Reaching for the Sun, Moon and Stars: Experiencing Fashion Retail in the Neighbourhood in Hong Kong

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The relationship between fashion and the city is founded on symbiotic assumptions representing and symbolising modernity in constructing and exploring urban identity. Manifestations of this situation are apparent in the way that fashion is played out globally in city spaces and places through an endless cycle of creation, dissolution and recreation of experiential retail space in new forms of urbanism. This dynamic process also operates on micro and macro levels, as clothing envelops the body in its material layering in the same way that urban buildings contain bodies within their frame. Both fashion and architectural spaces negotiate boundaries between public and private spaces while delineating identities in their broader societal locations. Consequently, this paper examines fashion retail through the lens of constructing and engaging with the consumer experience within a particular Hong Kong neighbourhood recently gentrified and rebranded. A case study approach is adopted featuring a grounded analysis of a selected retail zone in Hong Kong’s Star, Sun and Moon Street precinct. The analysis is based on interpretive interviews with situated retailers examining how constructed spaces are imagined and experienced when facilitating experiential value. This occurs in the combined process of place-making and selling fashion from physical, material, aesthetic, symbolic and perceptual angles and by employing sensory, experiential cues to generate participation and proximity. It further questions the generic effectiveness of sensory, experiential drivers in locating and engaging the beneficiaries of infrastructural and cultural imaginaries for fashion-based retail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-323
Number of pages28
JournalFashion Practice
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

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