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Hub hong kong shortlists brands for first fashion fair

Hub hong kong shortlists brands for first fashion fair Source: www.chinatexnet.com
Date: 19-07-2013
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Following an influx of applications from fashion brands across Europe and the US, The HUB announces the final selection of brands invited to attend its inaugural three day fashion fair in Hong Kong next month.

The lineup includes British heritage brands Barbour and Henri Lloyd, local designers Michael Wong and Johanna Ho and international household name Desigual.

Participating brands are seeking to forge a route into the rapidly growing Asian markets, enlisting The HUB to arm them with the partnerships necessary for regional success.

Aimed at connecting international brands and Asian retailers, The HUB is a new branded bi-annual fashion fair taking place in Hong Kong from 28 to 30 August.

Spearheaded by two of Hong Kong's most influential fashion insiders, it will be the first Hong Kong fair to be managed by "invitation only" and will bring together the most exciting fashion brands from Europe, Japan and the US with the crème de la crème of Asia's fashion retailers and distributers.

As a world-class business platform, Hong Kong was the obvious choice for such an event, having the advantages of an internationally admired legal system, an existing network of highly-skilled professional and creative talent, a free trade and investment policy, low and simple taxation and close proximity to markets in Asia.

THE BRANDS

Simon Harris, Head of International Sales, Asia at Barbour spoke on the brand's invitation to exhibit: "The HUB offers an ideal platform for us to explore expansion opportunities in Asia. There is no other exhibition that offers the same assurance of an invitation only guest list as The HUB and no other city that offers a reach across Asia like Hong Kong.

Both stand in a class of their own - just like Barbour". The British country clothing firm, favoured by UK rock stars, royalty and ramblers since its inception in 1894, recently announced a pre-tax profit of GBP £17 million (HK $198 million) and has already enjoyed considerable success in Japan, the US and Italy over the last 30 years.

Barbour joins fellow UK heritage label Henri Lloyd as one of 80 brands from Europe (where 42% of exhibiting brands originate), the US (24%), Australasia (24%) and Japan (10%) that will be exhibiting at the event.
Among other exhibitors, Spain's must-have streetwear brand Desigual, which cemented its fashionable status in Singapore last year with the opening of its latest retail store in Changi International Airport, is looking to The HUB as a platform to reach potential customers in other Asian markets.

The label, which last month opened its first mono-brand store in Hong Kong, has tripled its annual sales in the past five years to ?00 million (over HK $7 billion) and forecasts breaking the ?,000 million barrier by 2014. The fashion brand ended 2012 with over 330 of its own stores, 9,000 multi-brand stores and 2,200 corner concessions in department stores in over 90 countries worldwide.

With almost 14% of exhibiting brands based locally in Hong Kong, it is not only Western brands that are seeking entry into the lucrative emerging Asian markets. Actor Michael Wong will be exhibiting his new collection under his label, MW Michael Wong.

Following creative collaborations with various luxury brands in the past year, Wong turns his talents to an exclusive new menswear range, further details of which will be announced at the event.

Designer Johanna Ho, style icon and designer-to-the-stars, will also be showcasing her collections at the event. With Lana Del Rey recently stepping out in one of her designs and Eason Chan wearing nothing but Johanna Ho whilst on stage at his Eason's Life Concert this year, Ho has also just launched her first boutique in Hong Kong.

THE FOUNDERS & THE BACKGROUND

At the helm of The HUB stand two British expats adept in connecting US and European brands with the coveted Asian market: Peter Caplowe and Richard Hobbs. Since taking residence in Hong Kong over two decades ago, Hobbs worked with Mecca USA before a more recent association with Pepe Jeans, and Caplo we was the architect of Evisu's international expansion.

When asked to comment on the overwhelming response to the exhibition by international brands, Hobbs remarked, "Every international fashion brand has its sights set on Asia because, put simply, Asia is the most lucrative new market on the planet. It's pretty clear that any brand anywhere in the world that's doing its homework wants to sell more into Asia and the best way to reach the continent's emerging markets is through Hong Kong."

He concluded, "The HUB's positioning in Hong Kong is not coincidental. Its geographical position in the heart of Asia and reputation as an international city makes it the ideal gateway for fashion brands to catwalk into China and beyond".
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