Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis where global businesses thrive.
Because business travelers like you play a part in helping to make it happen, we’ve put together some of our favorite travel observations and insights to make your business and leisure travel there a little more memorable. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned road warrior, let us show you the way.
11:15am | Hong Kong
The look of success
Of all the articles of clothing associated with professional work, perhaps none is as famous or ubiquitous as the business suit. Coming in all colors and styles for men and women alike, you can buy one right off the rack and instantly look ready for your next big engagement. But pre-made isn’t everything. Especially when you’re in Hong Kong within walking distance of some of the greatest suit makers on the planet.
A reputation 200 years in the making.
For many years, Savile Row in London was the undisputed king of suit making. But over time, Hong Kong tailors developed quite a reputation as makers of high-quality hand-tailored garments and, in many eyes, soon became the global leader. So what makes the experience of buying a suit in Hong Kong so special? To answer that, we need to go back to how it all started almost 200 years ago.
At that time, the Guangdong Gang was hard at work, expertly creating garments for the British Armed Forces that were occupying Hong Kong. After the Chinese Civil War, master tailors, known colloquially as “the Red Gang,” moved in from Shanghai. Over time, these two groups coalesced into one, and a community was born, where competition and talent led to a boom in quality. A worldwide reputation began to grow. One fueled by decades and decades of creating high-quality garments for premier clients, from world and business leaders to celebrities and the global elite and countless others in between.
Today the store names are legendary: Yuen’s Tailor; Sam’s Tailor; and, more recently, The Armoury, to name but a few. A recent conversation with The Armoury founders Mark Cho and Alan See provides some insight into the modern industry.
The Armoury has only been around for a little under a decade, but in that time has come to be known as one of the best new offerings in the tailoring community. Trained under one of the best tailors in Hong Kong, WW Chan, Mark and Alan both quit other successful careers to focus full time on building a successful menswear business. As Mark says: “I used to work in real estate in the UK and China, but my first love was always tailoring and I wanted to do something related to my passion.”
Stand still. Good work takes time.
With a love of craftsmanship and classic style, the work done at The Armoury is meticulous. Or as Sam likes to put it: “The passion of master tailors hard at work at their craft is infectious to be around.” To them, clothing is truly a language of self-expression, and everyone has the ability to speak it well. Master tailors like those at The Armoury can help facilitate that process. Oddly enough, beyond the immense level of detail that goes into every garment they make, you won’t find any visible branding on anything that leaves the shop—a great perk for those who seek the quiet confidence of looking their best without a logo shouting out where they shop.
Expensive, but worth it.
Because no two people nor suits are exactly alike, custom-made garments always take a little more time. It’s truly a luxury purchase in every sense, thanks to the enormous skill and precision this level of personalized tailoring requires. Looking for bespoke Florentine tailoring by Liverano & Liverano? You’ve come to the right place. Just know that a two-piece suit starts at around 53,000 Hong Kong dollars and takes up to a year to make. Prefer something with a lower starting price point and faster timeline? The shop partners with Ring Jacket, the greatest tailoring factory in Japan, where prices start at 18,000 Hong Kong dollars for made-to-order pieces that deliver in about three months. Whichever direction you choose, the end result is usually met with, “This is the best-fitting suit I’ve ever owned.” The finished garment can easily be shipped home, but like many customers, you may prefer to pick it up in person for one last fitting if your schedule allows.
Weaving in a little confidence.
A master tailor is part craftsman and part psychologist. They are in the business of understanding both the body and the mind. Essentially, they sell confidence. To get a proper fit, they study their customer in a process that often involves up to three fittings. During this time, styles and materials are discussed. Even where the suit might be worn. Repeat customers tend to become family, with no topic too taboo to broach while the subject is being inspected. Loyal customers know that their tailor always has their best style interest at heart and isn’t above throwing a cautionary flag if the design the customer desires won’t yield a good look.
The suits are built to last, but is the industry?
Sadly, the long-term future of this industry may be in doubt. In a day and age of cheap, disposable clothing, fewer and fewer young people are entering the tailoring profession. A pity, because the fabric of Hong Kong wouldn’t be the same without it. Here’s to hoping the next generation sees the light. So, if you have some time and a few extra bucks, take a visit to The Armoury or any of the other amazing tailors that dot the city and see if the suit fits. Odds are good that in Hong Kong, it will.
Ready for your own Hong Kong adventure?
Now’s the perfect time to book your next trip and make memories of your own.
Start now and create your custom itinerary.