Style Insider: Norbyah Nolasco

Butterboom Style Insider: Norbyah Nolasco
By   /  August 8, 2014

Norbyah Nolasco is a fashion blogger for trending website Sisters in Vintage HK.  She loves vintage fashion and after living in Hong Kong for nearly 8 years  knows all the best spots in Hong Kong to find vintage pieces.  A lovely Australian-Malaysian-Chinese hybrid, she grew up mostly in Malaysia and then spent time in Southern Illinois and Madison, Wisconsin, USA, where she got married and had three kids before moving to Hong Kong.

When did you start blogging about vintage…

I started blogging about fashion nearly four years ago as a way to discover the vintage scene in Hong Kong. I really like the idea of wearing vintage clothes rather than new clothes because they have less of a negative effect on our environment and limit the working environments created by fast fashion.

What are you currently working on…

I’m involved in two projects at the moment. One is a summer-long collaboration with Louella Odie, a local Hong Kong accessories designer whose concept of art and adventure blended well with my summer travels. We’ve been working on a summer travelogue in which I document my travels with some of their beautiful bags and scarves while they map out my journey on their Travel Tribe page. Their company has just celebrated one year in business and their second collection will launch this fall.

The other project is a collaboration with a new start up jewellery business called Circuit Jewellery. We did a style shoot blending their pieces with my vintage. Both projects can be seen on my blog, I’m a Norbyah.


Describe your style…

I’m inspired by style from decades past and believe that fashion from the past continues to inspire designers today. So, I’d say my style is vintage-inspired, classic and feminine.

Happiness is…

Being surrounded by my family (both on mine and my hubby’s side). As crazy as we all are, we love each other and have a lot of laughs. Time all together really only happens once a year, so it’s always special.

A quote that inspires you…

As an English teacher, I find my inspiration in literature. Here’s a quote from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, “To thine ownself be true.” That pretty much sums up how I feel. Be an individual and don’t be afraid to be yourself.

A fashion quote …

I have two!

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

“Style is very important. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style lasts forever.” – Ralph Lauren

Top places to shop for vintage in Hong Kong…

Me and Gee.  It’s messy and you have to hunt for gems but the prices cannot be beat!  It’s a genuine thrifting experience, you have to go frequently to find some beautiful pieces, but you won’t be disappointed.  There are several branches, but the one I go to most is in Central at 9 Li Yuen Street West.  Most of the vintage pieces stocked are from Korea and Japan, so the sizes do run smaller.  I find lovely prints on dresses, skirts, blouses, etc.  Upstairs you can find men’s sweaters and jackets along with some fun shirts.  It’s worth a look (or several).

Select 18 (Shop A, 18 Bridges Street, Central).  It has a great selection of vintage artifacts like old telephones, suitcases and old pictures. I found an amazing suede handbag there, myself.  What they’re probably most known for is their incredible collection of vintage sunglasses.  I could stay for hours just trying them on.

Midwest Vintage near Northpoint (Shop 58, G/F, Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Rd, Causeway Bay).  It’s a great place to find vintage denim, men’s flannels and other casual pieces.  I’ve also found some interesting vintage jewellery pieces there. It reminds me a lot of places like Goodwill and Salvation Army, but isn’t priced as low as it would be in America.

Swaps and pop-up events in Hong Kong ..

Swap and Shop at Little Square, 21 Square Street, Sheung Wan by the lovely Wong sisters behind Nappahead,  Karen and Samantha. They organize a fun event every few months in which you bring up to 15 items in good condition to swap for other items (clothes, shoes, accessories).

 Get Redressed Pop Up – Organized by Redress HK and usually head at Pizza Express on Lyndhurst Terrace in Soho. The pop-up showcases beautiful items from the Get Redressed Challenge and you can donate and pick up stuff from other people. A great way to keep textile waste from filling our landfills.

 Facebook Groups to check for vintage shops..

Hardly Worn It

Swap-it HK

 Who has great style?

I really love my friend Paola Sinisterra of Tangram’s style. She loves prints, like I do, and I love how she can tie a scarf! I’ve also been following Erin Perez Hagstrom’s blog, Calivintage, for years. I really love how her style keeps evolving, especially since she’s become a mother. And I really love Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific: she’s classy, bold and oh so sophisticated.

What’s in your wardrobe ?

As a vintage lover, most of my wardrobe consists of dresses and skirts in beautiful novelty prints. I like colour and prints. I don’t shy away from statement pieces. One might think that dresses and skirts are not versatile, but I find the opposite to be true. I love to style them in all kinds of ways, like layering them with different pieces; blazers and cardigans or button down shirts. This summer, I’ve found myself turning into a shorts kind of girl. I keep coming back to my vintage cutoffs.


Signature piece..

I have a whole drawer designated to my vintage scarves. Every summer when I’m back in the US, I hit up thrift shops, estate sales and charity shops for interesting scarves.  I like trying to tie them in different ways: in bows and as a headband or turban. They’re really how I am able to change-up a dress or any other outfit.

Top online stores…

Etsy and Shoemint. All my other shopping is done at thrift shops, vintage boutiques and swap type pop up events.

Top 10 websites/blogs…

Top 3 recommended places for drinks after work…

Brick House, Ping Pong 129 and my top preferred choice would be Serge et la Phoque, especially since they’ve added a bar menu.


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