Brands, designers put on best face

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2012, 12:00am


HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter and HKTDC World Boutique, Hong Kong

Widely considered Asia's fashion capital, Hong Kong has become the chosen venue for renowned brands and designers to showcase their most recent collections. From today until Thursday, about 1,900 exhibitors from 26 countries and regions will take part at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

'These are premier events for the Asian fashion scene,' says Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director at fair organiser Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

'The fairs have again received great support from global fashion designers and brands, cementing Hong Kong's status as Asia's trendsetting hub.'

Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter is divided into product zones for the convenience of buyers, with categories such as garments, accessories, intimates, and bridal and evening wear. New product zones are Denim Arcade, Handbags Select and Salon of Scarves & Shawls. World Boutique and Hong Kong Fashion Week are expecting more than 110 buying missions comprising more than 4,700 buyers from 40 countries and regions.

First-time exhibitor Birk Danish Design considers the fair an important gateway to Asia. The fashion brand specialises in Danish handmade designer knitwear and Danish coastal amber and designer amber jewellery. 'All our products are entirely designed and handmade in Denmark by local designers who express their individuality - no two products are the same. The amber that we use in our products is the rare and precious Danish coastal amber,' says owner Mette Birk Jensen.

'Our ambition is to introduce ourselves to the increasingly quality-conscious Hong Kong consumers who want to stand out and wear something original with an edge.'

Hong Kong's Tak Po Group Limited is also a first-time exhibitor at Hong Kong Fashion Week. 'We have chosen to exhibit at the fair as it is the most suitable for us to present our sportswear to buyers,' says managing director Stano Chan. 'We are planning to explore and develop more cycling sportswear for the US and European markets. We will focus on developing more functional sportswear this year.'

World Boutique will feature the Hong Kong Fashion Extravaganza, where international designers will launch their latest collections. Celebrities, socialites, VIP guests and the media will attend the gala tonight. This year's featured designers are Risto Bimbiloski from Paris, Craig Lawrence from London, Hidy Ng from Hong Kong and Qi Gang from Shanghai. Hong Kong supermodel Grace Yu, the first Asian face of Dior, will be on the catwalk for Ng's new collection.

Bimbiloski's up-and-coming label Risto features knitwear and ready-to-wear garments produced in his home country of Macedonia. British label Craig Lawrence, which has stockists such as Tokyo's Candy and London's Selfridges, will showcase its spring/summer 2012 collection. This latest offering is inspired by Martin Parr's photography, in particular his images of the British seaside. Hidy Ng, which counts Harvey Nichols in London and The Swank in Hong Kong as its stockists, features simple silhouettes while Qi Gang's brand SCFashion focuses on form and layering.

Participants of World Boutique include Hong Kong brands Tattoo and Gambit, and overseas brands such as Pashma from India.

Italian footwear and accessories brand Arfango will present its fall/winter 2012/2013 shoe collection 'The Dream Shoe: Fancy at Your Feet' by Alberto Moretti. It is Arfango's first time at the fair. 'Being in Hong Kong and meeting potential clients give us a better awareness and knowledge about the Asian market,' Moretti says. 'We wanted to come to the exhibition in order to be closer to Asia and be where the economy is growing.'

Japan's Maruei Towel Co is also participating for the first time. 'We are creating 'new fashion' with towels - we call it 'new fashion' because we even produce clothing like shirts from our towels,' says manager Hirofumi Nishihara. 'We realise there are lots of visitors from all over the world. Then we can introduce our brand as similar to other fashion brands.'

Other World Boutique exhibitors include Mastina, which will present its spring/summer 2012 executive wear and casual wear collections. It is also the first time the company will participate in the fair. 'Mastina is planning to enter the mainland market in 2012,' says brand director Harrison Wong. 'World Boutique attracts many overseas buyers around the world. We hope through this fair to present our brand to customers and buyers from the mainland and Southeast Asia.

The Taiwan Textile Federation has recruited 12 Taiwanese fashion brands and designers - including Andre Kao, Fala Chien and Lu Xuezheng - to join forces for the Taipei IN Style Pavilion. 'World Boutique is aimed at promoting designer ranges and brands from around the world,' explains Justin Huang, secretary general of the Taiwan Textile Federation. 'The show brings together works of representative fashion designers and brands from different regions across the globe, and is also the first independent trade show for brand products in Asia.'

Other special events include the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest 2012 tomorrow. It will showcase a new generation of design talents in Hong Kong, with renowned Japanese designer Atsuro Tayama as the VIP judge.

Trend seminars, featuring prominent firms including WGSN, Fashion Snoops, Stylesight, Peclers Paris and Women's Wear Daily, will also be held. Attendees will also witness some 20 fashion shows and parades showcasing the latest collections of international designers and brands.