創意改變城市，深水埗老區有不少青年藝術家落腳︰22 Degrees North，城市太昂貴唯有走向舊區尋夢。同場還有我們評論深水埗老故事、葉問、新亞歷史，還有台北剝皮寮活化的故事
Creative young entrepreneurs help revitalise ageing Sham Shui Po district
For a run-down, working-class neighbourhood, Sham Shui Po attracts more people than you’d expect because of its specialised market streets devoted to items ranging from haberdashery and cheap bric-a-brac to toys and electronics. A cool vibe was never part of its appeal. But the district has acquired a patina of hipster chic after a clutch of trendy entrepreneurs moved in over the past year.
Leading this revitalisation in the old district are designers Rex Yam Wing-cheong and Joey Ku Cho-yiu. Renting a three-storey tong lau on Nam Cheong Street, the pair have turned it into a stylish haunt called 22 Degrees North. A boutique showcasing independent designers, local and overseas, occupies the ground floor; the middle level is used for DIY workshops and wine tastings, and the top floor is rented out to pop-up stores.
They initially eyed premises in the PMQ compound in Central or on Star Street in Wan Chai, but the rents were too expensive, Yam says.
By contrast, the threshold for setting up shop in Sham Shui Po is low. Moreover, creative types come all the time to buy raw materials, including fabric, leather and accessories, so they thought it would be a good place to showcase their products, Yam says.
Yam and Ku view their venture as a cultural as well as a business enterprise, and have held jazz parties, photo exhibitions, movie nights, fashion shows and even tango workshops at the premises.