With Columbian roots and a global outreach, Nancy Gonzalez has opened a stand-alone store in Hong Kong. The well-known luxury handbag maker currently has 300 points of distribution worldwide. Less than a third of those are in Asia, through retailers such as Lane CrawfordIsetan, and On Pedder. Its newly opened store in the IFC Shopping Mall is its first stand-alone store in Asia.

President and Creative Director Santiago Barberi Gonzalez said that the brand chose Hong Kong for the shop because of the city’s international and diverse background. “I was more comfortable opening [a boutique] in a place that’s more worldly. Maybe people traveling here on holidays are not so incredibly familiar with the brand, but the Hong Kong high-end consumer would definitely be familiar because these are people who are traveling to New York City and London and Dubai, which are places where I have a very strong presence,” he said.

With plans to open more mono-brand boutiques soon, Gonzalez elaborated, “I think the only way to do business in Asia is through the model of a mono-brand store. There is no choice. The customer in Asia likes to shop from the brand’s shop. In Asia, I don’t think you can do any substantial business if you don’t have your own store. Our focus is to open mono-brand stores all over Asia.”

To increase brand awareness and attract more customers in the East, Nancy Gonzalez is relaunching its website in English and Chinese, which will also include extensive social media links including Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

As for the design of the Hong Kong shop, Gonzalez received help from his local partner Bluebell Group and architecture firm Rawlins Design to incorporate elements from both his native Colombia and Asia. He used palmwood, a tree that’s indigenous to both Colombia and Southeast Asia. He designed a gold-leafed room to draw on the use of gold in both traditional Chinese design and pre-Colombian culture. Gonzalez also placed a piece of artwork from his family collection in the shop, which he plans to rotate on occasion.

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