I’ve just come back from a beach holiday and, despite the weather in Hong Kong this spring, I’m getting psyched for summer junk trips! I always end up grabbing an old bath towel at the last second. This year, I want my towel to be as stylish as my designer swimming trunks. What do you suggest?
Mr Dapper: I suggest you have too much leisure time. Perhaps that’s simply sun envy as I have not left our grey territory in several months; but I do find that towels, like umbrellas, have a nasty tendency to get themselves lost. Old bath towels, therefore, seem rather perfect for the job at hand. Do you wear Vilebrequin? If so, then you have failed to notice that the St Tropez-style swimsuit maker also offers large cotton beach towels sporting the brand’s turtle logo; they come in solid colours or in plaid print with matching terrycloth bag (HK$1,300 to HK$2,000; Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 0263). And did you know that Irish linen instead of common terrycloth is a wonderful beach or bath luxury? Monocle sells handmade ones designed in collaboration with Travelteq, from the Netherlands, in natural beige and brown or navy (HK$1,100; 1 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, tel: 2804 2323).
Mr Dandy: Come on! How can you talk beach towels and not mention the ultimate: the amazing, printed cotton Hermès beach towels with iconic horsey or nautical motifs that come in two degrees of thickness (HK$3,600 to HK$4,500; Pacific Place, tel: 2522 6229). Dapper, even you’ll love The Fabulous Towel Company’s handwoven Turkish “peshtamels”, flat woven towels in certified organic cotton, bamboo and linen that cost only HK$300 to HK$450 (Mirth, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, tel: 2553 9811). And when I saw the Opening Ceremony- Maslin zebra hide towel, which comes with a handy leather holster (HK$1,745; www.openingceremony.us), I just had to order one for myself.
I’m obsessed with a trainer from Africa I saw in a magazine. Any clues as to where I might find Sawa in Hong Kong? I checked the website, but when I called the place it listed, they said “No” and hung up on me.
Mr Dandy: Dude, “trainer” threw me off. For a second, I thought you were talking about some beefy guy who gets paid to make people exercise and watch them sweat! OK, so you’re talking about those great fashion shoes designed by Mehdi Slimani, who lives between France and Ethiopia. They are made in Africa so, in Slimani’s words, “a maximum of added value stays on the continent”. I ran into the same roadblock when I went to www.sawashoes.com. In Hong Kong, it refers us to the cool niche store Quarter (Rise Commercial Building, 5 Granville Circuit, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2367 2308), which denies having the footwear. Weird. I think I saw some Sawas there last year, but life’s too short. Just order online already via L’Exception (www.lexception.com) or Stylecreep (www.stylecreep.com). They charge about HK$1,200 per pair and deliver to Hong Kong. Take a look at the Tsague high-tops in leather or suede.
Mr Dapper: I’m afraid you’re asking the wrong person. I don’t believe in fashion trainers, especially when they are inappropriate for the vast majority of nonsporting social gatherings. I do know, however, that the world has many socially conscious footwear brands, which I am more than happy to support. Tom’s is perhaps the most famous, though there have been many copycats recently, and for every pair of shoes you buy, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need somewhere in the world (HK$525 to HK$1,050; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 2288). Soul of Africa (www.soulofafricashoes.co.uk) works in Ethiopia to develop local industries. Each time you buy a pair of its shoes, it gives funds towards the care and education of children affected by Aids.
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