HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2011 Fair Review
Denim Arcade and Handbags Select gave buyers the opportunity to find the very latest in these perennially popular categories, while the newest design talents took the opportunity to source fabrics and accessories and indulge in the invaluable networking and business discussions for which the 4-7 July show is rightly renowned.
Making his first appearance at the event, for example, was young Russian Victor Matvienko, the winner of a recent an all-Russia fashion design contest who hopes to make his mark selling into Asia.
“I am bringing a new business look to Asia and hope to make an impression here and open a line of business,” Mr Matvienko explained. “Though I like the materials I see at this show, I feel I have something to add when it comes to design as the styles for men are a bit hum-drum.”
He thought his designs would “sell well” in Asia – and particularly in Japan – as they appeal to fashion fans looking for something unusual though still with a business line.
These are not classic business wear but modern, edgy styles, some with Oriental elements that mix Asian and European styles while leaving both distinct. “I am learning each day here from others’ experience, in manufacturing especially, and that’s of great value,” Mr Matvienko said.
Also looking for something unique was regular visitor Charles Benbow, a jewellery buyer from the US Virgin Islands who specialises in pearls. “I am always on the lookout for something new and come to all the shows looking for the unusual,” he stated. “If you don’t come regularly you start losing all your contacts.”
He believed it would take until at least 2013 before the US market began to recover. “My acquaintances say people of my generation may never see the US market hit the highs it has in the past,” Mr Benbow conceded.
A more optimistic note was sounded by Hong Kong fashion accessories manufacturer Cambridge Gloves & Accessories Mfy Ltd, which, like the name suggests, specialises in gloves and other fashion accessories. “We have a UK partner that we supply with accessories and have come to the fair to expand our contacts,” Merchandising Manager Edwina Lee revealed.
This was the second time Cambridge had exhibited at the fair, which Ms Lee believed was an important venue because “everyone knows about this show” if they are part of the fashion industry.
“This time around business is quite good,” Ms Lee said, noting that there were “a lot” of Asian visitors. “This is good for us, as we want to explore the Asian market.”
Brisbane-based company Dogstar’s designer Masayo Yasaki was also a fair freshman who was seeking materials that would help the company create its distinctive contemporary fashion with attention to cut, comfort and quality.
“We are looking for fabric manufacturers and people in the same industry in Australia suggested we come here,” she said. “We are still sounding out the terrain because everything is very different from Australia; but we are learning so much.”
Amazing Grace Co Ltd Team Manager Grace Lee brought her team over from Korea with a selection of smart fashionable and very colourful polyester ladies’ bags bearing the name ecoco – which means let the earth pause for a moment. “We are seeking international distributors for our bags, whether in Hong Kong, Europe or the US,” she said.
Though it was Amazing Grace’s first time at the Spring/Summer show, the company has made successful forays to Hong Kong in the past. “We are sure our fashionable bags will attract buyers at this kind of show, especially as we produce at the high-quality end of the fashion spectrum,” Ms Lee maintained. “Our bags are on the expensive side but fashion designers, importers and wholesalers of fashion goods like what we are offering.”
Fellow exhibitor Shajuky Exports of Delhi, India, was making its third appearance at the show. “We deal in fashion accessories including jewellery, semi-precious stone jewellery and evening bags,” Proprietor Shabbier Fakhruddin said. “We come because here we can meet buyers from all over the world and it is easy to come and go from Hong Kong – especially when it comes to transporting goods.”
He noted that many designers and manufacturers come to Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer to buy accessories to match their garments. “It’s a high-value show,” Mr Fakhruddin said. “Expensive garments are sold here and a lot of good buyers come to this show.”
This fact wasn’t lost on the other 1,300-plus Hong Kong Fashion Week exhibitors from 24 countries and regions who participated in the four-day show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
They included seven group pavilions representing the Chinese mainland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Korea and Taiwan, while the UAE was a participating country.
Hong Kong is a natural host for this exciting show as its garment and textile industry attracts buyers from around the world because of its outstanding manufacturing craftsmanship and flexible trade and sales services, observed HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.
“Hong Kong fashion designers are trendsetters who understand the market,” Mr Chau noted. “With such talent on hand, Hong Kong Fashion Week is an ideal international platform for the industry to expand its business.”