G.O.D. Hong Kong store founder Douglas Young shares style tips
Whether he’s getting sweaty and dirty at work in shorts and T-shirt, East-meets-West mix-and-matching in mandarin collars and jeans, or sporting flea- market bargains, the designer aims for comfort with a statement
Clothes Young wears for work
“I’m wearing a baseball cap by RTPK 24 Herbs, a white Chinese button T-shirt, drawstring shorts and Bauhinia print slip-ons from G.O.D., a wooden beaded necklace from a flea market in China, a jade-like pendant necklace from a flea market in New Zealand, a vintage Elgin watch from a flea market in Japan, a newspaper-print bumbag from G.O.D., and finally, I’m carrying a rattan basket I bought from a traditional Hong Kong homewares store that I customised with a leather lining with pockets and leather handles to reduce the abrasiveness of the rattan.”
“As a designer, I do a lot of work with hands and I’m always climbing up and down, getting my hands dirty, so the two most important factors for me with work clothes is comfort and that a garment is easily washable. I need to be able to sweat and get dirty in my work clothes without worrying about it, so I am almost always in shorts.
“My traditional rattan basket is always right next to me wherever I’m working because, like a bin, I can just throw stuff in it all day long.
“That’s also why I like using a waist bag, as it leaves my hands free yet I have easy access to everything I need, like my phone or wallet. It’s my idea of a work belt. It’s one of the bestselling items at G.O.D.
“The Bauhinia print slip-on is something we are currently developing at G.O.D. – we are taking the Bauhinia flower, which represents Hong Kong, and making it fashionable.
“I think the Hong Kong aesthetic comes down to mixing and matching, East meets West, old meets new, like how I might pair a mandarin collar top with jeans and a baseball cap. But when I wear a Chinese jacket, it needs to have a twist of some sort, whether it’s modern detailing or a unique fabric so it’s not just a plain, regular Chinese jacket.”
Styles Young chooses for leisure
“My porkpie hat is from Laird & Co hatters. The floral print shirt is from Kapital (my favourite Japanese clothing brand). The “Gung Ho” embroidered T-shirt is from G.O.D. (it means avid in English but also “even better” in Chinese, and I love a good play on words). The jeans are vintage Levi’s. The retro Australian Airlines bag is from a flea market in Sydney (I mostly use it when I travel), the Mahjong passport holder is from G.O.D., and the moccasins are from a vintage store.”
“Because I was never trained as a fashion designer, I think my view towards fashion is quite open-minded and I have to constantly invent my own tools and methods to create things coming in as a fashion outsider. But because we were not founded as a fashion company, we are not limited to and rushing towards trends and get to forge our own path when it comes to fashion.”
Fashions Young picks for special occasions
Young wears a mandarin collared silk shirt, jacket and matching drawstring pants from G.O.D., traditional kung fu shoes with fabric soles from a market in China, and a silk sash, also from G.O.D.
“To me an all-black ensemble always looks more formal. I wish Hong Kong people would develop more of a taste for local styles such as the coordinated sets (the mui jai jong) instead of only following global trends. We should embrace our culture.
The mui jai jong裝has a mandarin collar and capped sleeves on a short top with coordinated capri-length trousers. The matching print on both top and bottom is made of the same lightweight fabric.”