Why Are People in Hong Kong so Fashion Crazy?

The best answer to any question.
Oct. 23 2013 2:47 PM

Why Are People in Hong Kong so Fashion Crazy?

Wide format Atlas Obscura Eye Vault Behold  Regular Future Tense XX Factor Weigel Outward Moneybox The World Slatest BrowBeat Bad Astro Crime Lexicon Valley Quora
Hong Kong Fashion Week, 2013

Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images

This question originally appeared on Quora.

Answer by Paul Denlinger, from Hong Kong:

When you get a large number of Chinese in a small piece of land where there is a large amount of cash flowing around, they need to know their status with regard to each other.

Advertisement

Expensive clothes and accessories are a good way to tell.

Answer by Sanjay Sabnani:

To answer this question correctly, you have to go back to the late '70s and early '80s when Hong Kong was the garment manufacturing capital of the world. "Made in Hong Kong" was a punchline for mass produced goods. The local populace got access to all the latest fashions because everything you bought in an American department store was made in Hong Kong. It was only natural that retailers carried some of these export quality styles for their homegrown customers. Unbranded of course, since the locals could not afford what Americans could.

As Hong Kong's middle class emerged and manufacturing gave way to a larger service sector, there were people with greater discretionary incomes who ultimately were no longer satisfied with non-branded goods. They wanted more and this gave rise to Hong Kong becoming (at that time) the knockoff capital of the world. Many gray-market branded items were also labeled as factory rejects for the purpose of siphoning them off to locals and tourists alike. Hong Kong became the world's shopping destination following the same model of low cost manufacturing to knock offs to grey market and ultimately, the real McCoy.

Hong Kong people are so fashion crazy because there was a time when we brought fashion to the world. Designs from a runway in Milan would be in production in less than 30 days. This was before the Internet and FedEx.

Things have changed and the billionaires, centi-millionaires, and just plain old multimillionaires who made their fortunes from manufacturing, shipping, export, and retail just became so wealthy that they are now able to bring the world's best to them for their own amusement.

More questions on Hong Kong:

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.