I was in Hong Kong for a week long editor’s conference and was looking for a high-end gift for my high maintenance husband.
Walking along the IFC, I drooled when I saw brand names like Tom Ford and Ascot Chang which carries Brioni. Brioni the makers of the tuxedo in James Bond’s Casino Royale!
As a Singaporean, I felt envious. Why doesn’t Singapore have top notch brands setting up shop in this city?
The daggers of envy were stabbed deeper when Marketing’s entire regional editorial team visited the Monocole store. Global affairs magazine Monocle opened its second retail store in Asia, launching a Hong Kong bureau to join London, Tokyo, New York and Zürich.
The store will play a dual role, acting as a retails front and as a hub for its editorial operations.
Why didn’t Monocole’s editor Tyler Brule set up operations in Singapore?
I decided to ask some branding experts for their thoughts.
Size, perception and reality were the reasons given to why high-end brands set up in Hong Kong. Size does matter especially with Hong Kong’s 7 million population versus Singapore’s 5 million. This makes Hong Kong a more attractive choice for a premium brand’s location after Tokyo and Shanghai.
“Though perception is changing, Hong Kong has a longer history as a global city having attracted global financiers and travelers for longer too. And reality is another reason. Hong Kong’s climate plays a role with its four seasons linking well to the fashion industry’s exciting seasonal cycles versus Singapore’s ‘single’ season. Hong Kong has also been longer linked with ostentatious wealth which would also attract premium brands to Hong Kong first, before Singapore,” said brand specialist Interbrand.
I got my answers but my envy didn’t end.
I did leave Hong Kong with a Brioni wallet though.