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In conversation with FIELDS
Scottish native Hamish Peddie left his job to found the concept store Salvo in Hong Kong in 2021 and has been a stockist of FIELDS ever since. We chat to him about pursuing happiness, chasing the sunshine, connecting with a community, and building a business rooted in sustainability.
Where are you from?
I’m from Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s a fantastic city, full of history and beautiful buildings. Bloody cold though.
How did you end up in Hong Kong?
Partly because of the weather, I left the UK about 6 years ago and ended up here via San Francisco and a couple of years in Malaysia. I used to work in a corporate job which allowed me to travel around and experience living in a few new places. I landed here about 3 and a half years ago now. I had family here so was great to come and reconnect with them as I figured the city out.
Do you have a background in fashion?
Not at all. I’ve always loved exploring cities and finding interesting local boutiques and creators but I’d never worked in the business of fashion or retail before. As a consumer, I think I’ve spent a lot of time absorbing the visual and human aspects of independent fashion but I was new to the business side of it and so that’s been a steep but amazing learning curve over the past year.
How did Salvo come to be?
I came to a point where I couldn’t visualise myself toiling away in my previous industry forever and it felt like a “now or never” moment for me to do something I felt would make me (and hopefully other people) happy. These days there seems to be this pressure that if you’re going switch your career it has to be for some billion-dollar idea but I don’t agree at all. I wanted to build a small business, connect with the local community and work with partners that I really believed in. I get excited about every delivery, every new face in the shop and every sale we make so it’s been a great experience.
Tell us about your vision for Salvo?
Right now I’m still learning about the industry and enjoying the ride. Honestly, most of the time I’m just thinking about the next thing we’re doing – events, collections, new brand partners and opportunities to reach more of the community in Hong Kong. That being said, I’d love to be able to open another physical store here in the near future. Of course, I know that e-commerce dominates the future but I love the real stores and I think that customer experience will always be important for all sides. I hope to see more new people coming in to see the great brands we have on offer.
Tell us a bit more about the location of Salvo, Tai Ping Shan?
I might be slightly biased because I also live in the area but I do think it’s one of the best parts of the city. There’s a lot of great bars, restaurants and a million coffee shops – and many, if not most of them, are independently owned. It’s also a very friendly part of town and I’ve met so many great people since we opened (and a ton of great dogs too).
What was the criteria when selecting brands to be in Salvo?
The primary criterion was to find brands that put sustainability at the forefront of their values. Beyond that, we wanted to find something new for Hong Kong and not just replicate what is already out there. As Hong Kong doesn’t have a lot of independent menswear stores, choice can be a little limited at times. It means that we have very few products that you can find anywhere else here and I’m very proud of that.
How did you discover FIELDS?
My best mate lives in Cape Town and is engaged to a wonderful South African woman. They went to the FIELDS shop at the Old Biscuit Mill. He knew what I was planning so he gave me a call and told me I had to reach out. I checked the website out and got in touch immediately.
What has been your top FIELDS seller?
Top sellers have been the striped box tees and the Weekend Trousers. I’m a particular fan of the Pineneedle Weekend Trousers.
Tell us about the sustainable element of Salvo Store?
I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer for any new retail business to do what it can to partner with businesses that use ethical processes and show care. If we can play a small part in reducing the environmental and human impact that consumer choices have in our cities then we absolutely should. Because we’re new, we’ve been able to be careful about the brands that we carry and the ethos of those suppliers. Hopefully we can be a small part of driving the slow shift to sustainable fashion in the city.
Favourite city in the world?
Tokyo, hands down.
Next city on the list to visit?
Cape Town was meant to be next for my friend’s wedding but sadly the travel restrictions in Hong Kong are making that very tricky. Hopefully I’ll be able to come over once that changes.
Favourite meal to eat?
In Hong Kong, my favourite place to eat is a Tsukumen Ramen restaurant on Gough Street. Dipping noodles in spicy broth with pork and egg, delicious. Childhood favourite that never died is macaroni cheese.
Drink of choice?
Pasta or noodles?
Round neck or v-neck?
Sneakers or sandals?
Sandals (with socks). I wear them more or less every day during summer in the shop – to mixed reviews.
Your favourite piece from the FIELDS collection?
Pineneedle Weekend Trousers.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Eddy de Pretto (customer recommendation)
The last picture you took on your cellphone?
It’s a picture of my dog on her morning walk. I’ve got far too many of those.
What would you never wear?
Banner image courtesy of wanderlister.com, all other images courtesy of salvo-store.com