Let the party begin

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 September, 2010, 12:00am

It's hard to believe that luxury store Lane Crawford was once a humble ships' chandler.

Now celebrating 160 years of serving Hongkongers, the brand was founded by Scottish merchants Thomas Ash Lane and Ninian Crawford to provide goods to British crews and their families. It billed itself in the late 1880s as 'the place to buy anything from a pin to an anchor'.

According to the company's website, Lane Crawford's first shop was housed in a makeshift bamboo structure on the waterfront of what is now Des Voeux Road. Today, the luxury retailer stocks a wide selection of international brands in six stores.

To celebrate its anniversary, Lane Crawford is launching Heritage 160, a series of programmes and events to be held throughout the autumn and winter. These include an interactive micro website, www. lanecrawford.com/heritage160, and an auction, the proceeds of which will go to a Unicef project aimed at helping to educate more than 30,000 children across western China.

Online bidding starts on Friday and the auction will be held on October 23, at a venue yet to be announced.

Known for an eclectic collection of fashion and design items from around the world, the store has invited a number of international designers and style gurus to create exclusive items for an exhibition, including customised trench coats (below right) and art-inspired Ming dynasty chairs. The items will then be included in the auction.

In addition, there will be limited-edition footwear and an exclusive capsule collection from a new generation of designers. All of the items will be on display at Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, from Friday onwards.