Sad To See This Happening In Hong Kong But …

Sad To See This Happening In Hong Kong

To be honest, if you’re going to “occupy” a space illegally, don’t cry if police use whatever force they deem necessary to remove you.

Foreign reporter or not, don’t stand on someone’s car and expect to get away with it.

I think everyone saying “Oh but they’re just students and only armed with umbrellas” is clearly missing the point.

I really can see no scenario will this end well for protestors in HK (or the people of HK). At the end of the day, HK belongs to China and China is China.

I honestly feel that everyone should have dispersed the day after National Day when media all over the world praised the protestors for being so orderly and peaceful. Now it’s just dragged out into an impasse and the only way out will be violence, which is not going to be good for HK, but business as usual for China.

I really hope there are some voices of reason on the ground encouraging people to go home.

Instagram: @badboyben

A BATHING APE SOLD TO I.T FOR $2.8MILLION

A Bathing Ape

Here’s a HUGE piece of news for those of you who are interested in the streetwear industry:

TOKYO—One of the most influential Japanese clothing brands to emerge over the past two decades has been snapped up by a Hong Kong apparel maker, in a move that underscores the growing wave of acquisitions of Japanese firms by their Asian competitors.

A Bathing Ape—better known as BAPE—grew from a single shop on a backstreet in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district. Its T-shirts, hoodies and jeans, designed by Tomoaki Nagao, known as Nigo, acquired a cult following among young Japanese men when the brand launched in 1993, and was later embraced by hip-hop icons such as Kanye West and Jay-Z. Microsoft’s X-Box and Nintendo’s DS game handset were emblazoned with BAPE designs, and BAPE-branded condoms were part of the label’s lineup.

Now, I.T Ltd., a Hong Kong-based clothing company, is set to buy a roughly 90% stake in Nowhere Co., the Japanese operator of A Bathing Ape, for 230 million yen ($2.8 million) from Mr. Nagao.

A Bathing Ape

The move comes of the heels of a spate of deals by Asian buyers of Japanese companies and real estate. Marlion Holdings Ltd., owned by a consortium of Chinese investors, last year bought more than 50% of Honma Golf for an undisclosed price. The Hilton in Niseko Village, a popular ski resort in Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, was snapped up by YTL Corp., a Malaysian infrastructure conglomerate, for six billion yen.

I.T is aiming to increase its market share in street fashion in both Hong Kong and mainland China, where the appetite for A Bathing Ape’s $75 T-shirts is growing as younger Chinese consumers look for edgier styles with an established brand.

A Bathing Ape opened its first store in Beijing in January, and has retail outlets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and New York. Its Los Angeles store closed last year.

A Bathing Ape

In A Bathing Ape’s heyday, lines would snake around the shop in Harajuku with scores of young men eager to buy one of its T-shirts, which were made in limited batches. But in recent years, the balance sheet of the Nowhere Group, the operator of A Bathing Ape, has suffered. For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010, its net loss was 119 million yen, slightly better than a loss of 267.4 million yen the previous year. The company had liabilities totaling 1.03 billion yen in the year ended August 31. I.T will also guarantee the company’s outstanding loans of 2.6 billion yen.

I.T said in a press release that it will “promptly rationalize Nowhere Group’s capital structure to restore a healthy balance sheet and positive cashflow. It is anticipated that measures to be taken will include implementation of stringent cost controls.”

Mr. Nagao has agreed to stay on as the creative director of Nowhere for two years, focusing on product design, brand direction and image development.

By MARIKO SANCHANTA for the Wall Street Journal

A Bathing Ape

$2.8 million is about the price of 2 of Nigo’s cars?

I.T is guaranteeing Nowhere’s 2.6 billion yen in outstanding loans so just think about how many Ts they’re going to have to sell.

Oh and here’s a spot the BBC did on Nigo a few years ago:

ROMAGO PRES. MC JIN – “IT’S ABOUT TIME”

Dope track plugging Romago watches from my boy Jin, love the car and love the watches but what’s the deal with the girl?

She’s helping him get dressed etc etc, but why is made out to be a bad thing?

The girl looks so fine, I think they should have flipped it the other way where she helps him make sure he is always on time.

I think that would have made for much better viewing – but instead the video comes of as slightly weird and we don’t really know what’s going on.

Dope track though!

P.S. For those who don’t know, Romago is a new watch brand from Hong Kong that was established in 2009.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH MALAYSIA? (PART 1)

10th Malaysian Plan

Sometimes we laugh at how backward Malaysia is when compared to Hong Kong, Taipei or even Singapore but a few weeks ago I read an article in The Star that I found VERY disturbing and made me understand why Malaysia IS actually so backward.

We all know that Malaysia is a developing country and the government keeps saying that they will turn Malaysia into a developed country by the year 2020.

That’s why they have these massive initiatives called the “Nth Malaysia Plan

This article was about the 10th Malaysia Plan. I don’t normally pay attention to this kind of propaganda but I was curious to see how our government was going to spend 230 billion ringgit so I read it.

The bulk of the article was mainly political hype but something caught my attention and my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets:

10th Malaysian Plan

Holy fucking shit! Less than 1/4 of Malaysians have an academic qualification that’s higher than high school?

That is a scary number because that means right now there are around 20 million people in Malaysia who don’t have an education standard that’s higher than Form 5.

What I really want to know is out of the 77% – how many HAVEN’T graduated from high school?

How is Malaysia’s society supposed to function properly if people here don’t even have a proper education?

No wonder everyone’s turning into a fucking gangster nowadays (recently a duo made the news because they killed a dude for RM150)

-_-”

I really think that the government should make education their highest priority.

Smart citizens = productive citizens.

Stop building all those ridiculous mega projects and white elephants and concentrating on making your people smarter.

Having the most shopping malls in the world or the tallest building wherever is NOT going to benefit the people of Malaysia in anyway whatsoever. If your people are uneducated (and STUPID) then no matter how many nice buildings or shopping malls you build, the country will still NEVER be developed and foreign investors will still NOT come here to invest.

The only people who say school is over-rated are those who never graduated.

P.S. In stark contrast, around 55%% of the population of Hong Kong has a qualification that’s higher than high school. Hmm.

P.P.S. Sometimes from now on, I will highlight issues I think are plaguing Malaysia on my blog. I know its a bit too much to ask of some but I hope readers will look at my commentary objectively and formulate educated opinions of their own.

DC SPRING 2011 FASHION SHOW IN HK (PART 12) – MONG KOK

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Hands down, my favorite district in Hong Kong is Mong Kok.

It’s dirty, crowded, rammed with shops/restaurants/roadside food and contains the infamous “Sneaker Street” – what’s not to like?

Also, there aren’t a lot of places in the world where you can still go shopping for clothes at 12.30am – in a proper boutique.

I didn’t take a lot of photos because we were really pressed for time so it was a mad dash for me and brand new AliveNotDead blogger Shandy.

By this time I was convinced that my legs had broken from all the walking but unfortunately I still had to soldier on – no rest for the wicked!

I spotted this Exige on the way back to the hotel:

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Sexy!

DC SPRING 2011 FASHION SHOW IN HK (PART 11) – HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

One place I wanted to make sure I had time to visit when I went back to Hong Kong was Disneyland.

I know I know, it doesn’t really seem “me” but I have to confess that I am fascinated with Disneyland.

I love their painstaking attention to detail and the commitment to creating a magical experience for anyone who ventures into any of their parks worldwide.

In a world where so much war/fighting/unrest exists, I like the idea that there is a place where you can go where everyone is happy, even if it’s for a few hours. Disneyland has been committed to bringing smiles to people worldwide since 1955 and I really believe that it is (as Disney puts it) “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Or as Walt said:

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past … and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

As expected, Disneyland first-timer Shandy was running and screaming all the way around the park, “OMG it’s so cute! OMG it’s so beautiful! OMG it’s so pretty!”

All-things-Disney has a really strange effect on girls.

And me being the out-of-shape old man that I am was like this for most of the afternoon:

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

I am SOOOO out-of-shape it’s not funny. Living in Penang has made me fucking lazy. I never walk anywhere if it’s more than 20 metres – I drive. So you can imagine, having to walk everywhere in Hong Kong is like asking me to climb Mount Everest.

Every time I saw a park bench in Disneyland, I made a bee-line for it and plonked myself down, pretending that I needed to check my iPhone for “important messages” or something.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

As I mentioned before, I love Disneyland’s painstaking attention to detail, even the art they have dotted around the park is gorgeous and timeless.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

One of my favorite attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland is their 3D cinema.

I wish all cinemas looked as grand as this … actually, when I was a kid – cinemas WERE as grand as this, but slowly as multiplexes became more and more popular, the drama and event of going to watch a movie became a bit watered-down and nowadays it’s rare to see a curtain parting when you go to watch a film.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Check out my new glasses. Hahaha

Every time I go to Disneyland, I’m wearing a Fucking Awesome t-shirt. Coincidence? I think now.

Mickey Mouse saw my t-shirt and was NOT impressed and tried to beat the shit out of me (REALLY) but luckily he was wearing padded gloves. I wish I had taken a video of that – guaranteed 20 million views on YouTube and nightmares for children all over the world.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

One new addition to the park since the last time I visited was this totally amazing sand sculpture. Yes – the WHOLE THING was sculpted out of sand! There’s a guy working on the sculpture all the time and I guess every time it rains he has to start over but it is amazing to see.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Here is Sleeping Beauty’s castle just before the nightly fireworks show, which is one of the highlights of Hong Kong Disneyland and in my opinion seeing the fireworks alone is worth the price of admission.

Oh, and here’s a video of the fireworks show as filmed with my DSC-HX5V:

And to think they put on this show EVERY night. Damn.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

After the fireworks were over Shandy did the required souvenir shopping and then we had to rush off to our next stop – Mong Kok.

No rest for the wicked!

DC SPRING 2011 FASHION SHOW IN HK (PART 10) – JAPANESE FOOD PORN

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

After having loads of footwear knowledge zapped into my brain by Jeremy at the sales conference, I had to be a good tour guide and take Shandy around Hong Kong to see some sights since it was her first time in town.

We were really pressed for time so it was a mad dash from place to place as I wanted to show her as much of Hong Kong as possible in the one free day we had.

We ended up in Causeway Bay at around 2pm and because my legs were on the verge of breaking I suggested that we find a place to sit down and have lunch.

Walking around, I spotted a decent looking poster/photo of some fat uni and decided that I had to give this Japanese restaurant a try. It was in the 5th floor of some building in the street behind Causeway Bay Plaza but I cannot tell you the name of the restaurant because all the signs and namecards were in Chinese and Japanese.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

We sat down and were attended to by a very helpful waitress who recommended some goodies to us and also let us know that all sushi had a 25% discount during lunch, which was fantastic to hear because the prices on the menu were already pretty reasonable.

For those who don’t know – eating Japanese food in Hong Kong is actually CHEAPER THAN EATING IT IN MALAYSIA. I know it’s hard to believe or comprehend but for anyone who has ever eaten decent Japanese food in both countries, you will know what I mean.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

This plate of sushi came first – 2 portions of slightly seared salmon and one portion of slightly seared Japanese sole.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

To be honest I have never had sole in sushi form before so I was bit wary but the waitress highly recommended it and I’m so fucking glad I took her advice because JAPANESE SOLE SUSHI THAT IS SLIGHTLY SEARED FUCKING ROCKS.

I was also really pissed off because I consider myself someone who has eaten a LOT of Japanese food around the world but this had to have been of the best pieces of sushi I have ever eaten.

I regret ordering only one portion of this.

🙁

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

The slightly seared salmon sushi was plenty dope too! Definitely the BEST salmon sushi I’ve had in a longgggggg time.

Searing the fish slightly gives it a smokey kind of flavour (but not salty like smoked salmon) and really enhances the taste of the fish (if done right)

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

The salmon looked so good I had to take another photo of it.

Sushi like this makes the shit you get in Penang taste like old tyres.

Really.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Toro … mmm … fatty tuna … another one of my favorites … also slightly seared.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Check out the crazy two-tone toro. The fish was really succulent and all the sushi was so delicious I almost cried.

Choooooo oishii desu

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

This is gyu tan (ox tongue) … another dish I love to eat (whenever I can get it)

By this time the waitress was helping us to arrange our food so we could take better photos (haha)

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Kushiyaki-ed to perfection and really springy to chew on, the chefs at this restaurant really know how to get their grill on.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Next up we were served our grilled foie gras.

Foie gras is appearing more and more on menus in Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong and it was no exception at this place.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

What I will say is that like everything else we ate so far at this restaurant, it did not disappoint.

I’m convinced if everyone on the planet had a plate of this to eat, there would be no more wars and fighting over bullshit and we would have world peace.

Make foie gras not war!

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

And of course … finally, the main reason why I decided to try this restaurant – the uni sashimi.

I am always uni crazy when I go back to Hong Kong.

God I love uni so much. I could eat it all day and every day without getting tired of it.

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

To give you an idea of how much cheaper it is to eat Japanese food in Hong Kong compared to Malaysia – this massive serving of uni sashimi (which came with 6 tuna maki rolls aswell) cost HK$120 which is equivalent to about RM50 or USD15.

If you order uni in Malaysia (say at Kampachi at Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur or Kirishima at the Cititel in Penang) ONE THIRD of the serving above (and minus the 6 tuna maki rolls) will set you back RM80-90/HK$190-215/USD24.50-27.60.

So now you know why I am always uni crazy whenever I am back in Hong Kong?

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

The quality of food at this little Japanese restaurant totally took me by surprise and i think I really lucked out on this one.

I will definitely go back there the next time I am back in town but I am sorry I cannot give you directions to it!

I’ve missed this place every day since I’ve come back from Hong Kong.

🙁

DC SPRING 2011 FASHION SHOW IN HK (PART 8) – THE MAIN EVENT

DC Spring 2011 Fashion Show/Sales Conference in Hong Kong

Finally – we are at the main event. This hour-long show was the culmination of months of work by the DC team to make it all happen – much respect to Jeremy Hale and Cherice Fredricks … I also put in about month of prep for the music so for those who think a show like this isn’t too difficult to put on – think again.

I wanted the music to be upbeat but not too hard, funky but not too “fashion” if you get what I mean. I tried to create a unique soundtrack that was DC but at the same time retaining the “BadBoyBen” sound.

This was Cherice’s first time styling the whole show by herself, and I have to say that she did an amazing job putting the looks together. These shows are integral in helping to sell the new season to distributors and dealers as seeing clothes in catalogs and in the flesh are totally different things.

The other thing that was fantastic about the show were the models. I’ve always had a problem with all the wannabe “models” in Malaysia – fucking anyone who isn’t cross-eyed and has missing teeth can pay some sleazy/cheapass “photographer” to take “glamour photos” of them and then considers themselves to be a model. In fact, there are so many of these wannabes in Malaysia that some “photographers” have made a lot of money just by taking these sorts of photos. Just check Facebook to see what I mean. Or just turn up to anyone of the weak-ass/sleazy/el-cheapo “beauty pageants” in Malaysia to be amazed at how some girls consider themselves to be “beautiful”

DC enlisted 8 top-flight models from the world-famous Elite agency, which made the proceedings MUCH more enjoyable for everyone. The Elite models and the ones we have in Malaysia (including, I’m sad to say most of our “professional” ones) have about as much in common as a Perodua Kancil and a Lamborghini Gallardo do.

Anyway, enough of the pre-amble, I’m sure your interested to see what the fuck I’m talking about.

P.S. All these photos were taken by Shandy. Watch out for her – she is starting to become really good with a camera!

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