In this new monthly series, join the editors of Lifestyle Asia as we dive deep into the proverbial closets of Hong Kong’s best-dressed individuals. From statement footwear to indispensable wardrobe basics, we ask our “Style Heroes” to share some of their favourite pieces with us and, in the process, give us glimmers of insight into what defines their personal style.
If you owned and operated one of the finest independent menswear stores in Hong Kong — certainly the most influential — what would you wear on any given day “in the office”? You’d likely favour classic staples, ensuring that these are informed by tailoring’s cosmopolitan heritage, whilst remaining relevant to a contemporary professional audience. For Mark Cho, co-founder of The Armoury, the answer is, by necessity, a layered one. An inveterate traveller who orchestrates New York trunk shows one day, and gallivants about the Fortezza da Basso the next, it’s inevitable that Cho would demand more than the average cubicle farmer from his sartorial choices — much more.here), Mark’s wardrobe — heavy on bespoke Florentine suits, Japanese footwear and resilient British shirting — is perhaps, more than anything else, a self-portrait. The image that emerges is a compelling one, comprised of garments that, while exceptional in make and provenance, feel grounded and useful. We asked Mark to show us 10 of his favourite pieces below — many of which are handily available at The Armoury’s website or in-store. C Favouring a didactic approach to styling (you can check out his substantial, highly specific guide on how to dress for Tokyo in spring heck them out for a crash course in “international classic” style.
The Armoury knit waistcoat
Paolo Penko lapel chain
“Penko is an old family jeweller based in Florence. They do extremely fine animal icons, cast using the “lost wax” method which gives superior shape and definition. This particular cast is of a frog — attached to a chain so you can wear it in your lapel as a decoration. It’s a nice touch if you’re looking to go for a slightly more dandyish look.”
Button-down shirts (various designers)
“I love button-down shirts so much that I rarely wear spread collars anymore. One of the former style’s advantages is how great they look regardless of whether you’re wearing a tie. There’s something about having a gently rolling collar at the neck, comfortably securing a tie underneath, that looks soft and elegant. Without a tie, a button-down is also great, standing resolutely upright whilst neatly framing the face.”
Drake’s solid coloured grenadine ties
“Solid coloured grenadine ties are the embodiment of ease: they go with everything and are perfect for bringing a bit of temperance to colourful outfits. They can be differentiated from plain silk ties thanks to their unique texture, which adds strong visual appeal. For must-haves I recommend navy, black, dark green and brown. The more unusual colours are fantastic too. I rarely travel without at least one in my suitcase.”
The versatile blue blazer, paired with grey trousers and brown suede loafers (various designers)
Yohei Fukuda “Celeste” perforated oxfords
“I don’t normally wear black shoes but the right black captoe is a captivating thing. It’s a very pure expression of shoemaking, allowing the beauty of the last to shine through. The apparent simplicity of a captoe belies just how difficult it is to make an exceptional pair, and splurging on the right one — or better yet, having a bespoke shoemaker make one for you — is money well spent. Because there is little to no decoration on black captoes, every curve, line and angle of the last can be clearly seen, making it a very challenging shoe to design.”
The Armoury x Ring Jacket 4-ply navy suit
All items worn by Mark (RTW and bespoke) available at The Armoury, B47 Landmark Central, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 4990