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Sham Kar Wai

Founder, I.T

The retail tycoon transformed a single Hong Kong storefront into a 750-plus-store network across Greater China stocking high-end brands like Comme des Garçons.


Credited as a champion of the avant-garde within the Chinese retail industry, Sham Kar Wai’s extensive retail portfolio — operated through retail conglomerate I.T — houses labels such as Comme des Garçons, Ann Demeulemeester , Gareth Pugh , Zadig & Voltaire. The labels are distributed within China through stand-alone stores and I.T boutiques. The group has built a significant network of monobrand stores utilising a franchise model for an impressive and diverse list of brands — including  Junya Watanabe Acne Studios , A.P.C. and Off-White.

I.T has also developed 10 of its own private labels — such as Chocoolate, 5cm and b+ab — and partnered with major international players like  Dover Street Market  and Galeries Lafayette to expand its brick-and-mortar presence in China. The group's 30th anniversary in 2018 included an online-only capsule from more than 100 of I.T’s brand partners, including Alexander McQueen, Chloé and Thom Browne . Shoppable, interactive digital exhibitions also appeared in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Paris until early 2019.

Through I.T, Wai also operates edgy retail concept stores Izzue and Double-Park. Initially started in Hong Kong, the company expanded its presence in 2002 and has since opened several boutiques in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin and Taipei in Taiwan. In 2011, Wai undertook his first acquisition (of ailing Japanese brand A Bathing Ape) and in late 2013 opened a department store in Beijing through a joint venture agreement with French department store Galeries Lafayette.

Wai founded I.T in 1988, in collaboration with his brother, as a small boutique located in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong. Stocking labels that were not previously available in Hong Kong, the store quickly gained cult status, becoming a fast favourite with local youths searching for new styles. Along with chairman of the board of directors of I.T Limited, Wai also serves as executive director and chief executive and is co-owner of privately run investment vehicles 3WH Limited, Effective Convey Limited and Dynamic Vitality Limited.





1988 - Present

Hong Kong

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.