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2004 Footwear Design Competition(HKTDC Fashion - Footwear, Vol 02,2004)

Vol 2, 2004

2004 Footwear Design Competition

Flair Play

2004 Footwear Design Competition

Flair Play

Joy & Peace Award for Creativity

Hui Pui Ki

Le Saunda Holdings Ltd


Creative design talent flooded the 2004 Hong Kong Footwear Design Competition with chic ideas and styles, adding extra shine to a local footwear industry already brimming with quality and value.

Competition organising committee chairman Tang Yiu believes this latest flowering of local talent springs from Hong Kong people's innate fashion sense. "Their demands for comfortable, durable and trendy clothing and footwear have nourished a group of talented designers," he maintains.

"We are confident that the industry has immense potential for growth, and hope that the competition can enhance the reputation of the local footwear industry while also encouraging more youngsters to enter the field."

The footwear industry is currently urging the Hong Kong government to hasten the establishment of a footwear design centre and launch related tertiary courses to nurture more design students.

"This will certainly upgrade Hong Kong's design standards and foster more distinctive local brand names aimed at the middle- and high-end markets," Tang believes.

Hong Kong is the world's third largest footwear exporter, with total exports worth US$5.73bn in 2003, and is also noteworthy for its kaleidoscope of high quality, stylish and competitively priced footwear.

This ongoing success is reflected in the annual Hong Kong Footwear Design Competition, which epitomises the depth, breadth and talent inherent in the local footwear industry.

Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Leather Shoe and Shoe Material Merchants Association and the Hong Kong Rubber & Footwear Manufacturers' Association, the fourth annual design contest boasted an array of categories.

This year the organisers initiated the 'Best Corporate Design' category, which was won by Lai Kong Footwear Co Ltd, in a bid to encourage small- and medium-sized enterprises to invest more in original design and develop Hong Kong's own brands.

A staggering 520 designs were submitted for the competition, of which 50 made the finals with one contestant scooping three top prizes.

Inspired by a sumptuous hairy crab feast, champion Chan Man Chung utilised the form and colours of the sought-after crustacean to win over the judges.

The eye-catching shoes resembling a crab, and aptly named 'Green Power Crab', won him the Children's shoes category, the Staccato Award for Grand Champion and the Most Popular Award of Media decided by the local media. "The lively characteristics of the little creature fit in perfectly with the concept of a pair of energetic shoes for children," explains Chan.

A children's footwear designer for more than 15 years, Chan is always on a quest for colourful yet healthy shoes. "Children's shoes have to be cute and fun," he believes. "However, a pair of healthy shoes is also very important for the proper growth of kids' feet, so soft and breathable materials are used to add comfort."

Ladies' Casual category winner Sofia Ng echoes the idea that footwear has to be both stylish and comfortable with her design 'Breath', a pair of knee-high lace-up shoes. "The Chinese mainland's success in sending its first astronaut into space prompted me to come up with this design," she says.

She deliberately used contrasting black and metallic colours to highlight the curving pattern on the shoes, which are made with breathable synthetic leather and fabric designed to keep the feet warm and cozy.

While Ng is enthusiastic about the mysteries of space, le saunda Award for Modern Chic winner Lau So Yan was enchanted by the beauty of the lotus flower.

"The elegant, fresh features of the lotus made a strong impression on me," she says. "The flower's refreshing appearance inspired this delicate pair of flip-flops to cool down the summer heat."

Sports category winner Yip Chan Shing was equally imaginative with his winning entry 'Swift', which features the silhouette of a quick-flying swift that symbolises the speed and grace of a winning athlete.

Men's category winner Wong Kai On drew his 'Poisson' design from daily life and his belief that men, though outwardly strong, are mild-mannered inside. To this end, he contrasted burgundy suede at the sides with metal-topped toes to reflect the dichotomy of men's characters.

Double winner Hui Pui Ki (winner of the Ladies' Dress section and the Joy & Peace Award for Creativity) claims her design depicts "the carefree nature of modern women, who are independent and successful in their career".

The competition has given her career a definite boost, the final year design student at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education having already been head-hunted by several footwear manufacturers.

Proving yet again that the Hong Kong Footwear Design Competition helps budding design talent set foot on the platform to international fame and worldwide success.