Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE 2016, China

CENTRESTAGE is an ideal promotion and launch platform for international, especially Asian, fashion brands and designer labels. The debut event has captured the attention of the Asian fashion industry, successfully attracting fashion brands and buyers keen on expanding their Asian business to come and promote, source and launch new collections and explore cooperation opportunities. And it provides a platform for local new designers to showcase creative designs to media and buyers in the region. CENTRESTAGE is an effective event for driving regional fashion exchange and development while solidifying Hong Kong’s position as a fashion capital.

The inaugural CENTRESTAGE in 2016, a brand new fashion promotion and launch platform, the trade show feature some 200 fashion brands from 20 countries and regions, as well as more than 50 spectacular events, including the large-scale opening gala fashion show CENTRESTAGE ELITES and around 30 other fashion shows. There also be designer sharing sessions, industry seminars, networking events and more.

The inaugural CENTRESTAGE feature some 200 fashion brands and four thematic zones: GLAM, ALLURE, METRO and FORWARD. GLAM bring together top international brands that embody fashion of the highest quality. ALLURE showcase sophisticated designs that captivate the senses. METRO present trendy and sporty designs for cosmopolites. FORWARD feature up-and-coming labels and budding fashion talents from Hong Kong and around the region.

“Shooting Stars” is the theme of the inaugural CENTRESTAGE, which includes four thematic zones: GLAM, ALLURE, METRO and FORWARD. The participating countries and regions, include the Chinese mainland, Chinese Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Australia, the United States and Europe.

Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE is Asia’s premier fashion event, offering a promotion platform for fashion brands and designers to showcase their talent. Events such fashion shows, designer sharing sessions, open talks, trend analyses and networking opportunities, with the objective of connecting local brands with the global fashion industry.

CENTRESTAGE feature multiple fashion shows and brand showcases to provide a platform for international labels to promote their latest collections. The HKTDC also organise networking events and trend seminars during the show, and invite seasoned industry professionals and experts to analyse the latest market trends in fashion.

The Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE showcase of high-calibre local and overseas fashion talents, and exciting, engaging events was held during the show period. It has created a fashion extravaganza that enables brands to overcome geographical and time limitations to showcase their latest designs to buyers and fashionistas.

CENTRESTAGE to provide a comprehensive promotional platform through which Asian fashion brands and budding designers can launch and present their latest fashion collections and connect with global buyers and fashionistas at the same time. A greater number of local and international fashion brands participating at this year’s CENTRESTAGE, underscoring the event’s position as Asia’s leading launch and marketing platform for fashion brands and highlighting its ability to create diverse business opportunities.

The HKTDC has organised more than 30 overseas buying missions from 25 countries and regions, comprising buyers from over 1,000 companies. These include Galerie Lafayette from France, Shinsegae from Korea, specialty shop SHIPS from Japan and select shops NY Studio and The Fashion Door (TFD) from the Chinese mainland. Representatives from Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols and online fashion retailer ZALORA are invited to the event. With such rich offerings, CENTRESTAGE has attracted buyers, particularly select shops, department stores and e-tailers, as well as fashion media and fashion enthusiasts from around the region.

Fashion shows
Some 30 fashion shows was held during CENTRESTAGE, including those by 45R, anagram, ANTEPRIMA, Aquascutum, ARTHUR LAM, ATSURO TAYAMA, Charmante, Galtiscopio, HARRISON WONG, HIDY N.G., initial, i.t, JNBY, KENAXLEUNG, KOYO, LOOM LOOP, LU LU CHEUNG, Marimekko and MOISELLE.

The large-scale opening gala fashion show CENTRESTAGE ELITES takes place on 7 September with some of the hottest rising stars in Asia showcasing their latest collections for Spring/Summer 2017. The designers include Mim Mak from Hong Kong, Simon Gao from Beijing, Ko Taeyong from Seoul and Pongsak Suprratccheep & Thita Kamonnetsawat from Bangkok while top models such as Zelia Zhong, Angie Ng and Kiki Kang are invited to parade the collections during the fashion spectacular.

Another opening day highlight is Fashion Mirage, a fashion show staged by The Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association. Inspired by different local cultural elements, the show features 50 Hong Kong fashion designers, including Harrison Wong, Lu Lu Cheung, Walter Ma and Barney Cheng.

Apart from fashion shows and competitions spotlighting designers and collections, the International Fashion Supermodel (IFSM) Competition Asia-Pacific Regional Final was held at CENTRESTAGE on 10 September.

The Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association stage a show, Fashion Mirage, on 7 September. According to Simon Choi, Project Director of Fashion Mirage, the show adopt a theme based on five local cultural elements and the event feature 50 fashion designers, including Walter Ma and Barney Cheng.

Young Fashion Designers’ Contest
The 40th Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC), held on 10 September, was another highlight of CENTRESTAGE. Over the years, YDC has played a significant role in identifying emerging talents for the local fashion industry, including Barney Cheng, Cecilia Yau, Harrison Wong, Joseph Li, and rising designers such as Aries Sin, Mim Mak and Mountain Yam. YDC is an invaluable platform for fashion designers who aspire to launch their own labels to showcase their works and creativity.

For years, the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC) has identified many fine talents for the local fashion industry and has been a cradle for Hong Kong’s designer brands. The final competition of YDC 2016 was held on 10 September, where 17 finalists take the stage to compete for the top three awards, as well as the Best Footwear & Accessories Design Award. Trendy Japanese label FACETASM’s founder and designer Hiromichi Ochiai was the VIP judge and share his valuable views and insights with the finalists.

Champion: Kenneth Cheung: “No Country for Old Man”
Making a case for respecting our heritage, Kenneth Cheung uses classic chequered wool fabrics “sewn” together using supersonic, stitch-free techniques. A piece of electric red embroidery adds contrast to the muted palette of military green, dark blue and brown hues. Relatively modern elements such as pockets and water-resistant fabric enhance functionality. The designer pulls off the counter-intuitive feat of marrying timeless tailored design with innovative sportswear techniques, artfully resolving the conflict between the old and the new and reconfirming that classics will never go out of date.

First Runner-up: Lee Tak-shing: “Addendum”
Lee Tak-shing seeks to highlight the passage of time using the concepts of war and destruction. The interplay between washing and distressing techniques used on indigo and military green fabric symbolises annihilation. The silhouettes are decisively organic, featuring inventive pattern-cutting techniques that transform conventional garment structures into radical forms. The liberal use of folds and drapes results in a volatile synthesis of structure, form and function.

Second Runner-up: Gim Wong: “Backpacker”
A dedication to practicality and style is exemplified in Gim Wong’s collection. Inspired by the all-important map for backpackers, this motif crops up throughout her designs in blue, white and grey colour palettes. Each item is cut from a single piece of fabric, resulting in the absence of side seams and optimising the zero-waste principle. Ingeniously designed zips, straps and drawstrings serve as functional embellishments that spice up the shape and structure of the pieces. Designed for outdoor excursions, the collection uses wool and nylon which will keep wearers warm and dry.

16th Footwear Design Competition
An annual signature event for the industry, the Footwear Design Competition Hong Kong is recognised as the cradle for nurturing footwear design talent, uncovering new driving forces for the sustained development of footwear design and products. More than 800 inspiring entries were received this year.

Winners were selected based on creativity, fashion aesthetic and producibility. The judging panel comprised professionals from related fields, including fashion designers, business chambers and retailers. Together they identified footwear design talents for the industry to promote its steady, healthy development.

The entry “Life Chain” was named both Belle Overall Award winner and champion in the Ladies’ Shoes category. The work was designed by Au Chi-yip and inspired by sea waves and complex DNA structures, symbolising life’s many struggles. Made from hollow and twisted enamelled leather, the uppers feature a wavy look while nubuck heal counters add to the stability and aesthetics of the product.

Helping to promote the application of the latest technology in footwear manufacturing, some entries were designed and printed with 3D techniques. These include “Antelope”, the second runner-up in the “Design & Make Collection” category. The item uses wool in the uppers and 3D printing on the counters to create the horns, which appear to have grown out of the shoes.

Designer Kai Tin-lok bagged four of the awards; he was the champion in the Men’s Shoes category and first runner-up in the Ladies’ Shoes, Ladies’ Boots and Handbag categories.

Highlight events
CENTRESTAGE feature multiple fashion shows and brand showcases to provide a platform for international labels to promote their latest collections. The HKTDC also organise networking events and trend seminars during the show, and invite seasoned industry professionals and experts to analyse the latest market trends in fashion.

In addition, the Knitwear Innovation & Design Society organise the Knitwear Symphony to nurture a new generation of knitwear designers and promote Hong Kong’s knitwear design and capability.

Apart from fashion shows, the HKTDC has invited forecasting experts from WGSN and Fashion Snoops to analyse fashion and retail trends for the coming year. At another seminar, the designers participating in CENTRESTAGE ELITES discuss and share ideas on Asia’s design influence on international styles and trends. YDC VIP judge Hiromichi Ochiai likewise share his creative journey with visitors to the show.

During the event, there also be thematic seminars to help businesses grasp the latest developments in the global market. These include “Technology Trends Transforming the Fashion Industry”, “Innovation and Technology Symposium 2016” and a panel discussion on “A More Sustainable Fashion System: Is Digital Disruption Fuelling Positive Change?”

Hong Kong in Fashion
CENTRESTAGE is set to become a signature, not-to-be-missed fashion event of the region. As part of CENTRESTAGE, the HKTDC organise a citywide campaign “Hong Kong in Fashion”, which welcomes fashion enthusiasts and promotes Hong Kong’s design talents across the community.

To share the excitement of the fashion industry with the public, the HKTDC is launching a citywide campaign “Hong Kong in Fashion”. The campaign, which run till 25 September, features more than 80 activities organised with support from more than 90 partners, including fashion and design institutions, renowned fashion brands, malls, hotels and restaurants. The activities are open to all fashion lovers.

The “Fashion PMQ” from 7 to 19 September, feature 40 local fashion and accessories designers, with an aim to facilitate the development of Hong Kong’s fashion industry. Fashion Mart (9-11 September) was the highlight, while the HKDC has arranged a number of Fashion Crossover Pop-ups at various PMQ studios from 7 to19 September to feature collaborations or crossover items by fashion designers from different disciplines.

The Footwear Design Competition, organised by The Federation of Hong Kong Footwear Ltd. and co-organised by the HKTDC, has helped to nurture many talented footwear designers over the years. This year’s awards presentation ceremony and winning entries parade was held as a “Hong Kong in Fashion” event on 2 September at the concourse of the apm shopping mall in Kwun Tong.

On 10 September, CENTRESTAGE transform into OPENSTAGE, and visitors aged 12 or above was admitted free of charge. OPENSTAGE provide the public with the opportunity to experience a trendsetting fashion event, look up-close at the latest collections and connect personally with the designers who created them.

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.