Focus on fashion: SMBs flock to key regional event

Aussie buyers and suppliers in the mix at event that has run for over half a century.

Designers, buyers, suppliers and the who’s who of fashion are set to descend upon Asia’s leading fashion fair, as they have been doing for over half a century.

Backed by several decades of development, HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week has evolved from a local fashion event into Asia’s preeminent fashion sourcing fair.

Nearly 13,000 buyers from 78 countries and regions attended the fair in January 2019, while the upcoming 51st edition, to be held 20-23 April 2020, will start a new page and take place concurrently with the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles Fair.

The three fairs will encompass a wider spectrum of lifestyle products, ranging from clothing, fashion accessories, household products through to textiles – in order to bring about more efficient sourcing for buyers and more visitors for exhibitors.

SMBs from across the globe have been drawn to the annual event, which enables enterprises to tap into Asian and international markets.

Australian SMBs are one of the many countries represented at Hong Kong Fashion Week.

Eric Hao, sourcing manager for eBay Australia & New Zealand, attended the fair for the first time in 2019, looking to secure new products and suppliers who are interested in developing in the Oceanic markets.

“The fair also gives me a good opportunity to learn more about the latest trends. In our markets, consumers like fitness wear and activewear because they like outdoor activities,” he says.

Meanwhile, Easey Garment Factory’s director of sales and marketing, Paul Chau, says the company has been participating in Hong Kong Fashion Week for over 40 years now. Easey has successfully diversified into different markets

including mainland China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia via the fair platform.

“The fair provides an important platform to look for new buyers and promote new designs,” he says.

“Each year, we spend a lot of money on decorating our booth in order to attract more new buyers and let them know that we produce high-end products.”

And Koichiro Mito, CEO of Japanese firm At Imagine says Hong Kong Fashion Week is the largest fashion sourcing fair in Asia.

“We can look for new distributors and buyers and develop the Asian market through the fair and see a lot of potential for our shoes in the Asian market and promote a new collection at the fair,” he says.

Mito says the company has met with new buyers from Indonesia, Japan and mainland China “who have made serious enquiries about our shoes.”

Australian and Hong Kong’s recent free trade and investment agreements have seen economic ties strengthened between the two.

Hong Kong’s position as a gateway to China and the broader regional area, has enticed many Aussie fashion firms to head to the Far East, including Australian entrepreneur, Luke Grana. 

“Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre also provides us with lots of opportunities to meet investors,” he told HKTDC in 2019.

The company has also been able to tap into Hong Kong’s ready supply of skilled clothing industry professionals in order to source materials efficiently.

Find out more about HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week and the opportunities that Aussie SMBs are taking advantage of.

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