Success in the bag for young designers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am

The Design-A-Bag competition was launched in 2006 by APLF, with the aim of introducing up and coming bag designers to the world.

According to APLF, the competition offers designers a chance to 'distinguish themselves, creating designs up to international standard' and 'gain exposure' in the market.

This year, entrants can upload their designs online and submit their applications by January 29. The winners will be announced at the March edition of Fashion Access.

The online function is one of the competition's unique aspects, said Bonnie Wu, marketing communications manager of APLF.

'Through the internet we are able to reach out globally and invite designers of different nationalities to join and give talented designers from countries, who aren't well known for fashion designs, a chance to introduce their work internationally,' Wu said.

Another reason this competition stands out is because it does not require the applicant to make an actual product from their concept.

'By submitting just their graphic illustrations, their design concepts will be judged, which is much fairer than judging a designer's actual product because some designers might have excellent concepts but lack the manufacturing facilities and financial means to create the actual product,' Wu said.

One of this year's Design-A-Bag winners, Olga Alfonso, deems the competition an important stepping stone for up and coming designers.

'When you are a young or student designer, it's hard for people in the industry to believe in you due to the lack of experience,' she said. 'This is why the Design-A-Bag competition is a great idea because the organisers trust and believe in new talent and give them the opportunity to show their ideas.'

Apart from offering new designers a chance, Alfonso also said the competition experience was motivating.

APLF flew Alfonso from Colombia to Hong Kong to join the Fashion Access Fair in March this year and to meet leather and handbag producers.

She said this helped her a lot as a designer because she got to see the latest industry trends.

The Design-A-Bag competition is divided into two sections and four categories.

There is the section for full-time students and the designer section for full-time or freelance designers.

The categories are Fit, Party, The Malebag and Dream Teens.

Fit are sporty outdoor bags, Party stands for evening bags, The Malebag are multifunctional bags for men and Dream Teens represent stylish bags for teenagers.

For the judging criteria, designs are evaluated on their originality, use of the latest trends in materials, colours and trims, and the wearability and usefulness of the design.