April 10 2019 Update: Label Chic has closed down operations.
In an airy, sun-drenched showroom overlooking a hub of popular cafes and stylish shops over trendy Gough Street, Héloïse Mendes looks effortlessly chic in an ivory silk Iro shirt, dark Les Prairies de Paris skirt paired with a smart navy blue sweater by J Crew. Gracefully gliding about the room (in a sleek pair of Rupert Sanderson ankle boots, mind you) and delicately thumbing through racks of gorgeous designer wear, it could come a surprise to anyone that every single item in this salon is secondhand. It’s sustainable fashion with a French twist, we are thrilled to announce that Hong Kong’s prominent preloved fashion pop-up Label Chic has found a permanent home in SoHo.
Label Chic is perhaps best known for their seasonal pop ups of contemporary and high end apparel, shoes and fashion accessories at affordable prices, taking place for weeks at a time. Now, clients can shop all year round for the latest designer labels at one designated location. In the new showroom on the third floor of Gough Plaza, racks are lined with Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Sandro, Chloé, Saint Laurent and many more – all in impeccable quality and superb condition. Style savant and founder, Mendes – who curates the collection with the eye of a classic and fashion-forward fashionista – sat down with us and opened up about her humble beginnings.
Relocating to Hong Kong seven years ago, the native Parisian decided to leave her career in advertising to pursue her passion. “When I arrived here, I couldn’t find brands that I liked wearing,” recalls Mendes. “There were just two options of clothing: too cheap or too, too expensive – nothing in between. It’s very common in Europe to have secondhand shops of high-end brands and luxury items. I love fashion and knew I wanted to launch my own business. Using my experience and what I knew from growing up in Paris, I thought maybe I’d do something second-hand here.” Starting with the French community, Mendes launched a web site, née Mademoiselle Chic, and organized a private sale at her place in Stanley to great fanfare. In 2015, the mother of two decided to launch her first pop-up at (then just opened) PMQ in Central attracting a loyal following of locals and expats, showing their support for Label Chic’s seasonal pop-ups. After two years of rapid growth at PMQ, she spent the last year in NoHo (in the space above Yoga Bam Bam!) before taking the plunge. “I love running pop-up shops, they’re very exciting! But after the last one, I wanted to take it to the next level have my own space,” Mendes recalls exuberantly. “Gough Street is my most favorite street in Hong Kong. The first time when my husband and I came, we stayed at LKF Hotel on Aberdeen and Kau U Fong Street seven years ago. Gough reminded me so much of the streets in Paris with the cafes and little shops and I am so happy to be here!”
Stepping into the lush 500 sq.ft. space with its lofty ceilings and industrial, steel-framed windows dripping with natural lighting, the atmosphere is warm, inviting, serene and très chic. The merchandise presents like an array of luxe offerings in what feels less like a store than the dreamy abode of a supremely stylish shopper. The beauty of Label Chic is the realization that it is much more affordable shopping here than the stores themselves. In addition, the service exceeds by having a fashion stylist like Mendes giving personalized attention and providing advanced knowledge of everything you’re thinking of trying on. Browse the racks from first-tier designer labels with some items in current season that are less than two years old. Shoes run from Jimmy Choo, Sergio Rossi, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Roger Vivier and the like – passing Mendes’ discerning eye and all in amazing quality. “I don’t want to only promote only luxury brands,” she explains. “The number one thing is the quality and craftsmanship has to be there.” We spotted some stunning J Crew and Vince tops just as she said that.
So run (or make an appointment), don’t walk to Label Chic. Oh, and that fabulous, preloved Fendi handbag you see? It’s mine! (Just kidding, but not really).
3/F, Shop A, 33 Gough Street, Gough Plaza, Central, +852 6254 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org; Open Wednesday and Friday 11:00AM – 6:00PM, Thursdays 2:30PM – 8:00PM, other days by appointment only.
Images courtesy of Green Queen and Label Chic.