Insider's Picks: 8 Hong Kong Labels Going Places

Thanks to Fashion Farm Foundation's Guerilla project, Hong Kong's most promising young designers made a lightning strike at Paris Fashion Week

Paris was a dream come true for 10 Hong Kong designers, as they brought their collections to the capital of chic during the recently concluded Fashion Week. Launched at a party on February 28, 2013, Fashion Guerilla-Paris struck at rue de Nazareth for four days. International buyers and distributors came to view the crème de la crème of emerging Hong Kong fashion talent, while the designers rubbed shoulders with their idols, broadening their experience and business network in one glamorous swoop. We take a look at the eight labels selected for this debut fashion raid. Before that though, a quick word about Fashion Guerilla-Paris itself.

Shooting Abroad

Fashion Guerilla-Paris was the first overseas initiative by Fashion Farm Foundation, the creative souls who brought us fashion on lorries last spring in Hong Kong (the 五 dun5 exhibition in Lai Chi Kok). The foundation is the brainchild of a group of forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the fashion and creative industries who measure success by their ability to help others as well as address their own bottom line. They promote promising young local fashion designers to the Hong Kong market and the world, sharing their expertise through shows, exhibitions, seminars and forums.

Fashion Guerilla-Paris ran from February 28 to March 3 and was supported by Create Hong Kong. The eight labels that made it to 2013 Paris Fashion Week were chosen by a panel of experts for their creativity, originality, marketability and production setup. 

112 Mountainyam

8 Hong Kong Labels Going Places

Who’s behind it?

Mountain Yam

What’s his background?

Yam only decided to become a fashion designer when he was in his 20s. He secured his master’s degree in fashion design from the Hong KongPolytechnicUniversity in 2007, and spent a couple of years at bag specialist Cocomojo and then Anteprima before launching his own label in October 2011.

What’s the concept?

112 Mountainyam has something for every fashion follower – lines for men and women, both casual and formal wear, and handbags. Functional and practical, the clothes are water repellent and wrinkle free – Yam first had the idea for his collection after his friend had a glass of red wine spilt on her cocktail dress at a party. His womenswear tends to be form fitting and runs the gamut from draped and tailored pieces to fluid feminine designs with sensual prints.

What else?

In 2008, Yam won the Design-A-Bag competition and was a finalist at the Hong Kong Fashion Week Young Fashion Designers’ Contest.


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Who’s behind it?

Amus Leung and Gladys Chun

What's their background?

Leung received her education in England, studying womenswear at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in London. After cutting her teeth with various brands in Hong Kong and the UK, she founded an eponymous women’s collection in 2011. The previous year, though, she teamed with graphic designer Gladys Chun to launch Anyway, an accessories brand.

What's their concept?

Built on the design tenets of comfort, timelessness, light and proportion, Anyway crafts leather into covetable items that reflect the designers’ personality and lifestyle. Handmade bags, rings and other leather accessories are available.

What else?

Pick up an Anyway Kit if you want to try your hand at making a leather accessory from scratch.

Daydream Nation

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Who’s behind it?

Kay and Jing Wong

What’s their background?

The brother-and-sister team began in 2006, having both studied at Central Saint Martins in London. Kay majored in textiles, Jing in theatre design. The sister worked with designer Jessica Ogden before gaining a master’s degree and starting her own label, Kay (which she has since sold). Both retain an interest in theatre and set design, and have worked separately on a string of local productions.

How about their label?

The best known locally of the eight brands in Paris, Daydream Nation opened a flagship boutique in Wanchai in 2010 and sells at Harvey Nichols, I.T, Selfridges and Opening Ceremony among other stores. The collection features clothing and accessories and has been presented as visual performances during London Fashion Week. Selected pieces from its autumn-winter 2009 inspired Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for Chanel.

What else?

Jing is a singer-songwriter with independent music label PeopleMountainPeopleSea. With her eco-venture Recycouture, Kay deconstructs and refashions old garments into wearable works of art.


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Who’s behind it?

Eugene Leung

What’s his background?

Hong Kong-born Leung moved to Sydney at age 12 and studied architecture at the University of New South Wales. He debuted at Fashion Week Australia in 2005, and Injury is now available at 50-plus stores and boutiques worldwide. Leung divides his time between Sydney and Hong Kong.

What’s the concept?

According to Leung, “Injury is the fashion soundtrack to an enigmatic movie”. The name stems from the injury done to cloth – and people – if they are cut and sewn. Women’s and men’s lines feature tailored details and artistic textile prints; the spring-summer 2013 collection is called Underneath.

What else?

Injury has been seen on the backs of celebrities including Ronan Keating, Eason Chan and Sammi Cheng. Leung’s textile print art has been shown at exhibitions.



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Who’s behind it?

Michelle Lai

How did it start?

Mischa’s first collection of clutch bags and accessories was launched in 2004. Lai sewed them by hand in her living room from vintage Japanese obi and kimonos acquired on her travels. After several more years of finding objects as she globetrotted, and armed with a passion for the ancient arts, Lai founded the brand in 2008.

How has it evolved?

In 2010, Mischa developed a signature hexagon print – a sea tortoise shell pattern symbolising longevity – inspired by traditional Japanese motifs and the bold geometric interior decor that Lai grew up with in the 1960s and ‘70s. The collection includes leather-trimmed accessories and silk-screened coated canvas travel totes and luggage. Mischa is available from Lane Crawford, Bals Tokyo and selected retailers worldwide.

What else?

Mischa’s vintage obi clutch bags have since acquired a cult status.

Placed by Gideon

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Who’s behind it?

Gideon Tam

What’s his background?

Tam was born in Macau and studied art and design at Kingston University in England. He worked with several French luxury brands before presenting his first knitwear collection in London in 2009. He is currently based in Hong Kong.

What’s the concept?

Placed by Gideon features one-of-a-kind men’s knitwear inspired by his philosophy that “true fashion is always in vogue”. Tam uses pure natural yarns such as silk, cashmere, extra-fine merino, camel hair and angora, often with a twist, literally – his creative process may involve twisting the yarn and giving it extra volume.

What else?

Tam was named menswear student of the year by the Royal Society of Art, London in 2000 and new young fashion designer for menswear at the 2010 Berlin Fashion Festival.


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Who’s behind it?

Singchin Lo

What’s his background?

A fashion lover in his youth, Lo first studied engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but the lure of design proved too strong. He switched to the Hong Kong Polytechnic and received the Hong Kong Fashion Designers’ Association Young Talent Award in 2005. He established Plotz two years later.

What’s the concept?

Lo’s womenswear is cutting edge, with such details as pleats, waves, knots and patchwork. His favored three-dimensional cut is designed to accentuate the body. Plotz' autumn-winter collection, called Diana, Romance in the Forest, earned the designer a merit at the Design for Asia Awards.


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Who’s behind it?

Susanna Soo

What’s her background?

An alumnus of the School of Fashion at Parsons college in New York, Soo stayed in the city to work for Diane von Furstenberg and LaRok. After winning the Arts of Fashion award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2008, she left for Paris to apprentice under Anne Valerie Hash.

What’s the concept?

Inspired by French haute couture, Soo founded S. Nine in 2009. It is an elegant and romantic womenswear line, replete with her signature draping technique.  

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