Expanded Hong Kong Fashion Week Boasts of 1,300 Exhibitors

Prospects were very sunny for this year's Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer, thanks to an 11% growth in exhibitors, with almost 1,300 taking part in the fair. What is particularly encouraging is increased participation from places such as India, Indonesia and Taiwan.

The World of Fashion Accessories zone registered a very impressive 35% growth to 107 companies, while the Sewing Supplies and Fabrics & Yarn zones have also posted good increases in exhibitor numbers. These uplifting statistics underline the fact that Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer has evolved into a very meaningful platform for buyers to conduct one-stop sourcing, encompassing finished garments, designers labels, fashion accessories and raw materials.

A growing number of exhibitors - 1,300 - at the 17th Hong Kong Fashion Week looked forward expectantly to some 5,500 decision making level buyers from as many as 70 countries, opened on 3 August 2010 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Hong Kong Fashion Week featured exhibitors from 21 countries and regions and four group pavilions from India, Macau, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The mainland pavilion features group exhibitions from Hangzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo, Shaoxing and Wenzhou.

"For decades, the Hong Kong garment and textile industry has attracted buyers from all over the world because of its outstanding manufacturing craftsmanship and flexible trade and sales services," said Vincent Fang, Chairman of the HKTDC's Garment Advisory Committee. "Hong Kong fashion designers are trendsetters who understand the market," he added. "The ultimate advantage of Hong Kong is its ability to reach the massive market on the Chinese mainland," said Fang, noting that the fair is an outstanding sourcing and marketing platform for local companies. Fang also predicted that Hong Kong Fashion Week will help exhibitors reach out to global buyers to win more orders.

As always, a number of product zones were set up to ensure that exhibitors are able to introduce their products to potential buyers in a well-organised and customised setting. These zones included:

Fabrics & Yarn - for wide array of fabrics, fibres and yarns, including functional fabrics such as cotton and linen, high-performance fabrics, lingerie fabrics, man-made fabrics, knitted fabrics, as well as silk, wool, ramie, and embroidery.

Infant & Children's Wear - for clothing for little ones for all occasions.

Bridal & Evening Wear - for unique and beautiful apparel and accessories for men and women to complete that special occasion.

Fashion Gallery - for high-end, designer pieces for those who want nothing but the best. Garment Mart - for high volume and value pieces with mass market appeal.

Garment Mart - for high volume and value pieces with mass market appeal.

Sewing Supplies - for must have tools of the trade for all designers and manufacturers.

International Fashion Designers' Showcase - for cutting edge designers to showcase their collections, discuss their work and potential business opportunities.


Fashion Zones

With exhibits organised into categorised sections, sourcing at the fair has been made easy. Brand Name Gallery and Intimate Wear Zone, introduced last year, were back on popular demand. The International Fashion Designers' Showcase returned to showcase trendy styles from cutting-edge talent. More than 80 designer's, including more than 40 from Indonesia, displayed collections.

Catwalk Creations, Fashion Seminars

Fashion Week also included such catwalk events as "Hong Kong Fashion: On Parade," featuring distinctive shows under a carnival theme in the Hall 1D Concourse. Models displayed the work of some 40 local fashion designers, including Ika and Jaeger Ng. The Brand Collections' Show featured Australian designer Cristina Nitopi, American designer Carol Reyes and Indonesian exhibitor PT Sinar Mutiara Cemerlang.

Student designs on display at shows were staged by The Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, were highly appreciated.

Market Trends & Intelligence Seminars

Market trends and intelligence were in the spotlight at four seminars presented by internationally known trend forecasters, including WGSN and Carlin International of France, and Fashion Snoops and Stylesight from the United States.

What Did Buyers Say

"Having been in business for 12 years, we are engaged in the production of fashion for men. We also operate 53 retail shops in Argentina, Uruguay and Australia. This is my first visit to Hong Kong. I love the fair very much. The show offers a comprehensive range of products and exhibitors all under one roof. I have found some designer brands and identified several potential suppliers for business development. The fair is so well organised with incredible service and excellent exhibition facilities. Everything is perfect." said Jezabel Cordoba, Buyer, Product Development & Design, Tascani, Argentina.

"We have been in the fashion trading business since 1998. We run four retail shops in Dubai and will open three stores in India by the end of this year. This is the first time we've participated in the Hong Kong Fair. We are here to source mainly evening gowns and bridal dresses. We have found several new suppliers who provide something different in design and we will negotiate further for potential partnership. This is a good show and Hong Kong is a really good place to do business." stated Bhagwan M. Jaswani, Fashion Designer, Angel Moda, India.

"Our group has been running department stores for 25 years. Today, we have nine stores in Thailand including eight in Bangkok under the names of The Mall, Emporium and Paragon. Consumers' spending power is strong and we continue to upgrade our stores and services to meet demand. This is my second visit to the fair. Last year, I sourced mainly women's wear. This time, my focus is on men's wear and accessories. I have found some companies with good merchandises for our stores. The fair is big in scale and it is very well managed." remarked Saowalak Wibultanaphan, Assistant General Manager, Merchandising, The Mall Group Co., Ltd., Thailand.

"This is my third time participating in the fair. I like it as I can source a wide range of good products at affordable prices. Korona has a long history in business and we specialise in men's wear. We operate 12 of our own retail shops and a further 30 shops in collaboration with other companies in Hungary. Our products are catering to the middle and high-end customers. The Hong Kong fair is a very important place for our sourcing. I have already identified six companies at the show and hope we can work together for business growth." felt Varszegi Andras, Commercial Director, Korona Ltd., Hungary.

"I have found many companies with stock very suitable for my company, including bags and jackets and other garments. Fashion Week has been good for me and I will be back next year. The facilities are very good." declared Ahmad M. Akil, Managing Director, Akil Bros, Lebanon.

What Did Exhibitors Say

"We specialise in the design and production of fashion jewellery. Apart from wholesale business, we run retail shops in Hong Kong and abroad including Taiwan, Singapore, Macau and Chinese mainland. This is our first participation in Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer. Our focus is to promote our brand exposure and we anticipate positive response from buyers worldwide. HKTDC is providing good support and service for our exhibition. We are also considering taking part in Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter." said Max Chow, Assistant Manager, Business Development, Liberate Co., Hong Kong.

"This is a good fair. That's why we have been exhibiting here for so many years. We produce high-end women's wear for sale worldwide and employ about 1,000 workers in Hangzhou. We have also established offices in the US and Canada. The fair serves as a solid platform for business growth and brand building that is especially important for our expansion into retail operation. Our first retail shop is located in Montreal of Canada and we plan to open shops in the US next year." spoke Samuel Dong, Designer/President, Hangzhou Golden Season Fashion Co. Ltd., Chinese mainland.

"This is our debut exhibition in Hong Kong. We are taking the opportunity to share ideas with industry players, learn about the trends and promote our newly-developed brand of '37'. Winxtra is a producer of casual wear and sportswear for men and women, and operates two retail stores in Singapore. Products are selling in Singapore and other countries including Australia and Japan. We are now talking with several Chinese companies for potential partnership for expansion into Chinese mainland." declared Bernie Xu, Director, Winxtra Pte Ltd, Singapore.

"We have been engaged in fashion trading, manufacturing and wholesale businesses for over 20 years. We sell our products such as evening dresses and suits for women under the brand of ETHNE mainly to the US and European markets. In a further expansion, Wing Wing is planning to open retail stores in Chinese mainland. The Hong Kong fair is professionally run by HKTDC and it offers a good opportunity to promote our products and to meet customers. This year, we've found some potential buyers from the US, Russia, Greece and Chinese mainland." opined Gary Fong, Director, Wing Wing Trading Company Ltd., Hong Kong
"This is a golden opportunity for us. This is the first time to exhibit here and our exhibitors have got a better response than from fashion shows in North America and Europe. I will be surprised if we don't triple the size of our participation next year." expressed Fazlul Hoque, President, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh

"We have a total of 70 companies exhibiting their latest collections in 118 booths this time. This is a great show generating good business for us, and that's why we bring more and more companies year after year. HKTDC does an excellent job in organising and promoting the exhibition. We are particularly impressed with the meticulous service and devoted efforts to attracting buyers from different places in the world." concluded Liu Van Lan, Director, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Ningbo Sub-Council, Chinese mainland.

Originally published in The Stitch Times, September 2010