a cosmopolitan lifestyle. The range of subjects covers everything and everyone from books on Rick Owens to a huge coffee table book by Vivienne Westwood.
There’s plenty of fashion, design and travel books here to keep me going for hours. It’s like a Wanderlister paradise.
Kelly and Walsh, shop B59-60, Landmark Men, +852 2801 6131 www.swindonbooks.com
If you’re in the market for shoes, Carmen Chan introduced me to the fine footwear that is available here at Tassles. The craftsmanship of their Alden line is impeccable, but if you’re super picky, you can have English shoes made-to-order as well.
Alden is the brand that underpins the success of Tassles, carrying a wide selection of styles, including the famous tassled loafer first introduced by Alden and that became an instant American icon in the 1950s.
I just love the shoe horns.
Tassles, shop B64-65, Landmark Men +852 2789 9911 www.tassels.com.hk
Basement, The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central www.landmarkmen.com