Sir David Tang’s latest venture is the two-month-old Tang Tang Tang Tang, a China-chic boutique along Johnston Road in Hong Kong’s busting Wan Chai district.
The name can be both cheeky and confusing: It’s clearly a play on the name of the renowned bon vivant, who is also an entrepreneur and an art collector. The founder of what was one of China’s first luxury brands — Shanghai Tang, now owned by Richemont — meant for the words to be said in quick succession, with a dramatic flair that echoes the opening of Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony. It’s also a nod to China’s imperial past and one of its greatest ruling eras, the Tang Dynasty.
In fact, one of Tang Tang Tang Tang’s signature colors is imperial yellow, along with dark navy, stone gray and ivory, and the merchandise in the store comes in these four color groups.
The store is 3,500 square feet, with apparel in 930 square feet. A mainstay of the brand is the pajama collection, which, according to general manager Sebastian Swarbreck, “comprises our basics. They are all made from silk expressly dyed for us, with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac woven into the cloth. And they are hand-finished by us in-house. No one else does anything remotely similar.”
The Chinese zodiac motif repeats itself throughout the store. “That’s the theme Sir David was keen to run with,” Swarbreck added.
There are pajama collections for men, women and children. The women’s line includes standard pajamas with pants or boxers, short camis, cami-and-boxer sets, long camis and a sleep shirt. The men’s and children’s lines include standard pajama tops with pants or boxers. Prices start at just less than $450 for the standard pajamas.
Swarbreck declined to disclose figures and said it’s too early to project full-year sales.
According to Euromonitor, sales of nightwear are steady and growing in Hong Kong. While official 2013 figures are yet to be compiled, the nightwear subcategory of intimate apparel was projected to increase retail volume to about 6 million units, growth of 2.8 percent from the previous year, the market research firm said. This area is expected to grow 2.5 percent in 2014 to 6.14 million units.
Tang Tang Tang Tang also offers a collection of soft, luxurious bathrobes. “They are made from brushed silk — also custom-woven for us — that feels more like cashmere,” Swarbreck said. “In fact, it’s softer than cashmere. Some are even double-sided.”