Bringing fashion and eco-consciousness to Hong Kong
Sarah Fung and her sister, Vivien Fung Thomas, did something that should have been done long ago: they took a relatively simple (but brilliant!) concept of recycling and launched a site that brings haute couture to the masses. HULA, a pre-loved, luxury clothing site, doesn’t offer your sister’s hand-me-downs. It curates designer clothing (some of which are either brand-new or never worn, and others are gently ‘loved’), from some of the coolest women in the fashion industry (bloggers, stylists, editors and buyers), and sells them at discounted prices to women who covet those items. And if that isn’t cool enough, she donates a minimum of 5% of the profits to charity. So, aside from being what a Sassy Girl is all about (smart, sexy, charitable and innovative), she’s mindful of both fashion and our planet’s well being.
Who are you and where are you from?
I am Sarah Fung, founder of HULA. I’m originally from London and now live in HK and love it.
How long have you lived in Hong Kong?
Ten years! Eek!
Where do you live? What do you like about your neighbourhood?
I live in Soho. I love my neighbourhood, there is such a great vibe, the best restaurants and it really is the only part of HK I would like to be.
Read more: Sassy’s Neighbourhood Guide to Poho
How did you become who you are?
I was born in Brighton, UK, into a musical family. My mother, an opera singer and my father, a musician, were in an amateur band together. [My mum] was also a hairdresser, and later had her own beauty salon. My father was a chef and had several ventures, so I have always been surrounded by creativity and entrepreneurship from a young age. I studied in Central Saint Martins and earned a jewellery degree, but later ran my own lingerie line, which sold to high-end boutiques and department stores worldwide. When I ceased the business, I came to HK to work for Lane Crawford (I was there for nine years!). Later I found an Austrian man in a bar on Wyndham St, got married and then started HULA!
What advice would you give someone who wanted to do your job? (What have you learned along the way?)
Seek advice and work with the right people. Make mistakes and make them fast – so you can learn from them!
If you could have another career, what would it be? Why?
I would be a singer/songwriter, maybe even dance. Music and dancing makes me smile.
How do you describe your personal style?
No fuss, feminine with a slight edge. My body type, height and personally suits more structured clothing, rather than anything too printed or with too much fabric. If I were tall and skinny I would totally rock a bohemian look!
Where do you shop in Hong Kong? Any secret finds you can let us in on?
I recently found a cool home/lifestyle showroom that has opened up near my studio in Wong Chuk Hang – Get.Give together with Menu. [Both are] definitely worth a visit! Some of the accessories in my office are from there (Get.Give).
What are your must-have beauty products?
I love wearing Chanel makeup. The application is so light and the simple, and black packaging is a big plus! Cosmetics packaging can be so ugly sometimes.
What is your favourite thing to do at the weekend?
Yoga, cooking (as I never get time), and curling up on the sofa with my hubby, binge-watching a good series. My husband and I just finished Better Call Saul, which is a spin off from Breaking Bad (about the dodgy lawyer, who, in my eyes played one of the best parts in Breaking Bad). It is so good!
Now we are looking forward to being totally immersed in House of Cards Season 5 (which is even more interesting, given the state of current politics right now!).
What is your favourite restaurant in Hong Kong? (If you have a few, tell us!)
I love Asian everything! Chom Chom, Samsen, Cha Cha Wan, The China Club, Din Tai Fung and my favourite bar is Duddell’s (yes they serve dim sum there!) I just love the outside terrace. It is a reason to go there in itself! Hong Kong would be a better place if there was more outdoor space.
[Also], Duddell’s holds interesting art talks and exhibitions, plus they have a great bubble brunch with dim sum (my two favourite things)!
What’s your favourite getaway destination?
For a quick break, I would do Vietnam. We got married in Hanoi, and love to go to Hoi An. The food is so fresh, light and amazing!
What do you take with you when you travel?
My laptop is a must, otherwise I really would totally freak out.
What’s in your handbag at all times?
My makeup bag with mainly Chanel makeup inside, Comme des Garçons purse, Zana Bayne leather keychain and a small umbrella (I am British, so we are used to carrying an umbrella around with us!).
Do you have a best friend? If so, how long have you known each other?
My sister. She has been my bestie my whole life. I just didn’t realise until I was in my mid-20’s when I started appreciating her! Apart from that I have besties in HK, Paris and the UK, so I consider myself to be an extremely lucky lady, as I wouldn’t know what to do without them!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I used to be very proud. But as I matured in life, I realised that it is ok to make mistakes – we are human and the more you make the more you learn!
Thanks to the talented Michelle Proctor of Michelle Proctor Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @michellejproctor and Facebook at www.facebook.com/MichelleProctorPhotography.