Press Releases

Young Fashion Designers’ Contest Winners Announced

Champion Awarded Study Trip to Japan

10 September 2017 – The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2017 awards ceremony took place yesterday (9 September), with Arto Wong named Champion and winner of the “New Talent Award.” She received a cash prize and a study trip aboard, including a visit to the Japanese design G.V.G.V. studio, sponsored by Sun Hing Knitting Factory Ltd. Ms Wong will also receive mentorship from JOYCE Boutique, to develop a capsule collection that will be sold at select shops under JOYCE Boutique. The winners of the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2017 are:

Champion and New Talent Award: Arto Wong: “Zero to Unlimited” 
First Runner-up: Sonic Lam: “Barren Land”
Second Runner-up: Wilson Choi: “The Stolen Soul”
Best Footwear Design Award: Jason Lee: “Kingdom of the Underground”

Inspired by the immense possibilities of transforming molecules to matter, Arto Wong’s design sought to play with weight and proportion. The overall YDC champion and winner of the New Talent Award said that it was a challenge finding time to finish the outfits being a full-time designer. Apart from time-management challenges, she encountered difficulties in trying to create volume, weight and the bounce effect for the ruffles in her knitwear collection, eventually succeeding after trying numerous techniques. The experience, Ms Wong said, has inspired her to continue exploring the infinite possibilities of knitwear.

Sonic Lam, the first runner-up of this year’s YDC, said that the YDC is a competition that every Hong Kong fashion design student aspires to take part, and was delighted to have won the award on his first try, saying, “I participated in this year’s YDC as a motivation to get out of the rut I was in after working full-time for three years post-graduation. I look forward to the study trip abroad in Australia to get out of Hong Kong and explore the world, to experience and adapt to foreign cultures, and incorporate these learnings into improving who we are,” Mr Lam added that he would eventually like to start his own brand after the study trip, adding that he was ready for the challenge of the endeavor.

International Panel
YDC 2017 invited Mug, founder and designer of popular Japanese fashion brand G.V.G.V., to serve as the VIP judge. A graduate of Japan’s Kuwasawa Design School, Mug set up G.V.G.V. in 1999 in Tokyo, and under her guidance, G.V.G.V. has become one of Tokyo’s most sought-after fashion labels.

Mug praised the overall performance of YDC designers and said that each contestant should strive to express their own style through designs that are true to themselves. She praised the winning knit collection, which she said showcased originality, personal style and market value, noting that Arto Wong will go on to have a flourishing design career. Mug encouraged designers to remain focused, noting that while marketability was important, designers should not easily be influenced by trends, nor should they find ways to adapt their works to the trends.

Mug joined other senior industry and media representatives that comprised the judging panel. Lawrence Leung, Chairman of the HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee served as Chief Judge, alongside fellow judges: Tasha Liu, Brand Director and co-founder of C.DONGLIANG and LABELHOOD; Michael Mok, General Merchandising Manager of Joyce Boutique (Hong Kong) Ltd; Marcella Wong, Chief Editor of Marie Claire; Deborah Cheng, Chief Commercial Officer of I.T Apparels Ltd; Brian Tam, Project Manager of The Woolmark Company; and Virginia Chan, Head of Footwear at I.T Apparels Ltd, who served as judge for the Best Footwear Design Award. The judges selected the best works based on creativity and originality, market potential, workmanship, use of fabrics and overall visual appeal.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), YDC has been nurturing and identifying emerging talents in the local fashion industry for nearly four decades. To further promote Hong Kong fashion designers to the world, the HKTDC launched the online platform in early 2012 to provide a one-of-a-kind networking and exchange platform for global fashion experts to connect, inspire and share information. The YDC was one of the highlights of the fashion spotlight CENTRESTAGE, which ended yesterday (9 September). 

Arto Wong: “Zero to Unlimited”

The Design:
Inspired by the immense possibilities of transforming molecules to matter, Arto Wong sought to play with weight and proportion. She chose to use knitwear, which offered versatility as patterns could be created from scratch, and is not bound by what is commercially available. The designer showed off her eye for vivid and striking motifs, which are complemented by a solid background. Crafted from polyester yarn, the designs achieved volume, while remaining incredibly light. The collection serves as a story of aspiration and empowerment to never underestimate the energy released by combining small molecules.

Champion Prizes: (1) Cash Prize of HK$35,000; (2) A study trip to Japan, including a visit to G.V.G.V. studio, sponsored by Sun Hing Knitting Factory Ltd.
New Talent Award Prizes: (1) Cash Prize of HK$10,000; (2) Mentorship from JOYCE Boutique to develop a capsule collection to be sold at a JOYCE shop

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Sonic Lam: “Barren Land”
First Runner-up

The Design:
Although raised in Hong Kong, Sonic Lam was only exposed to its metropolitan beauty through Wong Kai Wai films, as well as the dystopian Japanese animation Ghost In The Shell. Fascinated by how Hong Kong has evolved from a barren rock to an international hub, he strives through his designs to preserve the best from the city’s past and make them relevant for this generation. Watered gauze, a wispy, silky fabric from the olden days, was extensively used in this collection. Its deliberately washed-out texture lent itself to a distinctive vintage feel. By fusing together old and new, the collection breathes new life into old traditions.

Prizes: (1) Cash Prize of HK$25,000; (2) A study trip abroad sponsored by the Woolmark Company

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Wilson Choi: “The Stolen Soul”
Second Runner-up

The Design:
Collegiate apparel with a rebellious undertone defines Wilson Choi’s collection. The 50s Swedish movie Ondskan compelled him to examine the subversive bullying culture plaguing schools and society. Navy blue, a colour broadly associated with school uniform, was chosen as the primary colour that ties together his collection. Furthermore, the maroon brushstroke stripes introduce a sense of defiance, resembling graffiti-like street art. The sportswear-inspired pieces incorporate bonding and seamless techniques on wool; affixing a number of pockets to enhance the designs’ practicality and functionality.

Prizes: (1) Cash Prize of HK$20,000; (2) A study trip abroad sponsored by MINI.

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Jason Lee: “Kingdom of the Underground”
Best Footwear Design Award

The Design:
What if grunge rocker Kurt Cobain found himself in the Qing Dynasty? It would be a clash of ancient civilities and irreverent street culture. With this far-out idea in mind, Jason Lee let his imagination run wild in creating a collection that links Chinese culture with a grunge theme. Flannel and denim elements accent the unisex collection of loose-fit outerwear and bottoms, which also feature the modern techniques of 3D printing and digital printing. Despite these modern techniques and styles, the collection effectively incorporates traditional Chinese influences. For example, the standard Magua jacket was made oversized with new badges nesting alongside traditional dragon embroidery.

Prizes: (1) Cash Prize of HK$10,000; (2) Mentorship from I.T Apparels Ltd to develop a capsule collection to be sold at select shops under the i.t group 

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The judges receive souvenirs from HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau (fourth from right) Winners of YDC 2017 celebrate on stage 

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The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest webpage:

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