Barrister, charity founder, businessman and savvy dresser Brandon Chau will soon be opening a menswear pop-up "club",
Brandon Chau is a busy man. As a barrister, the chairman of the luxury bedding company Noblesse Group and a charity founder, you’d imagine the son of Brenda and the late Kai-bong Chau might have enough on his plate. However, he’s about to add another profession to his list—that of shopkeeper, with his menswear emporium Attire House preparing to open in the Central Building later this month. “Basically, our concept is for an integrated sartorial lifestyle club,” he explains. “We hope it will become a destination for gentlemen who can meet there and, apart from buying quality artisanal clothes, they can gather for a drink, smoke a cigar or have their hair cut by a barber. It’s more like a club than just a menswear store.”
Chau came up with the idea with his business partner, Roger Chan, founder of the chocolate brand Vero. “He’s also a menswear enthusiast and we basically got hitched the moment we met. Once we had the idea, we were almost unstoppable. Last year, we went on a sartorial adventure to Europe and Japan, meeting wonderful craftsmen, shoemakers and tailors. For me, the whole journey really was a once-ina-lifetime thing. All the brands we found are very unique; a lot of them are family owned and a lot of what they do is completely handmade. Now, we hope to bring some of their heritage and craftsmanship here to Hong Kong.”
Attire House will start life as a pop-up in the Central Building, but there are plans for a permanent space to open by the end of the year. The business will have a stable of labels it works with, offering ready-to-wear consistently, as well as bespoke opportunities with tailors and brands that will visit three or four times a year in a series of trunk shows. Alongside British stalwarts such as Turnbull & Asser, Anderson & Sheppard and GJ Cleverley, customers will find brands such as Naples-based suitmakers Cesare Atolinni (“basically the godfathers of Neapolitan style,” says Chau), Italian shirtmaker Finamore and Japanese shoemaker Chihiro Yamaguchi.
Alongside all that, visitors will find a space in the corner run by the extremely chic barbers Gentlemen’s Tonic, and some vintage Cuban cigars and humidors as part of Attire House’s broader lifestyle concept. On the cocktail front, the business is working with the mixologist Hidetsugu Ueno from cult Tokyo hotspot Bar High Five. “He’ll be coming to Hong Kong some time in July to work with us on a pop-up,” says Chau. “And it’s the first time he’s done anything outside Tokyo, so we’re very fortunate.”
For Chau, a man who counts James Bond and Winston Churchill among his personal heroes, it’s the culmination of a lifetime spent fascinated by the beauty of traditional menswear and a more classic lifestyle. “My first teacher was my dad. His style couldn’t have been more different from mine. It was definitely more on the dramatic side and more flamboyant, but he taught me how to wear suits, about the difference between single- and double-breasted, the importance of the size of the lapel. From a very young age, I cultivated this timeless and classic style. I fell in love with suits and by the time I was 17, I was already wearing one. People used to look at me and be like, ‘What on earth is wrong with you?’”
Chau may have stood out from the crowd in his school days, but now he feels the world has cottoned on to the idea of quality craftsmanship. “What’s happening is like a revival,” he says. “In other places like Tokyo or Seoul, they already have this appreciation of quality, while Hong Kong and China have been a little behind. But people are beginning to get fed up with mass-produced luxury. They want to take the time to find quality heritage products and appreciate the lifestyle that goes with them.” Now you can rely on Chau to deliver it— with a perfectly shaken cocktail on the side.
Attire House is located at G/F, shop 28, Central Building, 1-3 Pedder street, Central