A design and fashion hub will be set up in Sham Shui Po to foster a new generation of designers and transform the area into a fashion landmark, according to a government plan announced by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah on Tuesday.
Yau told a press conference that the hub will be located in a five-story commercial building that is part of the Tung Chau Street/Kweilin Street Demand-Led Redevelopment Project of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
According to Yau, the hub will have a total usable floor area of about 3,600 square meters, or around 38,700 square feet, for up-and-coming designers to refine their skills and creative abilities, showcase their design products and stage design-related activities.
He said it will also create business opportunities for the designers as visitors can purchase their products.
The hub, which is rented by the government from the URA at a concessional rate, is expected to open in 2023 or 2024, Yau said, adding that it will be run by the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC).
He noted that Sham Shui Po has a long history in the trading of fabrics and garments and is a popular destination for local fashion and design enthusiasts.
The government wants to make use of the unique ecosystem in the district to develop a design and fashion connect that will nurture talent and create synergies among designers, he added.
The idea of creating the hub came from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s first policy address in October last year, in which she said the government will actively look for ways to help young designers make full use of the traditional base for apparel and fabrics in Sham Shui Po.
The project will serve as a breeding ground for students who major in design and local up-and-coming designers who participate in the Hong Kong Design Centre’s Fashion Incubation Programme and Design Incubation Programme.
Under the plan introduced by Yau, each floor of the building will serve a specific purpose – the basement will be used as a design gallery and fashion showcase, while the remaining four floors will contain fashion studios, production workshops, co-working areas, stage and seminar spaces, an incubation center, a design library, and a material library.
A spokesman for the URA said detailed design of the building requires further discussions with the HKDC.
The government is scheduled to brief the Sham Shui Po District Council about the proposed plan on Jan. 16.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Tourism Board will coordinate with the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau to plan projects that will enable the creative and tourism industries to benefit from each other.
They include a fashion-themed tour that will be launched by the end of the year and tours on history and culture using creative multimedia technologies starting next year.
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