Dream Big, Shop Small - FASHIONALLY x WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND Pop-up store

It’s hard to find a dreamer in Hong Kong, and even more difficult to find those who have actually made their dreams come true. Married designer duo Kee and Mike realised their ambitions after opening their first boutique, WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND, in Tsim Sha Tsui 15 years ago. They relocated to Haven Street in Causeway Bay two and a half years back for a change of scene.
From 8-21 June, FASHIONALLY.com and WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND will present 9 local designer brands at its pop-up store to showcase their latest collections.
“WAGAMAMA” in Japanese means “self-centred” and their work encapsulates playfulness with an artistic sensibility that goes beyond the trend. Dedicated to bring uniqueness to people who enjoy life, the designer duo channel fun and inspiration from everyday life into their work, which comprises menswear, womenswear, kidswear, shoes and handbags.
Kee still remembers the time when they relocated to Haven Street, when a majority of the neighbourhood was occupied by car garages. Gradually, fashion boutiques, salons and cafes moved in and the street began to attract some of the city’s most hip residents.
Regulars aside, WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND also pick up custom from foodies in the neighbourhood to sample local delicacies. Thanks to media coverage and features in travel magazines, tourists from Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan also frequent WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND.

Now that the brand is 15 years old, Kee feels she is familiar with the mindset of Hong Kong consumers. “Our loyal customers are fond of Hong Kong designer brands, but the general public have set a limit on the price they are willing to pay for local brand items. If a local brand is charging similar to an international brand, they tend to choose the latter. Young Hong Kong brands bear relatively high costs such as exhibition, small-scale manufacturing and rent, which make them less competitive in pricing,” she says. This is one of the reasons that the designer duo do not create by season nor attend exhibitions.
The shop isn’t called “PLAYGROUND” for nothing. When they started the business, Kee and Mike wanted to create a space where their designer friends could showcase and sell their works and  have fun together. With a more spacious store in Haven Street, Kee is keen to explore different opportunities with local designers and they are currently working on crossover projects with several Hong Kong designers. These potential collaborations will not only give much-needed exposure to the young brands, but also prove attractive to regular customers looking for something different, she adds.
In addition to WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND, the local brands participating in this pop-up event are YEUNG CHIN, Phenotypsetter, NECRO POON, FromClothingOf, DEMO., KENSON, SKETCHAROUND, Lapeewee and kenaxleung. Asked to nominate a favourite, Kee says, “YEUNG CHIN’s work is down-to-earth – he knows what his target audience wants, and does it with reasonable pricing.”
During the pop-up period, members of WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND can enjoy 15 per cent off any purchase, or 20 per cent off a purchase of two or more items. Non-members will receive a 15 per cent discount upon purchase of two or more items.
A Summer Circus party will be held on the evening of 9 June to kick off the pop-up event.


Venue: WAGAMAMA PLAYGROUND, G/F, 29 Haven Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Date:  8-21 June 2017

Opening hours: Mondays to Sundays: 4pm-10pm       

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