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Deemed as Hong Kong’s very own little Brooklyn, Sham Shui Po has been catching heat as the next go-to spot for designers and artists. The predominantly low-income neighborhood, with its influx of working-class families living in low-rent subdivided flats, is witnessing a creative and economic boom.
Considered the mecca of fabric wholesalers and small arts and crafts stores, it’s no surprise that many design students have been regular patrons of the district. It was even once home to the prestigious art school Savannah College of Art and Design, before its unfortunate closure in late 2020.
Despite the school’s closing, the neighborhood didn’t see a stop in young innovators and entrepreneurs setting up shop on the so-called “dark side." From fun art galleries to quirky coffee shops and design shops, we’ve rounded up some of the top spots giving Sham Shui Po its new edge.
Once an old, rundown, three-story textile shop, Phvlo Hatch has since been transformed into a thriving new creative space by Hong Kong interior design company The Good Studio. While its facade is a trendy coffee stop, its second and third floors are showrooms and workspaces for local fashion brand Phvlo, where young designers and influencers regularly flock to.
Founded by British-Chinese designer Johanna ho, Phvlo promotes sustainable fashion with new eco-friendly technologies and fabrics that have a low carbon footprint. Partnered with a local NGO Hatch, they also aim to give back to the community by training underprivileged women and young people. The creative space hosts regular exhibits and educational workshops, making it a gem for many blossoming artists involved in an array of mediums including fashion, film, art and design.
Address: 13 Wong Chuk St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
WSNXT, formerly known as WomanBoss, is a modern cafe and concept store that has dedicated itself to promoting women-owned businesses and empowering female entrepreneurs. Besides serving up a great cup of collagen-infused coffee, it also hosts a collection of local designer products that have your wellness needs in mind like eco-friendly and sustainable goods.
Besides highlighting the incredible stories of young women business owners in the city, creatives can head upstairs to find regular exhibitions by local and international artists. After exploring the latest shows, head back down to the shop’s test kitchen housing seasonal and healthy dining experiments of chef Phoebe Lo.
Address: 82-84 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
As part of Redress, a renowned environmental charity in Hong Kong aiming to fight fast fashion by preventing textile waste, The Redress Closet is an extension of its sustainable consumption efforts. Originally founded in 2007 by Christina Dean, it is Asia’s first environmental NGO which focuses on the fashion industry.
The secondhand clothing store, which opened earlier this year in Sham Shui Po, is a collection of curated clothing and accessory items. Under the Redress’s Takeback program, the company partnered with many of the world’s leading fashion brands, setting up 34 donation spots around the city for people to drop off their used clothes and give them new life.
Address: 78 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This independently run art gallery founded by Kim Lam acts as a neutral space for artists to execute their creative visions. Parallel Space has showcased a number of different exhibits, previously hosting local artist Don Mak’s surreal illustrations, while featuring the works of director and photographer Miss Bean and displaying graphic design prints by DaaiDaaBinLo. Besides Parallel Space’s many shows, the place has also organized many “art-tivities” including creative workshops and talk panels.
Address: 202 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Whoever said, “today’s kids will never know what vinyl is” clearly didn’t anticipate how nostalgic so many young people would get in the later half of the 2010s. This quirky record store located on Tai Nan Street was opened by three audiophiles, all of whom have had long careers in music.
Named after an obscure U.K.-band from the ‘60s, the store is also an event promoter that throws organized music festivals and brings numerous international acts to Hong Kong. For those planning to visit, get ready to search through stacks of vinyls and CDs spanning everything from jazz-funk to psychedelic rock to modern alt-pop.
Address: G/F, 199 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Founded by local artist Wong Tin-yan, Form Society is a culture space focused on bringing in the art community.. The 1,300 square-foot store is a multipurpose exhibition area that hosts regular workshops, pop-up events and intimate talks for creatives.
Past exhibits have featured emerging local talents across a number of mediums like illustration, animation and multimedia installations. The space has also held screenings for the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival and the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Address: 186 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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