Everyone knows Hong Kong as a neon-lit retail pilgrimage – all international brands worth their logo have store fronts here, which are supplemented by the city’s own retail trailblazers; speciality stores, curated boutiques and vintage havens. That said, Hong Kong’s reputation as a denim destination in the Far East is somewhat overshadowed by Japan’s global influence. While Hong Kong’s denim dens might be slight compared to Tokyo’s vast offering, the city has a burgeoning independent boutique culture which, while small, brings a much-needed counterpoint to the glitz and glam of the high fashion brands that dominate the shopping scene. While more established boutiques such as Take5 Jeans have made a name for themselves outside of Hong Kong, lesser-known shops catered to more of a local clientele can be found clustered around the main shopping areas of Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay, where high ground-level rents have forced many of them to retreat to the upper floors of buildings or into more secluded neighbourhoods. This, of course, only adds to their charm.

Here we give you a run down of our favourite denim retailers and boutiques to visit in the city, along with a local guide from the owners and shop staff of some of their favourite spots to hang out in the city. To make things easy we’ve even created a google maps list with all the stores which you can view here.

TAKE5 JEANS

Having been around for nearly 20 years, Take5 is one of the most well known and largest Japanese American Casual (AMEKAJI) denim companies in Asia and the world. Their incredible denim wall is something of a marvel and stocks the most respected brands in the industry including Iron Heart, Momotaro, Studio D’Artisan, Samurai Jeans, The Flat Head, Toys McCoys, Sugar Cane, Pherrow’s, amongst many others. Founder Benny Seki opened the store in 2000 when he had a vision to share and spread his passion for American Vintage culture. Since then Benny has expanded Take5 beyond Hong Kong to store fronts in three other Asian countries – Thailand, Taiwan, and China. Inside you’ll find everything from jeans through to complementary items such as leather goods, silverware, independent magazines as well as a repair and customisation service. Also make sure to check out Benny’s new operation, Benny’s Store, which is just a few blocks away and stocks more “dressed up” gentlemen style like 1920s style suits, dress shoes and shirts.

17 Cameron Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

WORKWARE HERITAGE CLOTHING

When it comes to vintage Americana in Hong Kong, no store rivals the selection on offer at Workware. Started in the early 2000s, the store was one of the pioneering vintage outlets in the city specialising in timeless garments and products directly imported from the US. Over the past decade the store has gone on to create their own in-house line of denim and workwear apparel for men and women (Mrs Workware) which has become the primary part of the business. They have 3 stores across the city including the main outlet in Hysan Place, Mira store and Gold Yard the brands lifestyle store.

Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, Hennessy Rd, 500號HK 香港島希慎廣場4樓420號

WHITE WHALE CO.

A favourite amongst local vintage enthusiasts, White Whale Co. is one of the lesser known vintage spots that you wont find in your average Timeout or TripAdvisor guide. While this Mong Kok shop may be small, they make up for it in the sheer quality of products on offer. Each piece of clothing is personally sourced by White Whale’s owners from Europe and Japan, and the proprietors are super clued-up on the history behind each and every item. Our buddies at Full House denim recommended this as their favourite store in the city – “This is for sure Hong Kong’s best store for vintage military, workwear and denim. Their selection of indigo french workwear is definitely one to see and should not be missed by vintage lovers”

2/F, 39 Yin Chong St, Mong Kok

DELSTORE

Nestled next to the completely gentrified Star Street and the bustling streets of Wan Chai, the micro-neighborhood of Sau Wa Fong is home to the longstanding Delstore. Founded by Lane Crawford alumnus Derrick Leung, the two-level boutique carries a very narrow edit of Japanese labels tending towards the more obscure, including the likes of Junichi Abe’s kolor, innovative outerwear by Dr. Franken, Blue Blue Japan’s indigo-dyed boro pieces, Yuketen, and daily basics by YAECA. The store also started stocking Kapital, which is otherwise hard to find in the city.

3 Schooner St, Wan Chai

INCREDIBLE SHOP

Once you’re done browsing Delstore, don’t miss out on the neighbouring Incredible Shop, which focuses on Japanese artisanal denim. The store is an official stockist of legendary Japanese denim and military purveyors Real McCoys, which make this a must-see destination for denim heads. In addition to Real McCoys, you’ll find a range of menswear and gender-neutral fashion from renowned workwear brands like H.Unit, Lady White Co., Studio D’Artisan and CSF.

 Austin Plaza, 83 Austin Rd, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong

FULL HOUSE DENIM & WORKSHOP

If you’re looking to take home a special Chinese denim souvenir then head to Mong Kok store and workshop for a pair of bespoke jeans made just for you. Proudly made in Hong Kong with quality guaranteed, the shop can also take care of and repair any beloved jeans you already own.

Hong Kong, Mong Kok, Kwong Wa St, 48號709 Wealth Commercial Centre

OKURA

Not to be confused with its Japanese mate over in Daikanyama, Okura is actually not associated with the Tokyo indigo mecca. But don’t let that stop you from visiting! Because this gorgeous little boutique is not only in one of our favourite parts of town: the gorgeous Shing Hing Street on Hong Kong Island, but it houses a ton of perfectly selected denim, casualwear and lifestyle brands all inspired by a Japanese sensibility. Expect meticulously chosen items from Serge De Bleu, Leh, 77 Circa and Remi Relief alongside sweet and stunning lifestyle accessories. A pleasure of a store!

Hong Kong, Central, Shin Hing St, Hong Kong 中環善慶街1號號

BANG BANG 70s

Hong Kong has solid roster of vintage stores, some of which have been around since the early 90s. Amongst a growing number of vintage stores, there are a select few worth checking out like retro connoisseurs Bang Bang 70s, who specialise in everything Seventies and beyond. Their racks are brimming with denim, wild prints and other memorabilia that are true to the era, but the true standout of the store’s selection is its pre-loved, designer assortment from covetable designer labels like Gucci, Dior Louis Vuitton. Prices can rise well into the thousands but you can be assured that they’re the real deal and there are some steals to be found.

16 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong. +852 9045 8006

MID WEST VINTAGE

Tucked away in a nondescript arcade, Midwest has long been a secret among Hong Kong fashionistas and stylists. Owned by genuine midwesterner, John Hollander, Midwest Vintage has been around since 1993 and is dedicated to vintage American style. Expect cowboy boots, old-school Levi’s, 80’s T-shirts, bomber jackets and more, all sourced directly from the USA. Prices run the gamut from below $100 for accessories and tees to the tens of thousands of dollars you could spend for authentic, vintage, leather jackets. In addition to its vintage stock, Midwest recently delved into creating their own collections out of deadstock fabrics, called First Edition.

Shop 58, Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong. +852 2802 6886

LUDDITE

One of the most special, tucked away, Aladin’s cave experiences in Hong Kong, this heritage-heavy treasure trove is covered from floor to ceiling with goods. We’re talking fabrics, beach vests, keys chains, work pants, plastic dolls, boro tabi sneakers, military jackets, watches…. the floor, the walls and the ceiling are all covered with items you want to buy. They even have their own in-house brand inspired by Japanese workwear. And even if you walk out empty handed, the Luddite experience will stay with you forever.

Hong Kong, So Kon Po, G/F, 15A Haven Street

ASTERISK

Adjacent to the trendy eateries and boutiques (among them, JUICE) of Tai Ping Shan Street, Asterisk is an unassuming store along a quiet lane that focuses on retro Americana from the ’70s. Founded in mid-2015, Asterisk is a platform for founding partners Shawn and Jay to showcase the often secondhand or deadstock products they collect from their travels around the world, combined with designs from the current season. Having already established a loyal following around Asia, Asterisk offers a solid selection from brands like mastermind JAPAN, Junya Watanabe, BEAMS, COMME des GARÇONS, Porter and vintage kicks from Nike, adidas and Converse. Don’t miss out on nearby cooked tea mainstay teakha afterwards.

60 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan

HIDE & SEEK STORE

Keep your eyes peeled for a small overhanging signboard on Causeway Bay’s Yiu Wa Street — the only indicator of Hide & Seek, a small but awesome boutique that stocks small-scale Japanese brands. The boutique’s selection combines owner Tiff Lam’s appreciation for Japanese Americana with an affinity for clean, modernized silhouettes. The store stocks pieces from labels like meanswhile, Kaptain Sunshine and ANACHRONORM within a tight edit that sheds light on a sector of Japanese fashion that is near impossible to find outside of Japan. Look out for the remade vintage from Kabukimono who upcycle deadstock military into covetable collectables.

Address: 1/F, 20 Yiu Wah St, Causeway Bay

KAPOK

Kapok began as a lifestyle shop located on a quiet backstreet of Tin Hau by Frenchman Arnault Castel back in 2006. The concept was discover and bring to asia the “future classics” that combine craftsmanship and creativity. Since then Kapok has grown from the first lifestyle select store in hong kong, to an internationally renowned brand and has become globally known for its authentic yet approachable take on fashion and design. The store focuses on young talented brands that sell unique and alternative fashion, lifestyle and interiors. Alongside this they sell and promote culture and design, which makes the store even more diverse.

Kapok sun street flagship (2019) for fashion, accessories, culture and lifestyle

Kapok – crafted in hong kong at pmq (2014), focusing on hong kong designers and brands