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Q&A: Victoria Tang-Owen, creative director of Shanghai Tang on life and Hong Kong

Upon its inception in 1994 by Hong Kong entrepreneur Sir David Tang, Shanghai Tang quickly rose to fame for its East meets West aesthetics, and is widely recognised as the first luxury fashion brand in China. The brand soon skyrocketed to a global scale with the acquisition by luxury giant Richemont Group; after a decade and a failed partnership with Italian entrepreneur Alessandro Bastagli, it’s turned to its roots again, or more specifically, the hands of Victoria Tang-Owen, daughter of the late Sir David Tang, who’s been appointed as the brand’s creative director by new Chinese owner Lunar Capital.

27 Questions - Victoria Tang
Tang collaborated with Chinese artist Xu Bing — known for his ‘Square Word’ calligraphy that organises English letters to resemble Chinese characters — for her first collection for Shanghai Tang.

It’s a beautiful circle indeed, but Tang’s appointment did not come merely because of her identity. The Central Saint Martin graphic design graduate has been a strong member of Hong Kong’s creative scene for as long as everyone can remember. She made her name as a published fashion photographer in the early days of her career, succeeding at various design roles at fashion and lifestyle brands in London and Hong Kong along the way.

In 2015, she co-founded creative studio Thirty30 Creative with her husband, Christopher Owen, and attracted a supreme list of local and international clients such as Lane Crawford, Moynat and Dior Homme, all showing approval of her multi-disciplinary creative talent. For her new role at Shanghai Tang, Tang is determined to build on her father’s legacy by re-establishing the authentic Chinese DNA of the brand, and reinterpreting its aesthetics for the international taste of today’s younger generation.

Work aside, she is also the president of the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, giving back to society through generous support to various charitable causes. We recently managed to squeeze into her busy schedule, where the mother-of-one gave us a quick glimpse behind her impressive résumé.

Name: Victoria Tang-Owen
Age: 35
Neighbourhood: Tin Hau
Occupation: Creative director of Shanghai Tang and co-founder of Thirty30

1. What is your life motto?

Whatever you do, do it with a smile.

2. What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Hong Kong?

Beef brisket noodle from Kau Kee.

3. Who is your role model?

Kim Jones – beautiful person and creative genius.


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4. What is your drink of choice?

Hendrick’s gin & tonic with cucumber.

5. What is your biggest regret in life?

I don’t believe in regrets.

6. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?

People who walk slowly.

7. What is the top destination on your bucket list?


8. When did you last ride the Star Ferry? What were you doing/where did you go?

Last month. I went to Tsim Sha Tsui with my son for a family outing; he loves getting around the city on the tram and the ferry.

9. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Gummy bears.

10. What is one movie everyone should see?

Labyrinth with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.

11. Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?

5 years old, not a care in the world.

12. What makes someone a real Hongkonger?

Proficiency in Cantonese.

13. If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?

Salvador Dali, Snoop Dogg, Tracey Emin, Melissa McCarthy and my father.

14. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?

Date by Faye Wong.

15. If you could banish someone from Hong Kong forever, who would it be?

The people who dump plastic rubbish in our beautiful seas that end up on our beaches.

16. What’s your favourite childhood memory?

Birthday parties with my brother in Sai Kung.


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17. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
18. Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?

Yes, steamed fish with chilli.

19. Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson that they taught you?

Ms. Hohenthaner at my high school in Japan — she taught me how to be independent and practical life lessons.

20. What is your unique party trick?

I’m pretty good at kicking off karaoke.

21. Do you have a catch phrase?

Ng Goi.

22. Have you ever experienced love at first sight? Tell us about it.

Yes, when my son Rocco was born.


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23. Do you have any favourite tattoos or special birthmarks? What is it?

I want to remove my tattoo that I got at 14 — not my proudest moment.

24. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?

I have a shoe problem — maybe 200 plus pairs? I wear Tod’s sneakers, Roger Vivier pumps and Chanel boots day to day.

25. How many countries have you been to?

Too many to count, but still not enough.

26. Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?

I do like my own space but I’d like some company!

27. What is the last dream you remember waking up to?

Usually something I need to wake up and complain to my husband about — always totally random.


This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong

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