Talent of 14 Budding Young HK Designers Shines at Fashion Show
CENTRESTAGE, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), became virtual in 2020, with both the exhibition and fashion shows migrated to an online platform. Asia’s leading fashion event concluded on 19 September with the 2020 Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC), broadcast live through the Internet. Fourteen promising local designers overcame the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to showcase their creations at a special fashion show, competing for the five YDC awards being given out this year.
Champion Brian Chan received a monetary reward together with a one-month overseas internship sponsored by Fang Brothers Knitting Ltd.
The winners at YDC 2020 were as follows:
Champion: Brian Chan. Design: “Floating Mindset”
Excellence Award & New Talent Award: Jacqueline Leung. Design: “The Blessed Kids”
Best Visual Presentation Award: Stephen Cheuk. Design: “Hyakki Yagyō”
My Favourite Collection Award: York Yip. Design: “Coexistence”
The My Favourite Collection Award was newly added this year, with members of the public voting online between 12 August and 18 September for their favourite new design star in Hong Kong.
Young designers gain valuable experience amid pandemic
The judging panel for this year’s YDC was made up of an impressive roster of fashion experts and media pundits. Chief Judge was Katherine Fang, Chairman of the HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee. The other judges on the panel were fashion designer Anais Mak; Michael Mok, General Merchandising Manager/Head of Merchandising at JOYCE; Jonathan Lee, Senior Area Manager (Asia) of Tomorrow Ltd; Kieran Ho, Senior Vice President-Hong Kong, Purple PR; stylist and art director Declan Chan; and Jason Lam, Head of Brand, Asia Pacific at MATCHESFASHION.
The judges assessed the young designers’ works based on creativity, originality, market potential, craftsmanship, use of fabrics and overall aesthetics, offering expert feedback to each of the participants. Ms Fang said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly caused disruption to business operations and people’s lives in general, but the HKTDC was determined to show its continued commitment to providing a flagship platform for young Hong Kong fashion talents to showcase their collections and share their stories. To succeed in the fashion industry requires resilience as much as it does creativity, and I would like to congratulate all of this year’s contestants for exhibiting both qualities so well.”
Winning collection showcase and sharing session
From now through to 5 October, the public can appreciate the skills shown in the winning YDC 2020 collections through a display at Hysan Place in Causeway Bay. On Saturday, 26 September, all the winning designers will be at Hysan Place to share their design experience and competition insights, while various fashion items designed by Hong Kong designers are available for sale at the YDC Collective Popup Store, also at Hysan Place, from now until 5 October.
Champion Designer: Brian Chan – Design: “Floating Mindset”
Mr Chan observed that there are very few clean beaches in Hong Kong, most being badly polluted with rubbish that is easily seen from ferries. As the fashion industry is responsible for much pollution due to washing and dyeing, he wanted to create a collection that promotes ocean conservation. His collection is visually inspired by floating debris, using only natural fibres such as cotton and wool. Irregular pockets, wave patterns and “disintegrating” patches are all motifs taken from the environment. The shapes are deliberately commercial to promote
wearability, while handcrafted details such as embroidery, patchwork and tassels give the collection an edge.
Prizes: (1) A cash award of HK$60,000 (2) An overseas study trip, sponsored by Fang Brothers Knitting Ltd
Excellence Award & New Talent Award Designer: Jacqueline Leung – Design: “The Blessed Kids”
Mothers and big sisters taking care of babies provided the inspiration for Ms Leung’s collection. The floral prints and tying of traditional baby carrier wraps are stylised to become design elements in a colourful collection that is both nostalgic and joyful. Digital prints, beading and quilting offer a visual feast of colours, shapes and textures, while windbreaker material and pastel green denim lend practicality and versatility. A hat, handbag and backpack inspired by the baby carrier complete the look.
Excellence Award Prizes: (1) A cash award of HK$40,000; (2) A trip to visit the Tomorrow Showroom in London offered by MINI HK
New Talent Award Prizes: (1) A cash award of HK$20,000 (2) Mentorship offered by JOYCE to develop a capsule collection to be sold at one of the JOYCE stores
Best Visual Presentation Award Designer: Stephen Cheuk – Design: “Hyakki Yagyō”
The Japanese title of this collection means “night parade of a hundred demons”. These demons are thought to have been at war with people for many years, essentially as a way to show that they exist. Inspired by this idea, the collection aims to give voice to those marginalised in society such as ethnic minorities, the elderly and waste pickers. The materials are utilitarian like waxed fabric, and the clothes feature many pockets to store weapons and tools. Knits, fur and boiled wool are used to give a rich texture and convey the different characters of the “demons”. There is also a backpack that resembles a stretcher to reinforce a combative atmosphere.
Prizes: A cash award of HK$10,000
My Favourite Collection Award Designer: York Yip – Design: “Coexistence”
The idea for York’s collection comes from aliens coexisting on earth with humans. The designs combine 1980s’ retrowave music and UFO-inspired graphics and silhouettes. The exaggerated fluorescents – colours on the ultraviolet spectrum – and shapes again hark back to the 80s, with double-sided fabrics lending volume. Bold, girly yet sexy, the looks are complete with hand-drawn shoes that give the illusion of rising into the sky.
Prize: A HK$6,000 e-Gift Coupon sponsored by Hysan Place
The YDC aims to promote a new generation of local design talent, while creating opportunities to showcase their collections in front of global and local industry professionals at CENTRESTAGE. Organised by the HKTDC, the contest is considered one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the region, with a successful track record of past contestants becoming leading designers for fashion enterprises or establishing their own labels. To further promote the international visibility of local Hong Kong designers, in 2012 the HKTDC launched FASHIONALLY.com, an online platform that showcases the work of local labels and talents and links them with global industry insiders and opportunities.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels.