HK fashion industry sets trends for Mainland market
The Hong Kong fashion industry is increasingly focusing on innovative design and brand development, a recent Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) survey has found. This means that the Hong Kong industry is setting trends for the Chinese mainland market and closing the gap on Tokyo as the fashion design capital of Asia.
“Local fashion designers are in high demand in the Chinese mainland, because of their experience and global vision in design, marketing, brand consultancy and management services,” HKTDC Assistant Chief Economist Dickson Ho said.
The HKTDC survey, conducted in the second quarter of 2008, captured the views of fashion industry stakeholders, including designers and garment manufacturers. More than 60 per cent of the respondents agreed that Hong Kong was a significant influence on the Chinese mainland's fashion industry.
Seventy per cent of surveyed fashion designers said they were interested in creating their own brands within the next three years. They identified the domestic market as well as the Chinese mainland and Europe as their key markets.
“The major characteristic of a fashion design centre, such as Paris, New York and London, is having recognised, indigenous labels and designers who set fashion trends,” Mr Ho said.
“As more domestic designers launch their own brands and as those brands are sold in, and influence, other markets, Hong Kong will become an even more prominent fashion design centre,” said Mr Ho.
He added that more than 80 per cent of Hong Kong fashion designers have been involved in design services, including merchandising, retail marketing, product development and brand management.
“This indicates that Hong Kong's fashion industry has experience in developing its own brands, placing it ahead of Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok, and just behind Tokyo, in the race to become the leading fashion design centre of Asia.”
The survey also found that more than 70 per cent of respondents believe that Hong Kong fashion companies respond quickly to global fashion trends and are able to fulfill overseas customers' requirements promptly. This strengthens Hong Kong's position as one of the world's most prominent fashion sourcing centres.
To become Asia's fashion design centre, Hong Kong should host more international fashion events, according to 63 per cent of the respondents; 55 per cent believe more fashion design courses should be offered to lift the standard of fashion design services.
In 2007, Hong Kong exports of clothing and clothing accessories topped US$28.7 billion, a 25 per cent increase over 1997. Hong Kong's top three exports markets are the United States, Europe and Japan.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council