Young designer explains why Asian fashion labels should return to the region

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 July, 2010, 12:00am

Fashionistas gorged themselves on champagne and chocolates at the Vero lounge, where designer Kanchan Panjabi launched her Kanchan Couture label's ready-to-wear collection on Wednesday night.

'[The guests] look like they are having fun out there and that's good,' said Panjabi at the intimate Admiralty nightspot. But the 27-year-old fashion designer had to keep the event's 10 models away from the bubbly before they hit the catwalk.

'I was like: 'Ladies, I'll get you girls drinks afterwards, I promise',' said Panjabi with a laugh, pointing to a temporary back-stage bar.

She said it was hard to host a fashion presentation in the restaurant's space. 'We've done fashion shows in different venues and it's always been challenging when you see the back stage is small,' said the designer, who came to Hong Kong with her parents from Calcutta when she was five. 'But that's also what makes [the job] more interesting.'

Panjabi, who studied in London and New York and started her label in 2007, said more Asian fashion labels should return to the region.

'There are a lot hitting it big in Paris and New York,' she said. 'Why don't they come home? China and India are growing so fast. That's where the money is.'

She also offered some styling tips for keeping cool in Hong Kong's hot and muggy months. 'Cotton or linen dresses with prints are the best for summer,' Panjabi said.