The 2018 edition of Asia's premier fashion event, CENTRESTAGE, drew to a successful close. The four-day event (5-8
Sept), organised by the HKTDC, brought to Hong Kong 230 fashion brands from 22 countries and regions, attracting 8,700
buyers from 80 countries and regions, up 2.4% over last year. Those from Canada, France, Germany, India, Korea, Russia,
Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates increased significantly. Buyers from Asia accounted for 35% of the total.
"We're pleased to note that CENTRESTAGE has become a premier event for the Asian fashion industry, offering regional
fashion brands and designers a platform to promote and launch their collections. In its third edition, this year's
CENTRESTAGE attracted many global brands and buyers to participate. An increased number of overseas buyers came looking
for business opportunities and talents, which solidified Hong Kong's position as Asia's fashion capital," said HKTDC
Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.
Fashion Industry Optimistic on Sales
The HKTDC commissioned an independent research agency to conduct on-site survey during this year's event to gauge the
outlook for the fashion industry and product trends. Interviewing more than 300 exhibitors and buyers, the survey found
that the industry is cautiously optimistic about sales in the coming year. Nearly 60% of the respondents expect overall
sales to remain steady, and about 30% expect growth. While about half of respondents expect increases in sourcing prices
or production costs, almost 60% of the respondents said they will not raise unit or retail prices, reflecting a general
tendency of the industry's hesitance in transferring increased costs to customers.
The survey results also showed that over 70% of the respondents are optimistic about the potential of the mainland
fashion market, which is seen having good growth prospects. On upcoming fashion trends, about 60% of respondents expect
casual wear and urban fashion to be the most popular product categories, followed by fashion accessories and high
fashion/occasional wear. For e-commerce, women's wear is anticipated to be the most popular product category going
forward, followed by fashion jewellery and bags. Nearly 50% of the respondents believe that brand crossover combined
with joint promotion is the most common product development strategy. Approximately 30% of respondents agreed that
celebrities' or key opinion leaders' endorsement is also an effective strategy.
Exploring Future Fashion Trends
CENTRESTAGE 2018 centred on the theme of "TOMORROW LAB", with three thematic zones showcasing 230 brands. The event also
presented about 40 activities over its four-day run, including more than 20 fashion shows. Brands and designers had the
opportunity to connect with buyers, media and fashion professionals during these activities.
Japanese avant-garde streetwear label FACETASM, Hong Kong ready-to-wear womenswear label IDISM, and Chinese luxury
womenswear label Ms MIN presented their latest 2019 Spring/Summer collections at the opening gala show CENTRESTAGE
ELITES, attracting over 1,000 guests. At the FASHIONALLY Collection #12 and FASHIONALLY Presentation shows, 13 budding
local designer brands paraded their 2019 Spring/Summer collections. CENTRESTAGE 2018 also introduced the latest
collections by renowned Hong Kong brands including DORIAN HO, ARTISTIC PALACE, HARRISON WONG, HOUSE OF V, and LOOM LOOP.
Furthermore, CENTRESTAGE provided market insights through the Trend Talk Series and Meet the Visionaries Series of
seminars featuring distinguished industry experts. These included Anupreet Bhui, Senior Editor of Global Street Style at
trend forecasting agency WGSN, who explored upcoming fashion trends and the influence of streetwear among Generation Z.
Euromonitor International's Head of Fashion Research Jorge Martin examined Asia-Pacific as the key growth engine for
global fashion expenditure.
CENTRESTAGE: Ideal Launch and Promotion Platform
Designers and key fashion industry players found their CENTRESTAGE 2018 participation fruitful. Mitsuo Nakahashi,
Fashion Merchandising Director at Barneys Japan, discovered several new designer brands that could be potential
partners, including a brand showcased by first-time Hong Kong exhibitor nano-secc showroom. Barneys Japan has decided to
carry some of these brands in Japan, and looks forward to exploring collaboration in carrying these brands at its six
Barneys New York flagship stores across Japan and developing new collections.
Hong Kong brand LOOM LOOP, which has participated in CENTRESTAGE since its inaugural edition, received an order from US
retailer 3NY on the first day of the event this year, after securing a deal with a mainland multi-brand store at
CENTRESTAGE 2017. Polly Ho, designer of LOOM LOOP, noted that CENTRESTAGE is now a key annual event in the regional
fashion calendar, especially as it is strategically timed with the start of the buying season, providing buyers and VIP
customers with an exclusive preview of designers' upcoming collections.
To read more testimonials from exhibitors and buyers, please visit: https://bit.ly/2NvKbSv https://bit.ly/2McrVZC