Straight Outta Sham Shui Po

It’s easy for many in Hong Kong to say the city lacks an alternate cultural scene, but the reality is there is one thriving down on the ground, behind the scenes and hidden in obscurity. For most starting brands, there’s a definite desire to struggle hard at the beginning, make the right contacts and sign on to work with big global brands seeking to gain traction in the metropolis.
But as with any brand that staunchly adheres to its brand ethos come hell or high water, obscurity is simultaneously its biggest selling point and limiting factor. For, OKOKOK the street label started as a two-man operation and has stayed that way. We hear from creative head Leo and business guy Ah B about how a brand like their’s has held on and gradually built their brand while staying true to their vision.

“We didn’t really plan it. We all just happened to be here. No one had a meeting and said ‘let’s all move to Sham Shui Po.’ We moved here because it was cheap.”

“I spend a lot of time on the Internet. It works like a mood board for me.”

“A lot of people will complain that Hong Kong doesn’t have any scene or alternative culture. It’s small, but there is one.”

“[When we started], we made our own screens and were printing at Ah B’s place on his balcony. We fucked up like, 30 shirts. We only printed two, it was so messy.”

“If you’re making a product and no one sees it, what’s the point of making it?”

“Why would you wanna be miserable working with someone you hate? At the end of the day, it’s a business. But at the same time, if you have any negativity, you wouldn’t want to move forward or people can see it from your work.”

An eclectic list of links showcasing the different sources that Leo Su, co-founder of OKOKOK, draws inspiration from. When Leo isn’t blaring the Henry Rollins podcast, you’ll often hear him riffling through the below reddit and YouTube channels in his studio in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong.



Obscure Media
YouTube Haiku
Infinite World Problems
LSD: Dream Emulator
2 Everything 2 Terrible 2 Tokyo Drift