The French Invasion

Looks from French brands Les Petites (left) and Innamorato (right)

It’s no secret that the French know their fashion – Paris still reigns as the home of couture and many of the world’s luxury brands are based there. Recently France has taken over a new segment of the market with a range of chic and high quality brands that have the je ne sais quoi factor fashionistas are looking for, without the hefty price tag. Everyone has sat up and took notice, including LVMH who bought French high street brands Sandro and Maje.

Many of these contemporary brands were introduced to Hong Kong two years ago by ex-banker Ariane Zagury, through her concept store Rue Madame. Rue Madame now has three locations including a new outlet in Tsim Sha Tsui, which stocks some of my favourite French finds including Gat Rimon, Maje, Sandro and Iro. The new boutique is the city’s largest at 1,600 square feet and will also house exclusives for spring/summer 12 including Antik Batik (great for ethnic inspired, embellished pieces), Innamorato, Les Petites and another favourite which I will introduce on this blog later in the month.

Another French brand that has hit local shores is American Vintage.  Forget Splendid or James Perse, I am now a convert of their supersoft tees made from supima cotton. Many of them are sheer, making them ideal for layering. The new store, at IFC, carries the brand’s entire range of ready-to-wear for men and women including some cool new trousers, wraps, cardigans and chic sweater dresses.  The spring/summer collection features fun ethnic prints that are bang on trend.

American Vintage’s first store in Asia in Hong Kong (above)

Also new in IFC is iconic shoe brand Repetto. While the brand has previously been available in select department stores around the city, the new boutique also includes dancewear (the kid’s tutus are adorable!) and handbags. Of course what everyone will go for are the colourful, handmade ballet flats that were popularised by fashion icon Brigitte Bardot. I have them in just about every colour, but for spring they have added shades of gold, silver, pink, yellow and bright green, along with fun prints such as a black and white piano pattern.

Who needs to go to Paris, when you have Hong Kong?

Colourful ballet flats at Repetto (above)

American Vintage, Shop 3086-6, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong.
Repetto, Shop 2086, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong, tel: 2521 2068.
Rue Madame, Shop G17, Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, tel: 2375 8038.

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