New York designer sees potential for a fashionable mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 October, 2010, 12:00am

Possibly not long from now, we'll see New York-based designer Derek Lam expanding his fashion business further north to the mainland.

'That's partly the reason why I've been trying to spend a lot of time in China. I didn't want to go into China until I really felt comfortable because we are not a very large brand,' Lam (pictured), who hosted a cocktail event last Thursday in Central's Joyce boutique to meet and greet fans, said.

Lam only stayed one day in Hong Kong after his brief stay in Beijing where he was a judge of a competition for emerging designers, and where he checked out market potential.

The results looked encouraging. 'I think it's definitely time that [mainland customers] are ready for the next wave - brands that are not that well known but offer more eccentric styles.'

The award-winning designer, who has worked in Hong Kong before, said that for now his focus would remain in New York.

'It's exciting to come back to Asia and I have dreamed that I might retire in Asia. But New York is my home. I still get my identity from being a New Yorker. Nobody can really understand my Cantonese. And I rely on my friends to tell me where to go in Hong Kong; I've been away for a long time now.'

Keep your radar tuned in for possible Lam collaborations. The designer reckons there are possibilities to work with mass-market retailers.

'Not specifically to collaborate with H&M, Topshop and all that, but anything we can use to reach the customers more directly is wonderful. I think it has to be something authentic to our brand as well.' Lam said.