Big European brands to debut at Fashion Week

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2010, 12:00am

Asia's largest fashion event, this month's Hong Kong Fashion Week, will see a big increase in the number of exhibitors over last year's event, with more big-name European labels taking part.

About 2,000 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions will participate in Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter and World Boutique, which both run at the Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 18 to 21.

This represents a 25 per cent increase on last year's 1,600 exhibitors.

The big-name European brands joining the fashion events for the first time include Britain's Vivienne Westwood and Spain's Mango.

The gradual economic recovery in the West could be the reason behind the welcome increase in European participants, the deputy executive director of the Trade Development Council, Benjamin Chau Kai-leung, said.

Vivienne Westwood's creative director, Andreas Kronthaler, and the brand's marketing and merchandising director, Christopher di Pietro, said a seminar during Fashion Week would 'decode' the English fashion icon.

Vivienne Westwood would also use the Hong Kong events to make the world debut of its crossover series with Lee Jeans.

Russian and South African exhibitors will take part in Fashion Week for the first time.

Two new zones - intimate wear, and testing, certification and inspection - will be set up at the trade fair.

World Boutique, which showcases designer labels in particular, has attracted 250 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions. Appearing in the city for the first time will be The Underground Quarter by Londonedge, a group of 11 exhibitors from the United States and Europe that features alternative, rock or street fashion.

Also for the first time, the Netherlands will host a country pavilion.

A total of 25 fashion shows will take place at the two fairs and about 3,800 overseas buyers will be present for the events.

Chau said the Trade Development Council spent HK$80 million bringing overseas buyers to Hong Kong throughout 2009. The number of exhibitors at the year's fairs was up 1 per cent compared to 2008, and the number of buyers was up 2 per cent.

The council would continue to spend money on encouraging overseas buyers to come to the city, but he did not spell out the exact amount. The council would emphasise Asian markets such as Indonesia and India in its trade promotion work.

Boby Chan Yum-kit, the chairman and managing director of exhibitor Moiselle, said the company saw double-digit growth in sales during the Christmas holiday period compared with last year.

The purchasing power of mainlanders had surged in the second half of 2009, he said.

Exhibitors on the rise

Hong Kong Fashion Week runs from January 18 to 21 at the Convention and Exhibition Centre

The number of exhibitors who will participate this year is about: 2,000

This represents an increase on last year of about: 25%