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The Joys of Joyce

We speak to the CEO of the legendary Hong Kong department store Joyce before it hits its 40th anniversary

Having first opened in 1970 with an innovative boutique at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Central region of Hong Kong before expanding to Tsim Sha Tsui in 1972, Joyce was a pioneer which was the first to bring international designers such as Givenchy, Lanvin, Margiela, and Fendi, amongst other luxury names, to Asia. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Joyce has specially commissioned works of over 50 designers for a multi-sensory exhibition and special installations from the likes of Alber Elbaz, Yohji Yamamoto, Prada, and Yves Saint Laurent, premiered this December in Hong Kong and will then also travel to Paris and open during fashion week in March.

Dazed Digital: How do you feel luxury fashion retail has changed over the last 40 years?
Andrew Keith: Luxury has changed so much over the past 40 years. When JOYCE first opened in 1970 many of today’s luxury brands did not exist or at least were not brands as we now know them. It wasn’t really until the mid 70s when Krizia and Armani started that the branding became a key factor in fashion retailing. Now four decades later it is a very different landscape and luxury fashion has become accessible and recognizable to so many people. But throughout the past 40 years Joyce has stayed true to our pioneering spirit, supporting new designers and creativity, pushing boundaries and innovation and providing our customers with a unique edit of the best of luxury fashion from around the world.

DD: The exhibition seems a great way to celebrate the anniversary. How did you go about selecting the 50 runway looks and designers that will be exhibited?
Andrew Keith: We invited every designer to select a key piece from the year that we first introduced their collection to Hong Kong. We are honoured that so many of our partners over the past 40 years have gone to such incredible lengths to find these archive pieces. Some designers have actually remade pieces from their first collection specially for this exhibition.

DD: The show is presents a variety of media, what can we expect aside from the garments themselves?
Andrew Keith: Apart from the garments themselves you can expect interactive media tables with unique archive footage from our past, a series of interviews hosted by Diane Pernet with designers from our past, present and future, a virtual tour of the exhibition on and an augmented reality book to support the exhibition.

DD: What is your personal highlight of the show?
Andrew Keith: My personal highlight of the show is the way in which every look which is so unique and individual work together to tell the story of a remarkable journey. Not only for our company, but the fact that it is a reflection of the fashion development of Asia.

DD: Finally, why did you choose to collaborate with Hermes to mark the anniversary?
Andrew Keith: We have a long history of working together with Hermes over the years, both companies have an uncompromised approach to luxury, craftsmanship and quality. We were honoured when they very kindly offered to produce this very special scarf for us in celebration of our Anniversary.