Given its proximity to China, Hong Kong is constantly rebranding and repositioning its offering in the region. One of the more interesting platforms facilitating this rebrand is Fashion Asia Hong Kong, now in its third edition. This years installment kicks off a whopping eight-day event on December 4th with a week-long exhibition celebrating ten of Asia’s most promising emerging designers. According to Edwin Keh, chief executive of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA): “Fashion Asia is only in its third year, but it’s gone from zero to scale very quickly. I think it is about changing people’s paradigms of the city,” Keh says.
This year, a panel of industry leaders – including Justine Chao, head of fashion and luxury for Alibaba Group in North America, and Joanna Gunn, chief brand officer of Lane Crawford – selected designers to celebrate innovation and craftsmanship, spotlighting Asian talents on an international scale. The line-up includes Feng Chen Wang, alongside other Chinese designers like New York-based womenswear brand, Snow Xue Gao, Milan-based label Pronounce, established in 2016 by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou in, and 8ON8, founded in 2017 by Li Gong. To further support new talents in the wider Asia region, it also features Angus Chiang from Taiwan, Moto Guo from Malaysia, Japanese designers Akikoaoki and Chika Kisada, Hong Kong-based Ffixxed Studios, and whimsical knitwear label, Cynthia and Xiao.
As well as this curated display, Fashion Asia will also feature Fashion Challenges Forum, a two-day symposium on December 5 and 6. It will bring together key global players to spark discussions on pressing industry issues in the region. Over 30 international power players are set to speak at the forum on topics including the role of technology and evolving consumers expectations. Xia Ding, president of JD International Fashion, will weigh in on Artificial Intelligence and big data, and examine retailers reimagining the shopping experience online. Alexis Bonhomme, vice president of Farfetch’s Chinese branch, will look at how designers and e-commerce platforms should adapt to changing consumer behaviours while maintaining a creative edge.
“Fashion Asia has grown into a centralised place to discuss the industry and address structural demands of global markets, particularly for rapidly evolving mega-economies like China and India,” explains Keh. As one of this year’s speakers, Keh will discuss the city’s relevance in the global fashion ecosystem, upcoming developments and the sustainable solutions that hope to transform the city’s art, culture and fashion landscape. “I think events like this are repositioning the city’s relevance, placing more focus on innovative designers, products and the consumer-facing side of the business.”