City's stylish temptations
With Hong Kong firmly positioned as Asia's fashion hub, this year's Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer is poised to host some of the world's most respected suppliers, brands and designers.
Now in its 18th edition, Fashion Week runs from today until Thursday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will showcase finished garments, designer collections, fashion accessories and textiles. After last year's event drew more than 23,000 buyers from 89 countries and regions, expectations are high this year.
Fashion Week features group pavilions representing China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau and Taiwan, and individual exhibitors from Asia and beyond.
Among the exhibitors is Bali-based Norwegian designer Espen Salberg, who is showcasing his new seasonal collection of women's ready-to-wear fashion for FIRMATO-Espen Salberg at the PT Crea-Con booth.
'Hong Kong Fashion Week has given me great support ever since I started there in 2009,' he says.
Sure to attract attention this year in the Japan Pavilion is Japanese fashion house Betty Smith, which started selling its products in Shanghai and Hong Kong last year.
'Our products are loved by people because of their original design and fabrics, [which] are rarely seen in Shanghai or Hong Kong,' says Yasuhiro Oshima, Betty Smith's CEO. 'We just want people in Hong Kong to enjoy Japanese hot trends and wear our designs.'
Canaan Knitting and Garment Factory has been in the fashion business in Hong Kong for more than 20 years, specialising in high-fashion sweaters, and it exports mainly to the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
'With the head office in Hong Kong, it allows us to reach our customers easily,' says Serena Fong, Canaan's manager. 'Our main products are fashion sweaters with beading and embroidery. We use different yarns such as tencel, viscose, nylon, cotton and cashmere.' Exhibits have been categorised into theme zones to encourage contact between exhibitors and buyers. Among them is a new zone, Denim Arcade, showcasing apparel and all kinds of fashion accessories made of denim.
The World of Fashion Accessories zone has proved to be particularly popular in previous shows.
Buyers can source fashion accessories, such as handbags, scarves, shoes and fashion jewellery, to complement the stylish apparel available at the fair. Modern vintage jeweller Taka will show off its Piece of Happiness pearl collection at the Coney Ko booth during Fashion Week. 'Piece of Happiness is all about the concept of Taka,' says Coney Ko, Taka's designer.
'Taka is a fusion of vintage elegance and chic, oriental stylish design with natural mixed materials. It reflects urban lifestyle and a personal style.'
Also exhibiting in this zone at Xie Yi Lifestyle is Hong Kong high-fashion brand Vincelle, which will be promoting its silk with leather handbags series. Vincelle handbags are made of natural silk fabrics and the brand attracts clients with a keen fashion sense and an eye for quality. And sure to be a big hit at the fair is a series of trend seminars presented by internationally recognised style forecasters, including WGSN, Fashion Snoops, Stylesight and Peclers Paris.
The fair also nurtures the next generation of Hong Kong's fashion industry.
The Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Polytechnic University will stage a graduation fashion show for its master's programme graduates.
The Chinese University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies of Hong Kong will also be there to showcase the works of its higher diploma students.