Taipei Health & Beauty / 台妹
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My Basic Life with Hong Kong-Based GRANA

For a couple of years now, I’ve been gradually minimising my wardrobe down to the bare minimum. The original impetus behind this downsizing was the fact that I was moving every six months, give or take. But even after I’ve settled down – for now – in Taipei, I don’t really stray from my original philosophy. Aside from many, many pairs of leggings and other sorts of active-wear that I often wear when I am not actually exercising, my closet at home is filled with solid-colored basics. Lately, my closet has been noticeably GRANA-heavy.

GRANA is a Hong Kong-based fashion startup, expanding rapidly under a strong mission: simple, quality basics for all. It’s going against the ultra-luxe, brand-name obsession that has mushroomed here in Asia, as well as the cheap, throwaway “Made in China” mentality.

Though I hate using businesses to describe other businesses, GRANA could be compared to an Everlane for Asia, and using sustainable ways of sourcing quality fabrics, such as Chinese silk, French poplin, Peruvian cotton, Mongolian cashmere. GRANA is the first Asia-based retailer I’ve heard of catering to the kind of ultra-conscious millennial consumer that’s rapidly gaining market power, changing the way companies across all industries approach their marketing, branding and  business models. It’s a desire for quality and authenticity; the rejection of excess; stripping down everything that’s unnecessary, whether it be fancy stitching or pesky middle-men.

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Simplicity meets authenticity: in many ways, that’s what I feel like what life in Taipei is like – and perhaps that’s why I’m wearing GRANA out of the house more days than not. It’s an existence characterized by small, uncomplicated pleasures. It’s not the fast-paced fashion-opening/restaurant-tasting/PR networking-event pace of life I experienced living in NYC. There’s some days  that I wake up worried that I’m letting my  I’m not living lavishly enough; not hustling enough; haven’t acquired a gorgeous apartment or a fancy car and a prestigious job. But the feeling dissipates fairly quickly – swept away by the authentic joy that is a leisurely tea session [let’s all be real – everything in Taipei is leisurely] at my favorite tea-house, or spend hours standing cracking jokes with my friends over beers on a city stoop, or a slow bike to a meeting down wide, tree-lined Renai Rd. Usually in GRANA. 

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Forgoing expensive permanent brick-and-mortar stores, GRANA maintains a warehouse in Hong Kong, from which its bright blue boxes all over the globe; supplemented by a regular rotation of pop-up stores. Their initial silk collection still continues to be my favorite GRANA pieces – though they’ve since expanded into oxford shirts, sweaters, khakis and jeans. You can shop GRANA online, and keep up with them on Instagram and Facebook. 

 

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