Local designers get shelf space in new Kapok outlet
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak and Vivian Chen
It was two celebrations in one last Thursday. Arnault Castel (below) threw open the doors of his second Kapok store, selling cool knick-knacks and gifts, on Sun Street in Wan Chai. The shop also hosted a launch party for local graphic design studio Whitespace's new Greyscale line of stationery.
'When you look around, most brands in design are imported from overseas,' Whitespace's founder Danielle Huthart (below) explained. 'It's a shame, because Hong Kong has a lot of local talent. After five years with Whitespace, I thought it was time for us to take an initiative, especially now. People write so many e-mails they forget how to write. It's nice to use stationery and get a nice card now and then.'
Castel stocks overseas products, including Moleskine and Rhodia diaries, and the shop also houses a small cafe. 'We'll also have art exhibits in the future,' he said.
Not surprisingly, Greyscale's cards and letters fit right in with the other niche labels on Castel's shelves. 'Our aesthetic is simplicity and bold graphics. We chose black and white because it's simple. Every studio does something different and we're kind of minimal.
'We're also affordable. You don't have to have deep pockets to get something you like. But the biggest challenge is producing in small quantities. [Printers] want runs of at least 10,000.'