SHOWCASING THE BEAUTY OF ASIAN FASHION AT HKTDC
With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world…
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) concluded yet another successful edition of its premiere fashion event CENTERSTAGE on September 9, 2018. Touted as the most happening fashion event of Asia, the 2018 edition of the four-day event (September 5 – 8, 2018) registered participation by about 230 fashion brands from 22 countries and regions and attracted 8,700 buyers from 80 countries and regions.
There was a 2.4 percent increase in attendance over last year and the event also witnessed increased participation from Canada, France, Germany, India, Korea, Russia, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. Overall, 35 percent of the total buyers were from Asia.
Commenting on the success of the latest edition of Centerstage, Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director, HKTDC, said, “We’re pleased to note that
CENTRESTAGE has become a premier event for the Asian fashion industry, offering regional fashion brands and designers a platform to promote and launch their collections. In its third edition, this year’s CENTRESTAGE attracted many global brands and buyers to participate. An increased number of overseas buyers came looking for business opportunities and talents, which solidified Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s fashion capital.”
CENTRESTAGE 2018 centred on the theme of ‘Tomorrow Lab’, with three thematic zones and presented about 40 activities over its four-day run.
The activities also included more than 20 fashion shows, giving brands and designers ample opportunity to connect with buyers, media and fashion professionals during these activities.
Japanese avant-garde streetwear label Facetasm, Hong Kong ready-towear women’s wear label IDISM, and Chinese luxury women’s wear label Ms MIN presented their latest 2019 Spring/Summer collections at the opening gala show CENTRESTAGE ELITES, attracting over 1,000 guests.
At the Fashionally Collection #12 and Fashionally Presentation shows, 13 budding local designer brands paraded their 2019 Spring/Summer collections. CENTRESTAGE 2018 also introduced the latest collections by renowned Hong Kong brands including Dorian Ho, Artistic Palace, Harrison Wong, House Of V, and Loom Loop.
A slew of designers and key fashion industry players found their CENTRESTAGE 2018 participation fruitful. Mitsuo Nakahashi, Fashion Merchandising Director at Barneys Japan, discovered several new designer brands that could be potential partners, including a brand showcased by firsttime Hong Kong exhibitor nano-secc showroom.
Hong Kong-based brand Loom Loop, which has participated in CENTRESTAGE since its inaugural edition, received an order from US retailer 3NY on the first day of the event this year, after securing a deal with a mainland multi-brand store at CENTRESTAGE 2017.
Polly Ho, designer of Loom Loop, noted that CENTRESTAGE is now a key annual event in the regional fashion calendar, especially as it is strategically timed with the start of the buying season, providing buyers and VIP customers with an exclusive preview of designers’ upcoming collections.
Fashion Industry Poised for Sales Growth
The HKTDC commissioned an independent research agency to conduct on-site survey during this year’s event to gauge the outlook for the fashion industry and product trends. Interviewing more than 300 exhibitors and buyers, the survey found that the industry is cautiously optimistic about sales in the coming year.
Nearly 60 percent of the respondents expect overall sales to remain steady, and about 30 percent expect good growth. While about half of respondents expect increases in sourcing prices or production costs, almost 60 percent of the respondents said they will not raise unit or retail prices, reflecting a general tendency of the industry’s hesitance in transferring increased costs to customers.
The survey results also showed that over 70 percent of the respondents are optimistic about the potential of the mainland fashion market, which is seen having good growth prospects. On upcoming fashion trends, about 60 percent of respondents expect casual wear and urban fashion to be the most popular product categories, followed by fashion accessories and high fashion/ occasional wear. In e-commerce, women’s wear is anticipated to be the most popular product category going forward, followed by fashion jewellery and bags. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents believe that brand crossover combined with joint promotion is the most common product development strategy. Approximately 30 percent of respondents agreed that celebrities’ or key opinion leaders’ endorsement is also an effective strategy.
Furthermore, CENTRESTAGE provided market insights through the Trend Talk Series and Meet the Visionaries Series of seminars featuring distinguished industry experts. These included Anupreet Bhui, Senior Editor of Global Street Style at trend forecasting agency WGSN, who explored upcoming fashion trends and the influence of streetwear among Generation Z. Euromonitor International’s Head of Fashion Research Jorge Martin examined AsiaPacific as the key growth engine for global fashion expenditure.
Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC)
An integral part of CENTERSTAGE, the 2018 edition of Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC) took place on the night of 8th September, serving as the finale for the third edition of the event.
The winner of the event was Leo Chan for the design ‘Wandervögel’. The collection aims to revive the spirt of the German movement ‘Wandervögel’, which embraces nature and freedom, as an antidote to hectic city life. The winner was awarded a cash prize of HK$35,000 and a month-long internship at Martine Rose, sponsored by Sun Hing Knitting Factory Ltd.
Yip Yeung-yeung was selected as the first runners up for her design ‘Modificism’, which explores the controversy of science exploiting genetic modification in modern times. Yip Yeung-yeung was awarded a cash prize of HK$25,000 and an overseas study trip sponsored by MINI HK.
Ng Cho-kiu, Charlotte, was the second runner-up and winner of the Best Footwear Design Award for his visual simulation of the English rock band Radiohead’s song ‘Everything in its Right Place’. She was bestowed with a cash prize of HK$20,000 and a monthlong internship at CLOT Company Ltd. for being the second runners up. She also won a cash prize of HK$10,000 and a mentorship offered by I.T Apparels Ltd., as the winner of the Best Footwear Design Award.