Fashion Asia Hong Kong and I.T: Cultivating local fashion rising stars

Fashion Asia Hong Kong and I.T have combined forces to showcase Hong Kong’s local young talents

Fashion Asia Hong Kong joined hands with fashion conglomerate I.T to host an exclusive exhibition “Hong Kong Showroom” with the city’s rising fashion creatives and designers. 

Fashion Asia and I.T: Hong Kong Showroom

Hosted at I.T One Hysan Avenue from 22 to 29 November, the space was converted to a “Hong Kong Showroom” in which new designs from Christian Stone, Karmuel Young, Tak Lee, Vann and Coda were on full display. Showcased pieces are available on I.Teshop from now to 31 December 2022, ranging from womenswear and menswear to accessories. 

From upper left – Tak Lee, Yankee at Coda, Karmuel Young; lower left – Vann Kwok, Christian Stone and Kevin at Coda

Christian Stone: deconstructing style in homage to cyberpunk

Christian Stone

The showcased A/W 2022 collectionDys-de-pya” is a nod to Banksy’s 2015 art project, Dismaland. Heavily inspired by pop and digital culture including the internet, Christian Stone’s designs are rife with Cyberpunk influences. 

“In addition to describing Christian Stone as a wearable extension of PlayStation, my design brings the feeling of clothing in video games to reality, making every product full of fun,” the designer says. Stone wants people who wear his pieces to feel as if they have transformed into game characters. 

“My design can be described as “deconstructed functional style”, which means that my design techniques often come from deconstruction – combining two unrelated elements fitted together to form a new shape and unexpected new function, the final design will be like a toy – this design approach is most reflected in my brand signature backpack shoes,” he adds. 

Also see: Fall/Winter 2022 Couture Runway Report

“My personality and my work are definitely linked. I’d say my sense of humour is what constitutes the playfulness in my designs.”

Collaborating with Fashion Asia and I.T is a good opportunity because the latter is an internationally renowned store in the fashion industry, according to Stone. Working with I.T not only raises brand recognition in the city but having I.T on his label’s CV also enhances brand image and broadens Christian Stone’s appeal to future potential collaborators. 

Karmuel Young: the pursuit of changes in regular order

Karmuel Young

Another fashion participant, Karmuel Young, concurs and adds the event “builds a new platform for an independent designer label like us to expand the brand awareness and introduce our story to audiences from I.T.” The brand’s latest Project 06 “Same but Not Same” finds changes in regular order, by reinterpreting and empowering the label’s unique silhouette from another angle. 

Young, says the experience has helped him “develop the integrity of branding and taught me how to create and line up a collection with a key-focused story”. 

“The way is to expand an idea from core value instead of including extra or additional ideas here and there to enrich the collection, which yet, will weaken the concept instead,” Young says. “This way of thinking totally strengthens my design philosophy. And today, I still keep this principle in my creation and also collaboration with other creators like photographers, stylists, website designers, etc… so as to ensure all parties are on the same page.” 

Tak Lee: everlasting craftsmanship through cultural heritage

Tak Lee

As Fashion Asia continues to offer platforms to showcase these rising designer stars, Tak Lee comments it is essential for designers to share their own aesthetics and opinions. “Meanwhile, it connects our brand to those who share similar values, creating a wider spectrum of potential for future collaborations,” Lee says. 

Lee’s aesthetic stems from an aspiration to create clothes that last, he reveals. “Craftmanship is significant in our processes to create a body of work that transcends clothing to be appreciated for their beauty, sentimental values and true quality. This is also about investigating cultural heritage and infusing it with our own artistic influences to make clothes for today’s world.” His showcase, entitled Exception Experiment x Tak L. Season VII, marks its first appearance in Hong Kong; 12 classic pieces from the Exception de Mixmind archive have been picked. 

Vann Kwok: bringing back an era of mysticism

Vann Kwok

Vann Kwok’s namesake brand Vann’s A/W 2022 jewellery collection “Saint” draws inspiration from an era of alchemy, mystical cults and various religions. It demonstrates the brand’s uniqueness and diversity through a background in jewellery design while drawing inspiration mainly from painting and sculpting. 

“I come from a cross-disciplinary background with different creative knowledge in film production, fashion design, 3D realisation and jewellery making. All these different skill sets offer me flexibility in building my brand. I also enjoy using jewellery design as a platform to thread together my expertise,” the designer shares. “I also believe that we can reach a wider audience through this collaboration.” 

Coda: a return to the 50s and 60s with retro-futuristic looks

Team Coda with founders Yankee Leung and Kevin Wong

Hong Kong-based Coda is particularly passionate about championing homegrown brands. Showcasing its A/W 2022 collection, Coda keeps focusing on the relationship between “past and future”. It is inspired by the retro-futurism of the 50s and 60s. Established only two years ago, the design label started as an independent brand, which comes with a set of limitations. The Fashion Asia and I.T collaborative “Hong Kong Showroom” could be just the push needed to help Coda go further. 

In appreciation, founders Yankee Leung and Kevin Wong share, “We are honoured that we could be part of this event among a number of local homegrown brands. In Hong Kong, there are more and more outstanding brands with different styles established in the past few years, being chosen as one of the showcased brands is undoubtedly an affirmation for us.”

In addition to this unique collaboration between Fashion Asia HK and I.T, “Pop-up Spaces”, held at the same venue showcased handiworks by the city’s outstanding fashion design students and graduates from prestigious local schools.

Event partners: Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) and Design Incubation Programme (DIP)

Education partners: Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Caritas Bianchi College of Careers

Photos courtesy of Fashion Asia

Also see: Fall/Winter 2022 Couture Runway Report

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