A Material Girl
Tatler Hong Kong|January 2021
Having grown up with a bird’s eye view on an era of fast fashion, Veronica Chou is on a mission to promote sustainability for all
Eric Wilson

Veronica Chou needed a break. It was 2014. She was fast approaching her 30s and had already achieved enormous success in fashion, the same industry conquered by her father, Silas Chou, and his father before him. Since founding her company in 2008, she had brought at least a dozen mainstream brands, like Ed Hardy, London Fog and Candie’s, to China during the blossoming of the nation’s middle class that drove enormous demand for western brands across the country.

“We opened up 1,000 stores, not so much in Beijing and Shanghai, but in the second-, third- and fourthtier cities,” Chou says, recalling a breakneck pace of working that, in her family, seems to be hereditary. “But the experience there really was eye-opening: every time I stepped out of the plane and walked into a sand cloud. For anyone who’s lived in Asia, we remember everyone was talking about the air pollution back then. After a long day of work, I’d go home and wash my face and hands and they were all black.”

“We know that people care even more about sustainability after Covid-19. I’m not making party dresses. If you want a dress, go rent one or buy second-hand”

Chou decided to go on a seven-day trek in Nepal to clear her mind, and her lungs. She meditated and spent her days practising yoga, and one night she woke up and experienced a moment when she knew that whatever she did next would revolve around sustainability. In March 2015, she sold her stake in the company, Iconix China, to its American joint venture partner for US$56 million.

“I had this epiphany that whatever I do has to have a bit more of a purpose,” she says.

Until then, Chou had largely followed in the footsteps of her father, the Hong Kong tycoon whose investments in the American sportswear labels Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors transformed what was already a substantial manufacturing business into a global powerhouse of fashion. His influence was so prominent that Chou was named honorary chairman of the 2015 Met Gala, celebrating the exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, and his portfolio grew to include stakes in numerous brands like Karl Lagerfeld and Pepe Jeans.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TATLER HONG KONGView All

Tale as Old as Time

This Christmas, the Hong Kong Ballet transports the audience to early 20th-century Hong Kong in its brand new The Nutcracker

4 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Naked Ambition

Oscar-winning costume designer Tim Yip has chosen Eileen Chang’s work for his stage directorial debut. Here’s why

4 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Crazy for Cacao

Katie Chan Ka-yan is the founder of Chokohood, a chocolate-inspired café which opened this autumn in Tai Hang By Tara Sobti. Photography by Affa Chan

3 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Changing Gears

Tung Ho-Pin on the thrill of a race, his new priorities, and the car he always hoped to own

3 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Centre Stage

Professor Gillian Choa is the first female director of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). She talks to Tatler about her role, the APA ball and what’s next for the institution

4 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

A Spirited Sharing

The Glen Grant’s long-serving master distiller Dennis Malcolm meets ophthalmologist Marcus Ang to have an insightful chat about living a life more extraordinary and making an iconic single malt

3 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Reclaiming the Culture

From rock bottom to rock ’n’ roll, chef Gaggan Anand gets candid about shifting attitudes towards Indian cuisine ahead of his highly anticipated Singapore pop-up

5 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

HOME TOWN GLORY

Donnie Yen’s career has taken him from Hong Kong to Hollywood, but he is more devoted than ever to his roots

5 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

HERE TO STAY

The pandemic has been devastating for hotels around the world, but Winnie Chiu steered her Dorsett brand through the storm— and has big plans for its future

5 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021

Contemporary Charm

Bvlgari introduces new designs to its Serpenti Viper collection

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
December 2021
RELATED STORIES

DUCT TAPE MURDERS!

Jersey she-devil busted for killing own innocent kids

1 min read
Globe
December 06, 2021

GRIPPING RESEARCH

I said my first words in a bar—“orange sody.” I eventually outgrew my love of Whistle orange soda, but I have a lifelong interest in bars.

2 mins read
Mystery Scene
Summer #168 2021

Impact Investing Heads East

A Buffett grandson’s company is selling rich Asians on the idea of doing well by doing good

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 01, 2021

PESA Act in MP with immediate effect: CM

ON the martyrdom anniversary of tribal hero Tantya Bheel on Saturday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced immediate implementation of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act in the central Indian state.

1 min read
The New Indian Express
December 05, 2021

THIS ROUND TO THE MEN IN KHAKI

IAS VS IPS

4 mins read
India Today
December 13, 2021

Boxer Arundhati seeks trial against Lovlina, to move court

Boxer Arundhati Choudhary is set to move the Delhi High Court against the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) seeking to represent the country in the 70kg weight division at the AIBA Women's World Championships in Istanbul next month.

2 mins read
Hindustan Times Delhi
November 09, 2021

Loh's giant-slaying run continues in Europe

National shuttler Loh Kean Yew claimed another big scalp when the world No. 39 beat Chinese Taipei’s world No. 4 Chou Tienchen 21-18, 21-13 in 37 minutes in the opening round of the BWF World Tour Super 500 Hylo Open on Wednesday.

2 mins read
The Straits Times
November 05, 2021

Fire brigade to get drones that can lug a hose high up to fight blaze

Mumbai: The city’s fire brigade is in talks with companies to buy ‘fire-fighting drones’. The tech-based equipment can douse fires in congested localities or in places where ladders cannot scale above a point, like high-rises.

2 mins read
The Times of India Mumbai
October 24, 2021

Murder of Sir David should spur us to act against haters

‘Grooming of potential terrorists continues under our noses’

3 mins read
Daily Express
October 19, 2021

A taste of Paris

Evoke the aromas and flavours of a classic French patisserie with these mouth-watering recipes by Anne-Katrin Weber

7 mins read
Homes & Gardens
November 2021