Meet the region's leading fashion designers This year's winner of the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest, Angel Wong Pui-shan has come a long way since she began her career at a jewellery box-design company, when she was 17. She later joined a design company, where she helped to source materials and beading. Wong then began designing smaller items such as embroidery and accessories, and moved on to clothing in 2002. She now works full time for the Otto Group, a private fashion company, but plans to launch her own label and shop. Have you always wanted to be a designer? When I joined Otto Group, I was co-ordinating everything at the beginning. I've been with them for seven years, but only started designing three years ago. I realised that I wanted to pursue it seriously and needed to expand my knowledge of the craft, so I signed up for night courses at the Clothing Industry Training Authority, Caritas Bianchi College of Careers, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. How did you come to enter the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest? My company sponsored me. It provided the materials and helped me produce my line. I designed the outfits and took care of all the matching handbags, shoes, and jewellery for the collection. What does your collection look like? I designed very special items with numerous design details for the collection I presented at Hong Kong Fashion Week. I used chiffon, satin and mesh to create a feminine look and adorned the clothes with crystals, pailettes, sequins and beads. My own future lines will be more wearable and the dresses won't be so heavy and expensive. I hope to concentrate on evening wear and casual clothes, with a definite focus on embroidery and details. Who are your customers? At Otto, we target customers in the 35-plus age group, which is a bit too mature for me. For my own collection, I will focus on the working woman, aged 23 to 43, who is confident, has character and who knows how to enjoy life and is independent. What inspires you? Anything and everything. I like to go to bookstores and libraries. I am inspired by colours, shapes and materials. I got my inspiration for my collection when I was talking to a friend about relationships and she asked for advice. There are always options ... and you get a different perspective if you look at it from another angle. This is where I got my 'positive/negative' theme from. Why do you think your collection was so successful? I think the reason why I won the award was because of all the details, like the layering and the embroidery. People seem to be interested in the 'good/bad' theme as well, and ... the collection is timeless and wearable. Where would you like to sell your designs? I want to have my own shop eventually. The window display is very important to me. I want to present a whole picture with a complete story. Therefore, I need a partner, someone who will take care of the marketing and the merchandising. Where will your designs be available? The first step is Hong Kong, and then Europe. I want to start here, and just take it from there. I will see how everything develops, what kind of feedback I get, what kind of customers I attract and especially which countries like my designs. What do you think of the Asian fashion market? Japan is strong, whereas China has just started to expand and develop. Hong Kong is an international place, every kind of style is accepted here. It is very easy to set up your fashion line and expand from here. Hong Kong serves as a good platform. What is your motto? Make use of your talents and treasure them, they are a gift.