Smart people know where to look for best style bargains in town
Hongkongers are serious about shopping and, when it comes to fashion, there is nothing they love more than the latest designs at a great price.
This is where Horizon Plaza has an edge -it has designer fashion for everyone at fabulous discounts all year round.
The choice of styles and brands is varied, while the multi-storey former warehouse also offers plenty of space for shoppers to browse and try on items in an uncrowded environment, ensuring the experience is a relaxing one.
'It offers such a spacious area for fashion houses to sell their merchandise, so it's a good place for customers to treasure hunt for fashion and accessories from different brands,' says Kylie Chan, spokeswoman for Bluebell Group, on the 19th floor.
The plaza's immense variety of fashion and accessories means that it has also become a favourite haunt for those in the know who want to bag a covetable fashion deal.
Locals and tourists alike have cottoned on to the concept of finding fantastic outfits for any occasion, as its one-stop-shopping appeal ensures they keep coming back for everything from gowns to stilettos to jeans and leisure wear.
Many shoppers start on the 28th floor and work their way down, giving them an opportunity to visit as many outlets as possible before arriving at the ground floor or lower parking floors.
Coffee shops, fine food and wine stores also allow shoppers to satisfy other cravings in between finding a new favourite fashion item.
In fact, being spoilt for choice is the only problem shopaholics will face when arriving at Horizon Plaza. So where do shoppers go for the best fashion bargains available in Hong Kong?
At Joyce Boutique, on the 21st floor, a generous display expanse makes it easy to find just what you want -and it also boasts plenty of light and spacious changing rooms for those who want to take their time getting it just right. Check out a host of international luxury designers' end-of-line clothing -items not sold in Joyce's many Hong Kong stores- and accessories, with brands such as Anna Sui, Jil Sander and Dolce & Gabbana having discounts of more than 40 per cent.
The longer a piece is left unsold, the more the markdown. Even better, the stock is replenished daily.
Joyce spokeswoman Michelle Ng says its Horizon Plaza outlet, which opened in July 1995, has been very successful as it's a one-stop shop for many fashion-loving tourists from different parts of the world and locals alike.
'We sell the latest clothing from just the past season, with all sorts of styles and from many noted designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Marni, Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten and more,' Ng says.
'Of course, the generous discount on such covetable items means savvy shoppers return regularly for their must-have fashion fixes. The outlet stocks discounted items, with most of them from 65 per cent off the regular price.'
Fashionistas won't be able to go past the Armani outlet on the 22nd floor, where the always chic and stylish Armani shoes that are end-of-line products can be found at up to 60 per cent off.
Those with a penchant for handbags can bag a great deal from Armani, and lovely leather belts, jackets, suits and luxurious evening dresses at generous discounts. Also in store is the label EA7, the Armani sportswear line at even greater discounts.
High street favourite Club Monaco is also a Horizon Plaza hot spot on the 27th floor, ideal for busy urban dwellers with a love for relaxed clothing that doesn't skimp on style.
Club Monaco describes itself as having evolved to become the 'lifestyle destination for urban professionals looking to build a wardrobe of must-have essentials and seasonal fashion glamour'. Each season, Club Monaco offers men and women updated classics and key fashion pieces that make up the foundation of a modern wardrobe.
With regular discounts of up to 60 per cent on the previous season's favourites, this store is an ideal destination for those seeking to update their staples with a chic and modern style.
The younger, cash-conscious crowd will find this particularly pleasing for its reasonable starting prices in the vicinity of about HK$100. For the more youthful, yet stylishly laidback work ensemble -or even floaty and sexy weekend pieces ideal for layering- Club Monaco is an outlet you should not pass by.
Feeling more relaxed? At Replay, take downtime to a new level of style. The Italian-based denim and casualwear brand enjoys a fun and funky appeal with a street-cred edge. Located on the 19th floor, Replay is now offering up to 50 per cent discount on last season's items. This is the place to bring the man in your life.
He will love its small but trendy, contemporary and tough range, and understated appeal, permanently offered at solid discounts.
For a more timeless, understated chic look, MaxMara Fashion Group Warehouse is a must-visit, not the least for its well appointed interior and displays, akin to being in one of its high-end mall stores. Shoppers can now enjoy up to 70 per cent off 2008-09 season clothes, while others are discounted by up to 30 per cent, with everything in store from MaxMara's classic evening dresses to more contemporary separates and quality shoes that will stand the test of time. Other brands sold here include the more casual and earthy-chic Penny Black and Marella.
Furthermore, those seeking a larger size will find shopping here a refreshing change from the often super-slim styles prevalent in Hong Kong's high-end stores. Such women will love Marina Rinaldi, with its Italian sizing up to 27 (equal to a British size 22 or American size 18). Footwear can also be found up to a size 40. For a smart-casual, career look that offers a broad selection of jackets, tops and shoes, Max Mara could be the answer.
For those with an eye for fine luxury or that special one-off item, a treasure hunt at the Bluebell Warehouse on the 19th floor will give discerning multibrand shoppers what they want. Bluebell Group builds brands in Asia by taking them where the demand for luxury is the greatest. It considers itself the 'brand behind the brand'. The Bluebell company was founded 50 years ago by Peter Goemans to sell perfumes and assorted luxury goods in Asian duty-free markets. Two generations later, it has expanded significantly throughout Asia by focusing on the increased desire for luxury goods.
At its Horizon Plaza outlet, world-renowned high fashion labels, such as Moschino, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Blumarine, Blugirl, Anya Hindmarch and British classic Paul Smith, are sold for up to 90 per cent off their original price. Recent creations from shoe designer extraordinaire Jimmy Choo are sometimes offered at up to 70 per cent off.
Bluebell says it is involved with such brands as those run by Sir Paul Smith, who has established himself as the pre-eminent British designer, as he has the ability to anticipate and even spark off trends, not only in fashion but in the wider context of popular culture.
The feminine and understated Anya Hindmarch brand - perennially popular in Hong Kong with those who understand exceptional quality - is synonymous with beautiful craftsmanship, bespoke products, personalised pieces and an element of humour. 'Today, we still like to stay very much in touch with the products and with the people we work with,' the company says.
For everything stylish, these fashion outlets and many more can be found from the fifth floor up to the 27th.