7 May, 2012

LAB CONCEPT – the new fashion destination in Admiralty

7 May, 2012

Remember Queensway Plaza? …Well no, I don’t blame you! Previously a rather nondescript dated walkway of a mall that connected Pacific Place to Admiralty Centre, it’s had a total fashion reboot thanks to LAB CONCEPT.

LAB CONCEPT is the latest brainchild from the people behind Lane Crawford and JOYCE – and it’s basically the best bits of the recently closed LC in Pacific Place transplanted across the road but with a cool fresh facelift! There are fashion, accessories and beauty concessions, but all in an open-place space and with a light bright feel and a fun fashion-forward pop-up store atmosphere.

Fashion-wise, the brands are mostly young and edgy, including Alice + Olivia, T By Alexander Wang, Hudson Jeans, J Brand and Theory; meanwhile, some labels, like American Apparel, Thakoon Addition, Michael by Michael Kors and a unique men’s pop-up store by Scotch & Soda are here exclusive to Hong Kong.

This excitingly marks a proper return to HK for American Apparel – and they have some super-cool vending machines selling vest-tops as well as a more conventional off-the-rack section. I was a little disappointed that the selection of American Apparel wasn’t larger – but with a wall of neon hoodies and racer-backs, this is definitely THE place to get your neon fix this summer!

The beauty section FACES (like the one in TST) is equally impressive, with large counters devoted to Sassy faves MAC, Benefit, Bliss Spa, NARS and JOYCE Beauty amongst others. However, the best bit so far (and imagine how great it must be for a hardened make-up addict like myself to admit!) is shoespace – a fab section dedicated entirely to the latest must-have shoes and accessories. If you enter LAB CONCEPT from the bridge to Pacific Place, you’ll land almost directly in shoespace… and you may find it difficult to ever leave!

Some of the highly-covetable brands in shoespace include McQ by Alexander McQueen, Acne, 3.1 Philip Lim, Opening Ceremony and Repetto – and since summer is now in full swing, the whole place is a riot of bright colours and cool shapes! However, I was most excited about the range of Cambridge Satchel bags they had; having checked the prices, these are not insanely marked up from the UK and I nearly waltzed off with a red one. They also had them in some fabulous fluorescent pink, green and yellow… between the candy-coloured J Brand and Hudson jeans, the zinging American Apparel hoodies and these babies, there is no excuse to not go neon this summer!

I was super impressed with what LAB CONCEPT have done with the space, which has been completely transformed. Currently however, it is still very much a work in progress – the central hub is brand spanking shiny new, yet all the shop spaces around the outside are covered in hoardings with workers still (noisily!) beavering away. It should be completed by August and I’m interested to see what (if any) shops will have survived from the old Queensway and what cool new brands and restaurants LAB CONCEPT will be bringing in! There are also plans to open a second location in Hong Kong later in the year, plus a few in China in 2013 too.

Think there’s no reason to head to Admiralty? Well, think again… because the fun, fresh and fashion-forward LAB CONCEPT is in town! And I can’t stop thinking about that Cambridge Satchel bag to prove it!

LAB CONCEPT, Queensway Plaza, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong


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