Gung ho fa choi! We just watched an amazing display of fireworks over Hong Kong harbor. Wishing you all the best in the year of the snake!
By the way, the snake is from Tiny Footprints and is handknit by women in Bangladesh through a nonprofit called Pebble. Very cool. You can buy it on amazon here. FX loves it! Such a fun toy.
Have you seen the new city guides put out by Fathom for Kate Spade?
Their Shanghai and Tokyo guides look pretty decent.
I’m excited for them to do a Hong Kong guide, but in the meantime their ‘Best of the Web: Hong Kong’ round-up is an awesome resource. And I love their quote from Prince Charles: “Hong Kong has created one of the most successful societies on Earth.”
One of our good friends sent me a copy of Mrs. Astor Regrets after it came up in conversation while he was visiting us.
I literally read the entire book in one HK–> JFK flight and enjoyed every minute of it. I would say it’s elevated, non-fiction, well-written chick-lit, that men will also enjoy. It’s a titillating character study of American aristocrat and philanthropist Brooke Astor and her son’s elder abuse.
Due to her father’s career in the Navy, Brooke spent a lot of time in China during her childhood and when she came into her husband’s vast fortune she began collecting Asian antiquities. She’s also quite known for both conceiving of the idea and also paying for the Met’s Astor Court, “based on a small courtyard within a scholar’s garden in the city of Suzhou, China.”
Later this month, Sotheby’s will be auctioning off the contents of her Manhattan penthouse and her country estate Holly Hill (all these images are a few things that caught my eye from Sotheby’s catalog–didn’t she have quite fun, colorful taste for a socialite?). A big thanks to my friend Kirsten for alerting me to the upcoming auction.
Also included in the auction are a litany of portraits of her beloved dogs, 25 staff uniforms and, of course, some pretty significant bling! Kirsten commented on the menagerie quoting the Aboriginal saying, ‘the more you know, the less you need.’ So true.
If you’re looking for a great beach read, I highly recc:
Sadly, one of the worst things about living abroad is not being able to make it back to the States for everything you would really like to go to…
… and being pregnant doesn’t help things… so I was very sorry to miss my dear friend Jen’s bachelorette.
It doesn’t help that her wedding happens to be on the same day as my sis-in-law, so I won’t be able to make that either… so sad! So I did want to send over a little something to make the night more fun!
For the bride, there was a white feather mask, boa, veil, heart wand, gloves and pearls.
And for the rest of the ladies masks, boas, and wands in a rainbow of colors.
The lanes in Central were the perfect place to go to pick up all this! ‘Made in Chin’ really has does have its advantages.
I’m a fan of the fake, overly-saturated colors, I have to say.
Added a card and packed it all up with a simple, but fun sign.
I also had Annie’s Custom Cookies send over some cookies for snacking in their limo out on the town in NYC.
Didn’t they turn out so super cute?!
And here are some fun shots of the gals dressed up.
Looks like they’re having fun!
It’s hard to really explain how obsessed the Asian female culture is with all things ‘cute.’ It’s not uncommon here to see a really sophisticated woman dressed head to toe in black Louis and Ferragamo pull out a phone with a Hello Kitty charm.
The Japanese even have a word for it and they use it all the time: ‘Kawaii,’ which is now a mainstay of their cultural identity for men and women.
The other day I was in the Landmark building–it lays claim to being some of the most, if not THE most, expensive retail real estate in the world. And I decided to wander into Anteprima to see these ‘cute’ bags.
It turns out that they are all priced between $1500 and $2300 USD! Turns out cute bags are not cheap.
Hello Kitty even made it to Anteprima’s fashion show in Milan last summer.
And two years back Paris debuted her own bag, retailing for $3,600USD. Some interesting KITTY facts from a recent SCMP article:
- Sanrio amassed an operating profit of 21.1 billion yen (HK$2.1 billion) in the 2010 financial year, and 80 per cent of its revenue came from Hello Kitty licensing fees.
- At the age of 37, Hello Kitty is losing her cool in her home market of Japan. However, the mouthless cartoon cat with a red bow is still popular among the youth in China, where Hello Kitty branding opportunities abound.
- “Our fans are increasing very fast,” said Daisy Dai, general manager of CYF China, the only Sanrio licensee with rights to open branded gift shops on the mainland. The retailer has about 150,000 regular customers, and nearly a third of them joined last year. Similar to Japan, about 80 per cent of consumers were female and most are students and so-called office ladies, she said. “Some are attracted by Kitty’s cuteness, purity and innocence; some are nostalgic about Kitty, which hearkens back to a time in their childhood; and some simply adore Japanese pop culture,” said Dai. She added that bags, wallets, figurines and watches were the most sought-after items.