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G.O.D’s Letterbox leather bag is one you can’t wait to post on Instagram
Translated from Cantonese, G.O.D means “to live better”, and for 22 years that’s exactly the promise co-founders Douglas Young and Benjamin Lau have been fulfilling in Hong Kong. In a world populated by Western-centric culture, the brand, with more than eight stores in the city and a pop-up in Shenzhen, remains a proud Hong Kong heritage brand and is still privately owned by the duo. G.O.D sells numerous categories of merchandise, from homeware to fashion and from gifts to food items. And the hits keep on coming. Witness the brand’s newly released Letterbox bags, a direct appropriation of the city’s domestic mailboxes, which punctuate the city’s aesthetic at every turn. Handmade from leather in a limited edition first run and designed by Young, the snappy accessories are sure to become as desirable and ubiquitous as some of the brand’s other greatest hits, including the red lantern decorative lights and the women’s qipaos.
Young is a leading voice regarding design, arts, creativity and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, and international companies seek his guidance on design and cultural considerations when establishing entities in the city. In 2015, he was named one of Debrett’s Hong Kong 100 in the field of art, architecture and design. As an outspoken proponent of cultural enterprise in Hong Kong, Young is often called upon by such media outlets as CNN, Time and The Wall Street Journal to share his views on Hong Kong culture and identity.
What unites all the product categories is the single philosophy of “Contemporary Asian” style. That edge means G.O.D participates in marketplaces and pop-ups in department stores and shopping centres around the world. It has made the pioneering brand a shoo- in for collaborations, with international brands including Swarovski, Hello Kitty, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Kjeldsens among an inventory of more than 50. G.O.D was involved with one of the first Starbucks to globally break away from its corporate mould – in the style of a 1960s Hong Kong eatery. Perhaps its most notable and prescient move was the brand’s commissioning and ownership of Hong Kong’s most photographed wall on Hollywood Road in Central, which has become a must-visit Insta-Mecca at weekends for Seoul and Tokyo’s social-media sets. Get posting.
Clockwise from top: Iron Gate bookmarks, set of four; Douglas Young, the boss of G.O.D; red lantern decorative lights; mini teapot and tea infuser; the new Letterbox leather bags