Asia's most respected sourcing destination for niche apparel fabrics and accessories turns 25 in Hong Kong this year, and a host of exciting events have been arranged to celebrate the milestone.
Interstoff Asia Essential's spring fair, which is being held from Wednesday to Friday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, has been leading the way in developing the regional textile industry since 1987.
To mark the achievement, some special events have been organised by the region's leading associations and fashion designers, namely the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the Textile Council of Hong Kong, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT and Messe Frankfurt (HK).
'Over the years, we have developed a strong presence within Asia's textile industry, all stemming from our very first step into the Far East with Interstoff Asia 1987,' says Stephan Buurma, managing director of Messe Frankfurt Asia. 'We have grown to be a major force in helping to revive the region's fashion and textile industry.'
The spring show offers an impressive range of fashionable products with a focus on those made sustainably alongside those with multiple functions and special properties.
Among the confirmed events show are a fashion show, a pioneering product display and a forum.
Up-and-coming local fashion designers and brands including Chen Dao, Dorian Ho, WHOSTHAT and Modele de Prudence are to host an exclusive 'Celebrating 25 Years Interstoff Asia Runway' show in co-operation with selected exhibitors.
'I am honoured to be invited to participate in the 25th anniversary fashion show and as a highlight of the opening celebration,' says Hong Kong fashion designer Ho.
The internationally renowned designer, who created his first ready-to-wear label Dorian Ho Collection in 2001, believes that fashion is a tool that women use to feel confident and function well.
'Beading should no longer be about being bright; you've got to do it right. I always edit myself because the value of beading in a gown is not in how much you use but in the overall look you achieve,' he says.
'Design is all about innovation, but you also need to cater to market demands. This is such a big show in this industry and brings wonderful opportunities to reach professionals all over the world.'
Ethnicity is Ho's inspiration for spring-summer 2013. 'I love making women look beautiful but what I really enjoy is challenge and change,' he says.
Another highlight of the fair is the New Technology Zone. In partnership with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, Taiwan Textile Federation and the China National Textile and Apparel Council, a display area showcases new garment design applications and pioneering products in the spinning and finishing technology sectors.
The projects in this zone include shape memory materials finishing technology, Nu-Torque cotton yarn production technology and high-performance sportswear.
The 'Trend and Development Forum in China's Apparel and Textile Industry' is a tailor-made forum specifically designed to address challenges affecting today's textile industry.
An important segment of the programme provides for an in-depth exchange and discussion among participants.
The programme's facilitator is Philip Yeung, executive director of the Clothing Industry Training Authority, and the keynote speaker will be Xu Ying-xin, who is the executive vice-president of the Sub-Council of Textile Industry.
The fair has also adapted to suit busy buyers and better reflect the one-stop-shop concept that buyers want. Interstoff Asia Essential is divided into country and region pavilions including Elite China, Fine Japan, Excellent Korea, Amazing Taiwan and debutant Origin Africa.
The show also features special areas including an Accessories Zone and an Eco Section with certification bodies such as the Global Organic Textile Standard and the Control Union.
Clearly signposted sections will allow buyers to find specific products quickly and efficiently.