Hong Kong is still the leading fashion capital of the region despite the great potential of the mainland market, says the head of an international fashion house. Paul Deneve, president of Nina Ricci, said that despite plans for exploring the mainland market and having Japan and South Korea as the biggest and second-biggest markets in Asia, customers still found Hong Kong offered a unique shopping experience. 'Hong Kong is still the most important place for fashion with the concentration of wealth and trend,' he said at the Nina Ricci 2005 spring/summer fashion show yesterday. 'We have plans to open shops in Shanghai but it won't happen until 2007 or 2008. China, in the long term, is a big market. But the question is how far the long term is.' Nina Ricci, which has one shop in Hong Kong, unveiled its spring/summer collection last week at Shanghai Fashion Week. Mr Deneve said the brand had to get more visibility on the mainland to make it successful. The fashion show in Hong Kong was part of the label's Asian tour, which will also take place in Seoul and Tokyo. Local high fashion boutique Joyce will carry Nina Ricci's spring/ summer collection in January. Joyce general merchandise manager Anita Wong said mainland tourists who were flooding into Hong Kong did not give much help to high-end fashion producers but they did contribute to the mass market in general. Ms Wong said elegance was the theme for this fall/winter. 'The trend is back to elegance and sophistication, with tailor-made suits,' she said. 'Fur is also a big trend. A lot of designers have real fur for this season. 'The elegant look will be carried on into spring/summer.' Nina Ricci's spring/summer collection has edgy, feminine, yet playful designs which dominate the handmade new items, featuring bright colours like grape and delicate fabrics such as chiffon and silk.