Shop ’til you drop in Hong Kong

For many seasoned shopaholics, nothing quite beats walking into carefully curated stores and having that tactile, in-person experience. Whether you have grown up in Hong Kong or are here to visit, work or play, you will know its retail offerings are all-encompassing. From trendy mega-shopping malls and stylish independent stores of up-and-coming local designers, to artisanal produce, crafts and unique treasures you uncover — and haggle over — in street markets, Hong Kong’s dizzyingly tempting offerings put e-commerce shopping in the shade.

Feng shui designer’ Thierry Chow uncovers surprises beyond malls

Hongkonger Thierry Chow may have single-handedly made feng shui cool again. During the past two years, she has appeared on the cover of a slew of magazines and on television shows rhapsodising about her passion for modern design and the ancient Chinese practice of positioning objects in harmony with nature.

At first glance, Chow’s appearance, with a striking half-blonde, half-black bob and deep-purple lipstick, make her look more like a fashion trendsetter than a traditional feng shui master.

Yet today Chow, 33, the daughter of feng shui master Chow Hon Ming, explains the blurring between the two by describing herself as a ‘feng shui designer’.

“I grew up in a family rooted in feng shui traditions, but for a long time I wasn’t really interested,” she says. “I had always thought I was going to be a fashion designer.”

Chow’s love of art saw her graduate from Canada’s Sheridan College with a bachelor’s degree in applied illustration. A decade ago, she followed her father into Chinese geomancy, but her passion for tasteful designs has never waned.

Last year, she created a jade capsule collection, infused with feng shui principles, for the major Hong Kong department store Lane Crawford. Chow has launched her own line of home decor — Go Lucky — too, featuring items that aim to bring positive energy into the personal spaces of her customers.

She has also been invited by department stores and brands to offer consultation services to shoppers who wish to integrate feng shui principles into their modern homes.

Chow’s eclectic tastes are reflected in her own shopping style.

She says she is most proud to have bought a large metal sign displaying the Chinese character, hong (行), meaning ‘business firm’, which belonged to a Sheung Wan shop that was closing down.

“When practising feng shui, metal elements are needed, so I went up [to the shop owner] and asked if I could buy it,” Chow says.

She bought two papier mâché Chinese lion heads for her studio the same way.

“These items are meaningful as they are pieces of Hong Kong,” Chow says. “Sometimes, shopping in Hong Kong need not be confined to a shopping mall. If you keep your mind open, you can randomly find amazing stuff. Every street and alley can, in a sense, be your shopping destination.”

These kinds of delightful surprises are what she finds so charming and exciting about shopping in Hong Kong.

“There is so much grittiness and so much attitude, but it’s real,” Chow says. “Once you get under the surface, the beauty within is deep. You just have to look harder.”

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Written by the South China Morning Post (Morning Studio)
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