Former Parisian investment banker celebrates first year as Hong Kong boutique owner

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 May, 2011, 12:00am


Former investment banker Ariane Zagury fell in love with Hong Kong the moment she arrived three years ago, and decided she could live here for good. The Parisian, however, found it hard to find her favourite French designers' pieces.

Her itch for clothes prompted her to start her own business to stock up on stylish yet affordable French brands such as Sandro, Maje and Gat Rimon.

Within a year of opening her first boutique, Rue Madame, in Lee Gardens, she had opened a second one, this time in Central's IFC mall.

'It was a huge move from banking to retail, and a risky one,' Zagury said. 'But Hong Kong is the right place. If you are prepared to work hard, the results can be really rewarding.'

Celebrating the shop's one-year anniversary on Wednesday, Zagury threw a cocktail party at the Causeway Bay boutique to meet VIP guests and the press.

To coincide with the anniversary, she produced two T-shirts, designed by American Vintage's Michael Azoulay, to raise funds for relief work in quake-hit Japan.

Photographers snapped the guests and an artist to make sketches. Free-flowing champagne and bite-sized ham and egg quiches were served.

The much-anticipated Azoulay showed up late but apologised, saying he'd been at nearby Aveda salon for a haircut before heading home to France that night.

The designer, who's famous for his luxury basics with a feminine twist, said despite higher production costs due to the soaring cotton price, it would be risky to raise the price of his clothes. OK, he can be forgiven for his lack of punctuality as long as he keeps his T-shirts affordable.