AFC Curated in Hong Kong
Last December we were thrilled to take 7 Melbourne based labels from the AFC Curated program to Hong Kong as part of a trade mission with Creative Victoria for the 2018 HK Business of Design Week. Selected were; A.BCH, Gehrich, Lois Hazel, Guerrilla Theatre Brand, MAUDE Studio, MNDATORY and Vincent Li.
Thanks to everyone who made the venture possible, we had an amazing time, action packed with showcasing the program and meeting the local industry.
Here are just some of the highlights…
THE SHOWROOM AT MALLORY ST…
Located in a historic building in Wan Chai, our Curated labels had an exclusive showroom as part of the Melbourne Fashion Showcase alongside exhibitions that featured over 50 Melbourne designers and makers. The 7 label showroom featured capsule ranges of each of the designers’ latest collections, open to the public as part of BoDW’s City Program for locals and industry members to walk through.
The space kicked off with an incredible launch night, with introductions from Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, the world premiere of the First People’s fashion film ‘Recognition’, and an exclusive performance from The Huxleys! It was a pleasure to be part of the festivities, with both Melbourne and Hong Kong Industry coming together to celebrate our local designers.
Guerrilla Theatre Brand then treated us all to a screening of their Chapter 2 film at an afterparty down town in Soho, with drinks thanks to the legends at Four Pillars.
THE POP-UP AT PMQ…
In addition to the Showcase, our labels also hosted a pop-up retail space at PMQ, a creative industries hub and historic former Police Married Quarters building. The Curated shop was home to 3 guest labels, local to Hong Kong, including; A.C.F, Tove & Libra, and Unfold Attire.
Shout out to Alexandra Foster, from A.C.F, who played a key part in bringing the labels together. The Melbourne expat has grown her label in Hong Kong where she has also been hosting pop-up spaces with sustainable focused labels. Her inside knowledge of the local retail landscape made for a perfect fit. We hope to be able to further this relationship in the future, and invite Hong Kong labels to participate in pop-up spaces here in Australia. This is just the beginning.
Throughout the week PMQ was buzzing with events, with the launch of the ‘Detour’ event, and the 10 Designers to Watch exhibition. It also provided a great base from which to network with local Hong Kong labels. We were fortunate to meet up with some of the organisers and participating labels from Hong Kong Design Centre’s Fashion Incubator Programme (FIP), and take a walk through some of their studio/shop spaces in the building.
VISIT TO WOOLMARK HONG KONG…
Shout out to Alex, Brian and Daniel for showing us the ropes (yarns?) at The Woolmark Company’s Hong Kong office. Our designers could have spent hours looking through their Wool Lab resource of swatches. From water repellent wool through to wool denim, wool sneakers and more.
The Woolmark team then took us for a walking tour of some nearby textile suppliers. Lenzing were amazing, taking us through their sustainable supply chain from wood pulp to fabric.
We came back for more the following day to hear from Global Manager Lucy Owen and former International Woolmark Prize winner Rahul Mishra as part of the Fashion Asia speaker series.
WALK AROUND THE MILLS…
We were lucky to have a guided tour of ‘The Mills’, a business incubator, experiential retail, and a non-profit cultural institution. The landmark revitalization project, only just completed in 2018 witnessed the manufacturing heyday in the 1960s, and now carries on that legacy with a future of applied creativity and innovation.
From advanced production equipment to textile exhibitions and a one stop shop that recycles textile waste into knitwear... The Mills were inspiring to see and definitely worth stopping by the next time you are in Hong Kong.
THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE!!
AFC Curated is about supporting emerging design and building communities. The reality of today’s Industry is that it is undoubtedly global, designers don’t operate in isolation and so developing these global networks early on is incredibly valuable in contributing to their business and long term growth.
Special mention to the amazing support from Fran at Creative Victoria, Al at A.C.F, Hong Kong Design Centre, Woolmark, Dean World Cargo and everyone who stopped by to show your support.