I always like to start the year with a bit of philanthropy. I’ve already got some of those brand-name T-shirts, etc that promise to donate to charity. I’ve heard there’s a place here that combines bespoke tailoring with a social enterprise bent?
Mr Dapper: Sticklers would correct you, sir. The important difference lies in the fact that, rather than simply handing out donations, most “social enterprises” endeavour to help develop trade to the benefit of communities. I believe you are referring to one such initiative named Bonham Strand (tel: 3996 9675; www.bonhamstrand.hk ), a bespoke tailor “aimed at restoring the legacy of Hong Kong’s fine art of tailoring and suit-making”. Part of that mission involves providing career opportunities for displaced garment workers and “at risk” youths, such as recovering drug addicts. It has two by-appointment locations, one on Hong Kong side (27/F, Workington Tower, 78 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan), and one on Kowloon side (9/F, Kwong Loong Tai Building, 1016 Tai Nan West Street, Cheung Sha Wan). A custom-made suit in Italian wool with Bemberg lining and natural shell or horn buttons starts at HK$3,488.
Mr Dandy: The truth is that neither Dapper nor I have put our money where our mouths are yet, but we both plan to check it out asap! I try to shop at local stalls manned by ageing artisans, but this sounds beyond cool. Oh, and Bonham Strand also does custom dress shirts (HK$480 to HK$780).
There used to be a sports shop in the Nathan Road promenade of stores alongside Kowloon Park that sold the Wigwam brand of sports/walking/casual thick socks. This store has since disappeared. Do you know where I can get the Wigwam brand of socks in Hong Kong? I have googled without success.
Mr Dandy: Really? Dude, Google gave me tons of online retailers that deliver to Hong Kong right off the bat! Like, for example, the awesome rei.com, with tons of Wigwam socks, including the Cool- Lite Hiker Pro Quarter (HK$93 a pair), the Merino Wool Comfort Hiker (HK$116 a pair) and the Wool Rambler (HK$155 for two pairs). Freshpair.com also has a big range.
Mr Dapper: Dandy, I believe the gentleman would like to stock up on United States-based Wigwam from a Hong Kong-based shop. Although I did not unearth any locally, I did discover some excellent outdoors speciality stores. The Overlander (Causeway Bay Plaza I, 489 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2573 2210; www.overlander.com.hk ) sells socks by Thorlos, Salomon, Fox River, Chums, Mountain Ace and Smart Wool. Racing the Planet (22/F, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 8102 8113; www.racingtheplanet.com ), which is popular with adventure racers, stocks many pairs, too, including Thyo, Drymax and SealSkinz. Then, of course, there’s the old favourite, Protrek (32 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2576 0833; www.protrek.com.hk ), which supplies brands such as SmartWool, Black Diamond, and Vaude. Happy hiking.
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