After Several Visits To Hong Kong, I Finally Found Out Where To Shop For Raw Denim
I have been eating sushi at this great place called Sushi One on Cameron Road in Hong Kong for 7 years without knowing that a true denim treasure was hidden just around the corner. After several visits to the city (and plenty of shopping), I assumed it didn’t have any proper denim stores. Man, was I wrong. Before I went in November 2014 for the Hong Kong Super Series, I found out that the Pearl of the Orient is home to no other than the famous Take5 and Benny’s Store.
Take5: The Great Wall of Denim
Now, some of you hardcore denimheads may be thinking, ‘how couldn’t you know about Take5?!’ In all fairness, I haven’t been in the denim game for that long (read more about how I got into raw denim here) – and I’ll tell you that store was seriously hard to find. I walked around the street for 20 minutes and had to call the store (twice) to find it. Eventually I did find the store and, damn, what a place.
The first thing you see is “the great wall” of Japanese denim. It feels like it’s going all the way from Beijing down to Hong Kong and Cameron Road. Iron Heart, Momotaro, Studio D’Artisan, Samurai Jeans, The Flat Head, Toys McCoys, Sugar Cane, Pherrow’s, and it goes on.
As if that wasn’t enough, this Asian denim all-star also has a wall with all their collaborations. Terrence who works there has giving his Samurai x Take5 some serious wear. Stupid me I forgot to ask him about his wash and wear stats.
Get All Decked-Out
Take5 is well-stocked with leather jackets as well. I had a good eye a very nice one from Toys McCoys and a leather shirt from The Flat Head. The jacket was around $2500 – a big dig in the pocket, but who wouldn’t love to have one of these? The store also has a good selection of accessories, sweats, and shirts.
They Even Have Women’s Raw Jeans
Another quite unusual thing is their Japanese raw denim selection for women; several options in different weights and materials, something completely unimaginable in Scandinavia. I bought a pair of Samurais for my girlfriend.
Benny’s Store: Dress Like A Gentleman
The friendly staff at Take5 advised me to pay a visit to the owners other shop, Benny’s Store, just a few streets away. This one was surprisingly easy to find. When I got there, I bumped into the owner, Benny Seki – who never misses a photo opportunity. He also had time for a little chat.
Benny has a huge passion for Japanese denim and well-crafted clothing. But Take5 is all about raw denim, Benny’s Store is a little more “dressed up.” Suits in 1920’s style. Dress shoes and shirts for the classic gentleman’s attire. I suddenly felt like suiting up and putting on a nice tie and waistcoat. Nevertheless, Benny’s Store is also where you can get your worn out jeans fixed.
Denimhead Must-Visit: Get Deals on Red Wing At the Ladies Market
As I said, I’ve done quite a bit of shopping in Hong Kong. But while it was only recently I discovered where to get my denim fix, I’ve known for years that the Ladies Market is where I can get proper footwear. Unlike what the name may suggest, it’s not only for women. This place is sneaker-heaven, and it’s also where I’ve found some great Red Wing bargains.
The selection was more or less similar to that of the last few years, but the prices had been raised a bit. It feels weird to shop your Red Wings with all the plastic on – I understand there is a climate issue and that the shoes should be kept mint, but still, the plastic wrap, come on guys.
The advice you get for sizing and care is also a lot better in a Red Wing flagship store (and it should be). So, if you’re going to buy your first pair, don’t do it at the Ladies Market. However, lots of Chinese customers get their fix on Red Wings in Hong Kong – apparently the popular American boots are tough to find anywhere in China (surprise).
Turns Out Hong Kong Actually IS A Place For Denim Lovers
Before I visited Take5 and Benny’s Store, I thought this article would be one big critique of the missing denim scene in “the Fragrant Harbour.” My working title was even “Hong Kong, not for denim lovers.” Well, that’s just not true, is it?