Date
24 March 2017
Many new designers spend years to build their brands on a tight budget before there is any chance of success. Photo: HKTDC
Many new designers spend years to build their brands on a tight budget before there is any chance of success. Photo: HKTDC

Hong Kong designer dreams are built on many lean years

Some Hongkongers don’t spend much on clothing but others are fuzzy about what they wear and are willing to pay for premium products.

Still, many regard only western brands as upscale fashion.

Those with a tighter budget settle for second-tier imports from places such as South Korea.

These are generally considered a notch better than local labels.

This is why it is hard for homegrown designers to find a market in their own backyard.

“Some people won’t even try on [local fashion], let alone buy them,” Aires, a young designer, told RTHK.

Aires is relatively lucky.

She has her own place that doubles as a showroom and workshop.

Alan, another designer, established his label one year ago. He is still struggling to find shops to carry his product.

Since local brands are not popular, many shops refuse to sell them.

Some would only take these on consignment basis — the designer does not get paid until his clothes are sold.

In other worlds, Alan bears all the costs and risks.

While local designers want to win customers by offering good quality fabrics, the fact that customers don’t consider it worthwhile to spend too much on local brands cap the amount they can charge, resulting in tight margins if they do sell any.

Before they realize their designer dreams, many have to put up with many lean years.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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