Sex/ Race / Size discrimination in Hong Kong? It’s normal la.

The first Topshop Hong Kong store will be opened tomorrow. With almost no value being a plus size blogger in Hong Kong, I have failed to report whether they will carry clothing from size 14 to 18, as so far I have not gotten any answer from anyone; including Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Lab Concept HK press team (very disappointed!)I can see lots of people standing up to the #bodyshaming Abercrombie and Fitch since the ugly news broke out, but certainly it is not the case in Hong Kong. It is the norm that most brands do not provide clothes for fat people, so this isn’t the first time I feel left out / being discriminated! Getting news of International brands opening in town always gets me excited but only to find out that they will not be importing certain sizes since there is “no market” for plus size fashion in Hong Kong.

Some might say “oh, you know, Hong Kong is so small, there is not enough population for bigger people in this market!” without knowing what really is the fact. How about comparing us to Singapore? Singapore has only 5.3 million population and we have 7.18 mil; and in Singapore, there are Topshop, River Island, Dorothy Perkins just to name a few of these high street fashion brands, which carry the FULL SIZE RANGE from 0 -18. So don’t tell me we do not have enough people in this city for the plus size market.

At the same time, I am also puzzled that wherever I go shopping around town, the first sizes to have sold out in shops are always the larger sizes, plus, Marks and Spencer has been selling plus size clothing for over a decade, I don’t see them complaining or stop importing! So in what sense do they think there is no such market in Hong Kong?

The reason could be because most buyers do not want to risk not selling well as there is no previous figures to support the decision, so most brands only import a few pieces of the Large size, and there is no such thing as replenishment; or that the local fashion buyers are simply just being bias, thinking large girls must not need to dress nice. Which one do you think could be the answer? If any of these buyers happened to be reading this, I just want to say, please do your research, you never know how much large size would sell if you just give it a chance. Most of the expats are complaining that they cannot find clothes in Hong Kong, and they almost all would go for a shopping spree whenever they have a chance to visit their own country / travel to the West. Let alone most only shop online nowadays, look how well ASOS is doing! And they also have ASOS Curves plus size range now!

List below are international brands which DO carry plus size internationally but not in Hong Kong.
So please don’t be too disappointed next time when you come here and want to do some shopping  tax free x

GAP – up to size 12 only, no 14-20

French Connect Hong Kong – up to 12 and some pieces 14, no 16 and 18
Forever 21 – up to size 14/ 42, no Forever 21 +
Massimo Dutti – up to L, occasional simple pieces XL
Roxy & Quiksilver – Most clothing only up to L, most XL not available
Ted Baker – up to size 12, a few styles up to 14, no 16
Zara – around 8% of their collection with size 46
Pull and Bear – up to 12, a few style of 14
Karen Millen – up to 14, rarely 16, no 18
Levi’s/7/any Jeans – forget it

Hold on, it doesn’t mean we have no hopes.
Here is the list of what’s available in Hong Kong when you come shopping

Bx

Japanese Style Plus size Clothings in Hong Kong (now renovated to moved to ground floor with less options :( )

(Updated: 19/11/14)I used to live on the east side of Hong Kong Island and I would frequent a couple of the shopping malls at Taikoo Shing Area – it is a place being heavily influenced by the Japanese culture, as it is the largest habitat for Japanese and Korean on Hong Kong side.

The two massive department stores in Taikoo are Jusco (recently changed to AEON) and APITA, you will be able to find great varieties of imported Japanese products here; household product, supermarkets, frequent japanese food festival of different regions. They also have big section of Imported Japanese clothing including a line – ELPLUS for PLUS SIZE WOMEN, located on the 2nd floor of the department store (which recently been cancelled, only some LL size left, which is around size 12 baggy clothing options).

I would say this section has started  to appear around 3-4years ago perhaps to cater the more mature population. A recent visit to Apita, I found the new line from them which I am ecstatic about. Although the place itself is not very attractive, but if you look through the clothes piece by piece, you will find something that nowhere else in Hong Kong offers for plus size women. Below are a few of my picks and the sizes are 1x, 2X and 3X ( around UK size 16,18 and 20).

 

 

Bx

Local Scene

As a Hong Konger, I don’t see this place I live as a fashion city, it certainly cannot be compared to New York, Paris or London as only a small percentage of people would care much of what they wear, how they present themselves and also the styles are not as diverse. But as a city of luxury goods with China tourists spending $4.6 billion here each year, it does get a lot of attention from International Designers. Hell yeah people here also pay too much attention at the big names – take local fashion bloggers (there are only a few of them who you have probably heard of), you read one blog, it already represents all they are going to say.  Plus There are only so many fashion events per month you can blog about. Moreover, if they don’t blog about the local brands, who’s going to sponsor all the fancy items they carry around with them? What we need to see is style; people having their own style and not just putting brand names all over themselves. 

It’s almost like a robotic equation;

1.Find a thin/fit person, not as attractive as a celeb, not as good as a model but better looking than usual. 
2.Put what’s popular at the moment on that person.
3.Throw in some expensive accessories.
4. Not much make-up (almost like they don’t know how to put on their own make-up)

Done.

The only person/ group I see are making a difference is Ruby Bloom /  La-D-Da. They celebrate fashion and individuality. Afterall, this is what fashion is about. It is about how we express ourselves through fashion. It’s an attitude towards life and this is a manifesto of #iwearever. Some might say, they are more Japanese style. Could be, however, they are still representing different voices in Hong Kong.

and I would like to see more of this.

Women’s Plus size clothing in Hong Kong

This is a lasting topic for larger women living in Asia, especially for my fellow expat friends who live in Hong Kong.We complain about how we difficult it is to find clothes in Hong Kong for plus size ladies, as almost all the shops in town have clothing available in 3 sizes only. Let alone the plus size, even an average US size 10 would find it challenging to buy clothes in Hong Kong; as the sizes are usually XXS, XS and S!

Here is the ultimate shopping guide for Plus size women and some tips of where we would find modern clothing and shoes in larger sizes in Hong Kong.

Cheap Finds

My favourite activity on a Sunday Afternoon – go to samples shops scattered around in Hong Kong for treasure hunt.

As an export hub of thousands of manufacturers from China, Hong Kong holds a lot of hidden gems in the city. If you would go to the Ladies market in Prince Edward, it is the place to be; there are over 50 shops on both sides of the road, and you can find many International brands from the smallest size 00 to size 24/3X(e.g. Forever 21 Plus, Lane Bryant, Coasts, Talbot, River Island).

IMG_8413Bertha C - Curvasian
At Fa Yuen Street, I found these shorts of Forever21 Plus at one of the shops for HK$59 (US7.5)

It only depends on your luck what you can find! I will have a separate post on this later.

High Street brands in Hong Kong


Marks and Spencers

When most people hear about MnS, they are already assuming that their clothes are “out of date” and mostly for conservative consumers. It is not true.

Trendy line Limited Edition goes up to Size 14, sometimes 16 and 18 if we are lucky. They use to carry all styles in 16 and 18, but this has changed in the summer 2014, I am guessing it’s because being fashionable as a plus size woman is not popular in Hong Kong as most of us are still conservative about the fashion choices.

I also recommend their luxury line – Autograph, it is very tasteful, sophisticated yet stylish. Targeting consumers with elegant taste. This line goes up to UK18.

Other lines others up to size 18 with odd pieces of 20 and 22, and their shoes run up to US9.5/EU42.

Zara, HnM, Mango, Forever 21
These brands would carry some UK size 14/EU44, in their Causeway Bay and Central shops for Zara.
Occasionally from HnM, but not designed for busty girls.
Forever 21 does not have plus size line in Hong Kong but sometimes you may be able to find one or two XL in their 5-storey flagship store.
The key is to look for the thicker stretchy material.
These shops have shoe sizes up to US9/EU41 but they usually run small.

 

High Street Fashion for In-betweenies

Topshop has opened in Hong Kong since June 2013 and it is the only high street fashion store that offers size 16 for the younger generation. Their shoes are fabulous, boutique line offers high quality pieces and shoes size up to UK8/EU42.

On a side note, Swedish Brand MONKI locates in Langham Place, Mongkok and Granville Road in TST has size L that fits a UK size 16/18 body. And most of their tees are very roomy, so they fit a UK 22 sometimes.

Mid Range Italian/German brands available in Sincere Department Store

I have discovered the clothing choices in this department store that usually carry mature clothing, which can turn into useful good quality basic items for most age.

Read the post here

High-end Fashion Brands for Mature Style
If you can pick money out from trees, you can always go to the beloved Lane Crawford, Swank and Joyce and ask for their personal shoppers for help. They do carry certain styles in Size XL/44 however the cut would be usually very fitted.

For other retails stores with plus size available in Hong Kong, they are mostly found at 1/F Sogo, Causeway Bay. Surprisingly these brands have clothes up to size XXL / IT52.

Anne Klein New York 
Escada Sport
Joan and David
Marina Rinaldi
Mariella Burani

St.John

Small Boutiques (by appointment only )

Rosarini
Love It – up to size UK16

Japanese Style

APITA TAIKOO SHING
ELPLUS

I will keep updating this post

xB

Last update: 29/7/2014

 

Patricia field – Destination style NEW YORK collection ( Plus size fashion in hong kong)

The yet trendiest collection from M&S – collaboration with Patricia Field – limited one-off edition on sale for 2 weeks in Hong Kong. I have to say them dresses are gorgeous, however, at 1.5K/dress + you can only wear it at most twice… mmm not quite worth it, unless you are a hardcore fan.
So I just tried them on and took a pic for record and happily put them down.
*BUT, there is a trench coat I couldn’t resist as its a classic yet sexy design, will post up a pic later ;)*