What does WDSG stand for? "WDSG refers to Wudai-Shiguo, the name given to a period of anarchy - the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era, from AD907 to 960 - that caused the downfall of the Tang dynasty and changed China's history. We like to think we are revolutionising fashion and the way our homes look."
What's special about the store? "You can buy everything you see here, even these restored wooden clothes hangers [HK$250 each]. These are from old hotels and dry-cleaners, and I found them in flea markets or bought them from collectors. I've always loved fashion and, during my years at the University of Michigan, in the United States, I developed a passion for vintage things and pieces of old machinery. This is a fashion brand but you can also buy our decor and props."
How did you come up with the concept? "After finishing my bachelor of business administration degree, I returned to Hong Kong and, in 2007, launched my first company, Wudai-Shiguo, a branding business helping the likes of I.T, Bossini, Adlib Fashion and Godiva to establish themselves. During a project for Adlib Fashion, we heard from the sales people that our props and shop decoration had attracted a lot of attention and customers wanted to know if they could buy them. I saw an opportunity, gathered my core team together and decided to take a chance. We opened our first WDSG store in March."
Who are the people behind WDSG? "We are a team of four creative revolutionaries … and I'm the captain who steers us to success. Just kidding!"
Tell us about your industrial furniture. "We fondly refer to our style as 'junk' style. Most of our industrial furniture is made from parts of old, reclaimed machines, usually construction machinery. For example, our clothes racks [HK$2,680] are made from old pipes. Barstool seats and tabletops sit on restored machinery, with taps that help you lower the seat, and we have a chunky coffee table [HK$5,780] with large wheels to move it around. Multifunctionalism is important to us. The base of the drawing table [HK$8,980] is an antique. We topped it with sheesham wood from India and gave it an antique patina finish. It can be tipped flat so it becomes a cool-looking bar table, especially if you combine it with a few of our bar stools [HK$2,380 each]. Some of the stools' bases are made from old sewing machines; the cast-iron legs are from construction machines. The seat is made from sheesham or mango wood. Some are upholstered in rough canvas."
How about the lighting? "Our lighting reflects industrial times, such as the brass, netted Edison lamp [HK$1,980], which hangs on a reproduced plaited telephone cord. It was made by an artisan in the US."
Where are these pieces transformed into furniture? "We mainly produce our pieces in India, where these machines can still be found, but we also import pieces from the US and Europe, where artists have rediscovered the beauty of restored hardware."
Why old machinery? "There is a vast amount of beautifully made machinery about to become scrap metal. I've always loved its tactile beauty. When I first saw these pieces in flea markets, it felt as if they were begging to be made into something great for the home."
WDSG is at 9B St Francis Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2528 3800; www.wudai-shiguo.com.