Born in Shanghai, raised in Hong Kong, Grace Choi was a fashion model before starting her own production company to organize fashion shows and events.
Three years ago, she decided to launch her own fashion brand called Yi-ming — a label with a focus on Asian-influenced cocktail dress design.
Her creations are stunning. For those who haven’t seen them, Grace’s designs are cinematic, sexy and soulful.
Here Grace gives our readers some terrific suggestions and tips for visiting Hong Kong.
Neighourhoods to visit:
* Soho, near Central — Close to my office, a good spot for happy hour drinks.
* Sai Kung — A completely different part of HK with beaches, villages, greenery and mountains… a great place to get away from the busy concrete city!
* Stanley — A relaxing setting with nice restaurants along the seacoast.
* Mira Moon Hotel — A modern luxury boutique hotel that has a similar concept to my designs; a modern Asian twist. And the hotel staff wears my beautifully designed uniforms !!! Hehee 🙂
* Peninsula Hotel — Can’t miss this one!! This is the original classic that represents Hong Kong!
* Upper House — A great spot with a great view and modern design. My 5-star hotel pick.
* dragon-i — Beautiful scenery in terms of people, all fabulous models 😉 This is a spot to see and be seen.
* Drop — A wicked hidden club for crazy dance. Enjoy, dance and get drunk!
* Salon de Ning — A sophisticated upscale lounge in the Peninsula Hotel with live music. I love the glamorous design there, especially the big gate at the front! Those are my eyes! If you go there, you will know why!
* Sai Kung seafood restaurants — A great experience. Choose the live seafood from the tank, sit outdoor beside the sea, and savor the local tastes!
* Shanghai Min — The best Shanghainese food.
* Tsui Wah — a local chain with a diner feel, experience the late night tastes of this HK-style restaurant.
A few HK designers to know:
* Vivienne Tam — originally from HK, Vivienne has become a well-known international Fashion designer who’s now based in New York.
* Another Mountain Man — a successful designer who’s created lots of graphic, advertising, branding campaigns.
* Barney Cheng — a well-known HK designer who has been awarded numerous prestigious titles, including a place in Forbes China’s 2010 list of the ‘Top 25 Influential Chinese in Global Fashion’.
* Go to one of the islands in HK, e.g. Tai O, to see traditional HK island life.
* Best to avoid May through August travel (too hot and humid, plus it’s rainy season).
* Take the ferry to see the amazing harbor view at night while traveling between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.
* If you can, attend Wednesday evening horse racing at the Happy Valley racetrack. You’ll find a great atmosphere with an amazing location. The course is right in the middle of the city, surrounded by tall buildings. Check venue times.
* Hong Kong is a safe, fun, exciting city. Explore, wander and come back often.
Yi-Ming’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Yimingchannel
Through its insistence on consistency and quality, Yi-ming has transported the tailored Asian aesthetic to another time and place, and forged a dramatic cross-cultural style.
Yi-ming celebrates the creation of beautiful clothes that appeal to all ages and ethnicities. It offers stylish, high-quality products as well as inviting the consumer to experience the history and philosophy behind them – a dedication to innovation and exotic imagery.
Yi-ming’s collection is available in online stores and several boutiques in Hong Kong.
All images courtesy of Grace Choi and Yi-ming