From Hong Kong with love: a talk about vintage
During my endless etsian searches for my 30 years’ anniversary gift, I discovered this incredible boutique and instantly fell in love with their carefully selected vintage pieces, perfectly suited for today’s modern life.
Justine and Vic are the two talented curators and owners of Justkitsch and a loving, happy couple living in Hong Kong. And while we were exchanging emails regarding measurements (I’m a semi-disaster when it comes to that), I realized how much I enjoy talking to Justine and so, I decided I wanted to know more about them and about the story of their shop.
Vintage Ivory Wedding Gown available on Justkitsch
I was happy to discover that this one is a story featuring passion for design, for past eras, for colors and textures: it’s a true and sincere ode to style and sophistication. And above all, it is a beautiful love story between people, transcending time and space. And once again, it became clear to me that sometimes, without even knowing, there are wonderful people who may bring joy and inspiration into our lives and they are surprisingly closer than we think. In this case, a distance of 8000 kilometers didn’t mean anything, as Justine and Vic, were just one “click” away from me.
Justine writes: “Vic and I have been together for over 6 years. When I met him, he was running his own fashion boutique in Hong Kong: from design to production to running the shop all by himself. So it was very obvious that fashion is the passion of his life. A few years later we evolved from running a physical shop to an online shop on Etsy. There are still a few items designed by Vic currently selling in our shop, but now our key focus is on vintage finds.“
*The following answers are given by Vic*
My birthday gift: Vintage Long Cardigan/ Green Emerald Purse/ Missoni Inspired Dress
When did you start your online vintage shop?
Treasure hunting, resurrecting garments and accessories, discovering past lives and cheering for future stories yet to be written what do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy every part of the process (fashion is in my blood!). If I have to pick I would say treasure hunting and styling. I am very grateful that during treasure hunting I am able to make friends with other vintage fashion lovers, and also get to see some really beautiful clothes that will never be reproduced or reappear in the market again. What amazes me most about vintage clothing are the beautiful fabrics, the level of craftsmanship and sophisticated design, which the current fast fashion industry cannot replicate.
And now that I do not make my own design, styling gives me a chance to be creative and original.
What is the ethos of your business? And where does this passion for vintage come from?
Our ethos is to encourage people to appreciate history and hopefully preserve vintage items as much as we are. Each piece of vintage clothing is reflective of the era it was produced. Unfortunately, consumerism dominates nowadays and has the opposite effect against our ethos. We also hope to protect the environment by saving clothing from going into the bin.
As for passion…it comes from my love for beautiful fabrics, sophisticated craftsmanship and design.
Vintage MISSONI Ladies Jacket/ CHRISTIAN DIOR Mirror Charm Necklace/ NINA RICCI pleated chiffon blouse/ All items available on Justkitsch Hurry!
What I, as your customer, enjoy most about your shop is that every piece is presented perfectly styled, combined with other pieces and accessories. Who does the styling?
Vic. Styling and taking photos are my favorite routine for the weekend, in addition to treasure hunting. Justine gives me her opinion from time to time, when my inspiration runs dry and when I need to understand a lady’s preference.
Tell me more about the Hong Kong fashion scene. Is there a visible interest in vintage clothing?
Unfortunately there is only a small crowd of vintage clothing lovers in HK. But that also brings us closer. We are keen to bond with each other and share information.
Of course vintage sellers rarely give away their sourcing secrets, but can you mention just one great place for vintage shopping in Hong Kong?
The development in Hong Kong is so fast that shops on the same street can be totally different in just a few months. Therefore instead of searching in flea markets as one would probably imagine (and if one existed in HK), we are actually shopping from shops that are about to close down. It is sad that a lot of shops established for over 20 years in Hong Kong have closed down, but we hope that our shop can help these vintage items in finding a new owner.
Vintage YOHJI YAMAMOTO Ladies Jacket/ Floral Corset/GILLIAN Leather Purse – All available on Justkitsch
Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms. Where does yours come from?
Both Justine and I grew up in the 80s. We love that decade and we both enjoy music and movies from that time. I would say that’s where my inspiration comes from, and I am trying to reminisce that period.
Dealing with so much beauty from past decades on a daily basis, I’m curious to know: what is your personal favorite decade for style?
Probably the mid-century (the 60s and the 70s), the golden time of my parents. I have seen photos of them wearing very beautiful clothing.
What has been one of your best vintage find so far?
It is hard to pick one!! I love all of them!
Taking a walk down memory lane, was there a particular moment/event in your life that defined the person you are today?
I would say it is when I just started my boutique in Hong Kong, knowing that people liked my design. That gave me confidence in myself and to continue to pursue my passion.
Thank you so much, Justine and Vic!
Friends, be sure to pay this lovely couple a visit down to their online shop. Be aware though: you will fall in love!
* All images are courtesy of Justine and Vic/ Justkitsch