Local fashion designers need to create a strong image if they want international recognition, according to Hong Kong fashion designer Flora Cheong-Leen. Ms Cheong-Leen weighed in with her thoughts while reflecting upon the design strengths in her own collection themed 'love me, feel me, see me', which, she said, explored the essence of Chinese identity. 'In a globalised market, people won't remember your identity or who you are unless you have a distinctive style,' she said. 'If we don't have an identity, why would people come to our show?' Ms Cheong-Leen, who runs a string of boutiques in major European and Asian cities, said Hong Kong would always remain under the shadow of high- profile American and European designers until the local design community embraced its own heritage and strove to articulate its own fashion direction. She criticised Hong Kong's tendency to imitate the fashion trends in other countries, argu ing that the city should be on par with Taiwan's vibrant fashion culture. 'Hong Kong is a place with no identity. Where do we stand as designers or manufacturers? We should produce what we are good at. We have to build our own foundation, print our own fabric, weave our own fabric.' Ms Cheong-Leen said her own work reflected a quest to uncover 'Chinnery' - the unique character of mainland China. She said her fabrics were wholly-produced on the main land and made use of traditional architectural motifs and floral patterns. All seamstress work was also done on the mainland. But an obsession with identity doesn't mean Ms Cheong-Leen's works are traditional. Although she uses woven fabrics and classic patterns, Ms Cheong-Leen also incorporates modern materials such as Lycra to produce clothes that are funky yet sophisticated easily. Ms Cheong-Leen will present 30 pieces from her collection on Wednesday at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.