Hong Kong Continues to Trump Local Design Abroad

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Hong Kong Continues to Trump Local Design Abroad

For fashion fans in the know, the Libération building on Rue Béranger was a must during Paris Fashion Week. Independent Hong Kong designers were allowed to transform the historic building with shows, presentations and installations through the international program HKFG with support from Fashion Farm Foundation. After that, guests could sip cocktails on the rooftop, taking in what was one of the city’s best views as they basked in the Parisian sunset.

Paris made the most of its physical schedule return, but it was clearly not business as usual this season. A two-day FFF international event is back, although it is a bit more limited: “phydigital” showroom featuring three brands at the chic Hotel National des Arts et Métiers. Parallel to this, online shows were made available to the public. “a translocality digital fashion performance experience”And a groundbreaking partnership was formed with LNCC, a luxury etailer.

With designers sadly offsite, FFF offered a curated slice of PabePabe, PONDER.ER, and VANN’s brand DNA in their absence through videos and objects. Jing Daily is here reports on Hong Kong’s new talent showcase as it ramps up digital connections.

“After the pandemic the whole fashion world has changed and even for a physical show there are now formats and possibilities,”Tianyo Mayao (director of FFF) explained that brands now have to be “open to this new approach to reach both industry and consumers.”

Through FFF, he commissioned campaign videos specifically targeting the Paris Fashion Week market as a way to navigate each brand’s absence yet still deliver a specific message. It was a welcome return for PONDER.ER, the gender fluid label. “We’ve not been back since we launched so it has been absolutely difficult to connect with buyers, media and people in the industry, especially as we are very new. You need to see our textiles in person to understand the development and craftsmanship, so it’s been difficult,” co-founder Derek Cheng stated.

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Still through this, albeit small, selection of paradoxical looks on view at the Hotel National des Arts et Métiers, a sense of PONDER.ER’s layered world is quickly evident. “We design for men but predominantly sell to women,”He added and even more looks would have amplified the collection’s complex tension.

PONDER.ER, a label that is gender fluid, reinterprets men’s wear with the intention to challenge gender stereotypes. Photo courtesy of PONDER.ER

They are not the only ones who have physicality at heart of their concept. This PFW experience was a way to co-create.designerLogan Chan combines his love for in-person communication and the breath and immediacy that is the virtual world to balance his love for human contact. “Our brand gets far more exposure in a short time [here] so I am trying to balance this fact with preferring face to face contact.”

The brand of whimsical accessories opened a separate space in Central Hong Kong in June 2021. It sells flippers and a piano-hell bag as well as luxury fast food trays. “The pandemic lowered the rent here a lot, so this was a good chance to rent a space for our own brand which we run as a gallery store. Alongside that we hold exhibitions for other brands, which was our starting point,” Chan continued.

PabePabe’s quirky accessories line includes a bag in the form of a rain boot. Photo courtesy of PabePabe

A space to display your work amid the pulsating heartbeat is a great idea. fashionWeek was a way to create a tactile connection with people on the other side of this world. But, at such a downbeat time, can new labels such as PabePabe’s with humorous offerings translate for global buyers?  Maymo explained that the moving image helps to mitigate this problem. “This season, showcasing the video helps the buyers to visualize [the product].”

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This idea is not new, but the skyrocketing interest online in video applications and video dating back to 2020 attests that video can compensate for or at least temporarily complement the above. “hands on”With vibrant visuals designed around a TV Game, you can touch and also convey your brand personality show, PabePabe’s campaign is a case in point.

As the pandemic recovery progresses, a hybridization approach is expected to help cement its longevity. According to State of Fashion 2021 report, 89 percent of fashion executives expect a hybrid model of working to be part of the new normal, and FFF’s gear shift included a pioneering tie-up with London’s progressive platform LN-CC to launch these collections at PFW.

Vann, a niche jewelry label, saw the opportunity to market itself to broader audiences and to represent new talent from the region as a key aspect of the partnership. “Before, we were only able to show buyers and industry insiders our collection. With this, we can reach new potential customers directly,”Vann Kwok shared his excitement with Jing Daily about this game-changing move.

“For us it’s about finding new talent and giving them a platform,”Reece Crisp was LN-CC’s Buying & Creative Director. He shared information about the collaboration. “Each brand has a point and view that fits in with the direction we are taking our edit. Each designer is challenging any preconceived perceptions of what HK style is and can be.”

For so long, all eyes have been on the mainland’s rich tapestry of emerging designers but they still struggle to pick up international retailers. Now, with a strong customer base in key capital cities, LN-CC offers Hong Kong’s PabePabe, PONDER.ER, and VANN a captivated global audience, plus a new, diverse customer base — ready for something new. Let’s see what next season brings.

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