Goods of Desire

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Goods of Desire (G.O.D.)
Native name
Privately held company
Industry Design and retail
Predecessor G.O.D. Ltd
Founded Hong Kong (1996)
Founder Douglas Young
Benjamin Lau
Headquarters Hong Kong
Number of locations
6 in Hong Kong
Area served
Asia
Internationally through online shop
Key people
Douglas Young (CEO)
Benjamin Lau (COO)
Products Lifestyle accessories and home accessories inspired by past and present Hong Kong culture
Website www.god.com.hk

Goods of Desire (Chinese: 住好啲; Cantonese Yale: jyu hou di) commonly known as G.O.D., is a lifestyle design and retail brand company based in Hong Kong. Founded in 1996 by Douglas Young and Benjamin Lau, the brand is known for their tongue-in-cheek interpretation of Hong Kong design and culture. The name 'G.O.D.' is the phonetic translation of the Cantonese words "to live better".

G.O.D. has collaborated with international companies as Starbucks, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Swarovski, Canon, Greenpeace, and NGO SPCA (Hong Kong). There are eight store locations in Hong Kong. The company also sells products wholesale or brand-license to boutiques or department stores in cities such as London, Amsterdam, New York, Sydney, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Singapore.

G.O.D. The Peak Gallera Store in 2009

History[edit]

Architects by training, co-founders Douglas Young and Benjamin Lau wanted to do a lifestyle and home accessories store, with an aim to design and manufacture the products instead of shipping Chinese goods made in the West. They launched G.O.D. with their first store in an Ap Lei Chau warehouse in 1996. Within two years, other locations followed including, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui. In 2001, G.O.D. opened its 20,000 square foot flagship store at Leighton Centre in Causeway Bay, as well as lifestyle mall "Delay No Mall", also in Causeway Bay in 2008.

In 2008, the company introduced a "Hong Kong Street Culture Museum" at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, also the location of their design studio and office. In 2009, another store opened at The Peak Galleria.[1] In July 2012, they expanded overseas and opened their 6,000 square foot flagship store in Singapore's historical riverside Clarke Quay.[2]

Concept[edit]

Taking inspiration from both the condensed urban centres and rural environments of Asia, G.O.D. is influenced by the concept of the eastern lifestyle as an alternative to the western way of living. The idea of such a cultural contradiction is especially prevalent in a city like Hong Kong, a city that boasts a modernised way of life combined with traditional Chinese practices.[3] Young wanted to build a brand not based on traditional images of Hong Kong and believes that "the most successful brands tend to incorporate national identity. Not many Hong Kong brands actually feel very Hong Kong. I want to do something different: to give ourselves some pride and some respect. Some of our signature items have a quirky Hong Kong feel – they are unmistakable."[4][5]

Young also said in an interview with Hong Kong Trade Development Council that "I'm trying to push Hong Kong traditions, to make the ordinary and mundane into something extraordinary. When I hear people saying 'wow' about my products, it's great because it shows Hong Kong's flexibility."[6] The intention is to provide 'something desirable' that the customers 'have not even imagined before'.[7]

Products[edit]

G.O.D. shop on Hollywood Road Hong Kong, with the "Delay No More" slogan, in 2008

G.O.D.'s core range of lifestyle products are designed in-house, and their product range consists mostly of home accessories, furnishings, tableware, stationery and fashion items. The designs and prints are inspired by old and new aspects of Hong Kong culture, including products themed with Chinese "Double Happiness" characters, newspaper classifieds, retro local product packaging, 1950s advertisements, old letter boxes Such products includes "Bishop" and "Rook" bean bags, inspired by Chinese chess and pencil case in the design of old-school Chinese ballet flats.[8][9]

In 2003, the company introduced its trademark slogan, "Delay No More". The phase is a phonetic translation of Cantonese profanity (屌你老母), but in English it is a call to action; and it is emblazoned on T-shirts and other products.[10][11]

In 2008, G.O.D. collaborated with Kee Wah Bakery to design mooncakes for the Chinese Mid-autumn festival. They came up with presenting the traditional treats in the shape of bottoms in eight different designs, but still filled with traditional white lotus seed paste and salted yolks.[12]

In 2013, G.O.D. debuted the wildly-popular Mahjong Box Pineapple Cake Gift Box, which were all snapped up within days of its debut. The Majong Box Pineapple Cake Gift Box was jointly created by Goods of Desire and Mei-Xin Fine Goods in Hong Kong.[13]

Crossover projects[edit]

"Bing Sutt Corner" at Starbucks on Duddell Street in 2009
Starbucks

In June 2009, G.O.D. collaborated with Starbucks to create a store with a "Bing Sutt Corner" at their outlet on Duddell Street in Central. It is a concept that fuses the retro Bing Sutt, a Hong Kong teahouse, style with the contemporary look of a coffeehouse.[14] The coffee company states that, "This very unique Starbucks store has been built as a collaborative project with the quintessential Hong Kong brand G.O.D. (Goods of Desire). It is a celebration of Hong Kong's roots and spirit".[15]

Rugby Sevens

For the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens, G.O.D. teamed up with sportswear brand Kukri Sports to produce merchandising for the tournament. The products, carried the specially designed "Kukri x G.O.D." logo, which featured elements of the original Hong Kong flag, and ranged from polo shirts, traditional Chinese jackets, boxers, Cheongsam-inspired ladies polo, messenger and tote bags. A percentage of sales went to the Foodlink Foundation, supported by both companies.[16][17]

Cathay Pacific

Starting in October 2012, Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific introduced a new range of amenity kits for Premium economy passagers, designed by G.O.D. The kits are designed as collectible with each bag being able to hook onto each other to form a wall-hanging accessory. The first two available were 'Joy' and 'Fortune', with designs that depict Chinese gods relaxing inflight and of auspicious clouds respectively. They include 90% recycled plastic bottles and toothbrush made mainly from biodegradable corn starch and cellulose. Since then, G.O.D. has designed two bags every six months for the Cathay Pacific.[18][19]

Exhibition[edit]

In September 2012, the brand in co-operation with Sino Art, held The Street Market Symphony Exhibition at Olympian City, their first solo art exhibition in a shopping mall. The exhibition used multi-media installations housed in large red lampshades, the iconic representation of Hong Kong's wet markets.[20]

Controversy[edit]

In 2007, Young and seventeen employees were taken in by police for selling t-shirts bearing the logo "14K", the name of one of the city's triad crime syndicates. "Police claimed the shop had broken a section of an 1845 anti-triad law called the Societies Ordinance, which allows for the arrest of any person in possession of 'any books, accounts, writing, lists of members, seals, banners or insignia of or relating to any triad society.' Triad members still often carry such insignia – usually worn on the backs of shirts – that they show to shopkeepers in exchange for protection money."[21]

Authorities "confiscated 88 shirts and more than 500 postcards printed with a "14K" logo – with the numbers written in Chinese characters – from the store's five offices and warehouse located in Central, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Yuen Long."[22] Young states that "[It] was all a misunderstanding and the shirts were actually referring to 14 karat gold".[4] The 18 employees, including Young, were released the next day, and "their 14K T-shirts, are now collector's items," according to CNN Travel.[23]

Awards[edit]

G.O.D. has received the following awards:[24]

  • 2014: “MustGo Hong Kong Local Brand” (MustGo香港品牌大獎) by NEXT Brand Awards 2014
  • 2014: One of “The Best Chairman” for Douglas Young by Milk X Magazine
  • 2014: “Favourite Gift Shop - Sassy Hong Kong Readers’ Choice Award” by Sassy Hong Kong
  • 2014: “Favourite Homeware Store – runner up” Sassy Mama Award” by Sassy Hong Kong
  • 2013: “The List Readers’ Choice Awards (Lifestyle)” by The List Magazine
  • 2012: “Gold Award – Creative Print Advertisement” by Apple Daily Advertising Award
  • 2011: “Gold Award” & “HK Best Award” by Hong Kong Design Association Global Design Award
  • 2010: "Best Entertainment Award" by Apple Daily News
  • 2010: "Travel Star" on 10th The Best Travel Agency Awards” for Douglas Young by Weekend Weekly
  • 2009: "Innovative Brand Awards" by Next Magazine
  • 2009: "Hall of Fame" Hong Kong Inno Design Tech Expo by Hong Kong Design Centre
  • 2009: "The List 100 Hong Kong’s Exceptional Shops and Services" by The List Magazine
  • 2009: "Man of the Year" for Douglas Young by Hong Kong Business Magazine
  • 2008: "Hong Kong Hero" by Time Out Magazine, Hong Kong
  • 2008: "Land Rover Go Beyond and Challenge Life Awards” for Douglas Young by Land Rover
  • 2008: "Design for Asia Award - Merit Recognition" by Hong Kong Design Centre
  • 2008: "Outstanding Greater China Design Award" by The Hong Kong Communication Art Centre
  • 2007: "Award of Excellence – Publications" by Hong Kong Designers Association
  • 2006: "Best 100 stores of the World" by the Retail Week Magazine (UK)
  • 2006: "Ten Outstanding Designers Award" by the Hong Kong Communication Art Centre
  • 2005: "Innovation and Creativity Award" by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
  • 2005: "Design of the Year (Bedding)" Elle Decoration Magazine International Design Award
  • 2005: "Cognoscenti Award" for Douglas Young by the East Week Magazine
  • 2005: "Keep-walking" Entrepreneur for Douglas Young by Johnnie Walker
  • 2005: "Ten Best Dressed Award" for Douglas Young by the Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association
  • 2004: "Design for Asia Award" by the Hong Kong Design Centre
  • 2004: "Hong Kong Top Ten Brands" by Chinese Manufacturers’ Association
  • 2002: "Creative Force" award by City Magazine
  • 2002: "Readers’ choice - Best Homeware Shop” by HK Magazine

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (27 October 2010). "9 Hong Kong tourist traps – for better or worse". CNN Travel. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hong Kong's Goods of Desire (G.O.D.) Goes International". Jing Daily. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Chong, Adeline (20 September 2004). "G.O.D.: Divine". brandchannel. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Interview with HK Designer Douglas Young". Lifestyle Asia Design & Living. 
  5. ^ Lam, Bourree (7 December 2009). "Interview with Douglas Young: 'I like to shock'". CNN Travel. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Burning desire leads to top design award". Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Parreno, Christian (8 September 2009). "G.O.D – a new philosophy?: Goods of Desire (GOD), the chic Hong Kong lifestyle store aims to transcend the realm of desire". Glass Magazine. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Chibber, Kabir (1 April 2009). "Store Review: G.O.D. in Hong Kong". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Hong, Xinying (10 July 2012). "9 quirky finds at Goods of Desire". Her World Plus (Singapore Press Holdings). Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Douglas Young: The Man Behind GOD". Hong Kong Trader (International Edition). Trade Development Council. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Ganeshrays, Jenny (11 June 2012). "Hong Kong lifestyle label Goods of Desire to open in Singapore". Her World Plus (Singapore Press Holdings). Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hong Kong Lifestyle Brand G.O.D. Puts The "Moon" In Mooncakes". Jing Daily. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mahjong Box Pineapple Cake & CNY Goodies at the Goods of Desire 2014". Darren's Blogosphere. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  14. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (21 April 2010). "Hong Kong's best bing sutt: Guide to old-school diners". CNN Travel. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "Be inspired by the new Starbucks concept store, featuring a flashback of 1950s–70s nostalgic Hong Kong café". Starbucks. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "G.O.D. and Kukri Design Collaborate for the Rugby Sevens". Hong Kong Tatler. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Kukri and G.O.D. collaborate on HK7s Range!". Kukri Sports. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  18. ^ Drescher, Cynthia (24 October 2012). "Cathay Pacific's Amenity Kits are Down with G.O.D.". Jaunted (Condé Nast). Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Cathay Pacific unveils new inflight amenity kits designed by G.O.D for premium and economy class passengers". Incentive Travel & Corporate Meetings. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  20. ^ 超巨街市燈現身商場 [Super large wet market red lamps appear in shopping mall]. Sharp Daily (in Chinese). 14 September 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Quinlan, Adriane (28 November 2007). "Hong Kong's T-Shirt Contest". Time Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  22. ^ Chung, Carol (2 November 2007). "G.O.D. forbid!". The Standard. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "G.O.D.: Tongue in cheek – Tongue-in-cheek designs inspired by Hong Kong culture". CNN Travel. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "About Us:Awards". G.O.D official website. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

External links[edit]