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Rising Stars of Asian Fashion Take CENTRESTAGE

FFIXXED STUDIOS Forum Follows Gala Fashion Show

8 September 2017 – Having had no formal training as a fashion designer has not been a deterrent for Kain Picken – one half of the award-winning Hong Kong label, FFIXXED STUDIOS.
Mr Picken, along with design partner Fiona Lau, took part in the 7 September seminar “Master Sharing Series: A Dialogue with FFIXXED STUDIOS: A Creative Take on the ‘Everyday’,” held during the second edition of Asia’s premier fashion event, CENTRESTAGE. The art graduate said that his and his partner’s fashion background have given their brand, based in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, a unique perspective.
“One thing that has made our brand develop differently, compared with new younger brands – particularly some Chinese and Hong Kong brands – is we were already looking at fashion from the outside to start with. ” said Mr Picken.

Duo thrive on different skill sets
The couple’s different skills have served them well, he said. “One advantage is you can leave out some of the baggage that comes with not having formal training. On the downside, that knowledge and expertise is sometimes really useful. [But] we both fill in the bits missing from the other person. With me having no technical training, Fiona can fill in the gaps, and vice versa.”
The seminar was part of a series of designer-sharing sessions during the four-day CENTRESTAGE, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The forum was held one day after the designers presented their 2018 Spring/Summer collection at the opening gala fashion show, CENTRESTAGE ELITES. The show also spotlighted the latest creations of Korean design master Juun.J, whose debut Hong Kong runway show was made possible through the collaboration of the brand’s partner, JOYCE, and the HKTDC.

The Hong Kong and Shenzhen-based couple will next focus on their 2018 collection, which is scheduled to be available early next year in stores in Hong Kong, the mainland, Japan, Korea, the United States, Sweden, Germany, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.

Art project led to ready-to-wear brand
The Australian designers founded FFIXXED STUDIOS in 2010, two years after collaborating on an art project exploring different ideas and materials related to fashion. The project evolved into a ready-to-wear fashion brand and they released their first ready-to-wear product in 2009.

“Coming from an art background, one of the things that drew me into fashion was the idea that there’s such a personal engagement with the object, about it being really part of your daily life. That’s something you don’t have with art,” said Mr Picken.

The couple’s ready-to-wear collections are designed for contemporary living and evolve seasonally in response to ideas at work and home. The designers have made the movement and openness of their clothing a priority – conceptually and also in material and functional terms.

They also place emphasis on modern cutting with a fluid eclectic aesthetic and use natural and recycled fibres and custom-developed fabrics as part of continuing efforts to support sustainability and ethical working processes.

Everyday items inspire design details
Ms Lau said they like to use simple everyday items as inspiration for their designs. In their latest collection, for example, they added fruit stickers onto transfer prints and the detailing of their clothes, while using the size and shape of dust bags as the template for garment pockets and leather bags. The couple have also used beads from taxi driver’s massage chair for the design of a pair of reflexology sandals.

In the same way that jewels were used to embellish clothes, the couple decorated one of their garments with small buttons made from a lightweight compound so they resemble little rocks with holes cut in the centre. “No one looking at them would know they took hours to make,” she said.

Mr Picken added: “The idea that something that is totally mundane or has no value can be re-thought in terms of its aesthetic value or functional value, is interesting.”

The talk, moderated by Cory Quach, Professor of fashion marketing at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong, included advice to fashion design students on how to break into the profession.

Internships invaluable for gaining experience
“Doing internships is really useful for helping you to make sense of what is involved, so you understand all aspects of fashion design,” said Ms Lau. “After graduating, I wasn’t sure about my next step. Luckily after my internship it made sense. I realised how to make my ideas into a finished product.”

She also advised students to serve internships at various places in order to learn how companies operate differently.

“Some kids come out of school already with a clear picture about their fashion brand,” said Mr Picken. “But if you don’t have a clear picture or plan about your brand, then industry experience is the only way – and it is invaluable.

“A benefit of coming to a small company like us is that you see the big picture. If interns do the full cycle, they see everything – from the design development, the sampling, sales, show, production. You can tell people, but you need to see it to grasp it.”

The duo’s collections have shown at Paris and Shanghai Fashion weeks and have won several accolades, including the Hong Kong Young Talent Design Award in 2012 and the International Woolmark Prize – Women’s Asia in 2013.

CENTRESTAGE, which features more than 210 fashion brands from 22 countries and regions, along with nearly 40 fashion events, including more than 20 fashion shows, debuted last year as a new promotion and launch platform for international fashion brands and designs – particularly those in Asia, reaffirming Hong Kong as the region’s fashion capital

Under the theme “Nouveau Playhouse,” this year’s CENTRESTAGE – one of the activities celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR – features three thematic zones, GLAM, ALLURE and METRO.

Leading international brands taking part
Exhibiting fashion brands from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Australia, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Britain and the United States, include BARBARA DI DAVIDE – I CASHMERE, CHENG PAI CHENG, Edward Achour, GLAMOROUS, KEEPSAKE, N12H and Zero Design, along with local brands anagram, Angus Tsui, HARRISON WONG, izzue and Yi-ming.

The HKTDC has organised 34 buying missions to visit the show, bringing buyers from more than 1,000 companies from 25 companies and regions, including Galeries Lafayette from France, Andreas Murkudis from Germany, Shinsegae from Korea, Isetan from Japan, select shops DONGLIANG and AnyShopStyle from the Chinese mainland, Breeze Center from Taiwan and local retailers such as Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, D-mop, DFS and Club 21.

Hong Kong in Fashion
The Hong Kong in Fashion citywide campaign is underway to spread the fashion buzz to the wider community. More than 90 fashion-related activities are being staged around Hong Kong from 15 August-30 September. The campaign has been organised in collaboration with over 100 partners, including high-end hotels, shopping malls, fashion boutiques, restaurants and design institutes.

CENTRESTAGE becomes “OPENSTAGE” on the final day, when it will welcome public visitors aged 12 and above free of charge. A series of events, including a fashion parade, lifestyle tips-sharing, make-up and nail-art demo, will be arranged. Members of the public will have the chance to experience this major international fashion event and check out the latest designs from leading brands.


The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest 2017 (YDC) website
CENTRESTAGE schedule: php
Hong Kong in Fashion schedule
Fashion Summit (HK) 2017

The HKTDC launched the online platform in early 2012 to provide a unique networking and exchange platform for global fashion experts to connect, inspire and share information.

For Media:
Media representatives wishing to cover CENTRESTAGE may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification. 

Photo Download:

Kain Picken (centre) and Fiona Lau (right), Creative Directors of FFIXXED STUDIOS, share their experience and insights at the 7 September seminar “Master Sharing Series: A Dialogue with FFIXXED STUDIOS: A Creative Take on the ‘Everyday’,” which was moderated by Professory Cory Quach, Professor of Fashion Marketing & Management, SCAD Hong Kong (left). The seminar was held during the second edition of Asia’s premier fashion event, CENTRESTAGE, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Media Enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC's Communication and Public Affairs Department:
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About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: Follow us on  Google+    Twitter @hktdc    LinkedIn