Courage of a Viking in promoting Scandinavian design and fashion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 February, 2010, 12:00am

Yardley Wong is determined to make Scandinavian fashion fashionable. The former business development manager for Shanghai Tang has started her own company to bring in labels from Europe and Scandinavia. Her first venture is with Danish label Bruuns Bazaar, throwing an opening party and in-store fashion show inside its iSquare shop in Tsim Sha Tsui last Thursday evening.

'Scandinavian design is like the Japan of Europe,' Wong said. 'I want to promote Scandinavian design because it's not very well known in Asia. There's a lot of individualism and casual elegance. My family is in the garment industry and we do a lot of work for Scandinavian brands so that's how I learned their culture.'

So apparently it's not all H&M and Ikea over there. Wong is so confident she can win over local fans with laidback Scandinavian style and quality that she is already planning to open more stores. Given the uncertain economy, her ambition to be the town's newest retail mogul suggests she has some Viking courage too.

'I don't see it as pressure, but as a challenge,' Wong said. 'Pressure to me is a kind of entertainment, something to be enjoyed. This is my passion also. Shanghai Tang was a great training ground and it allowed me to travel the world and see things like New York Fashion Week. That's quite a rare opportunity for a Hong Kong girl.'