Focus on Asia

  • Style
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014

A flowy design by Crystal Wang.

The first business-to-business fashion week for South-East Asia successfully highlights the unified diversity of Asian designs.

THE inaugural Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week (held last December) was an occasion that saw a comprehensive mix of different styles being showcased. Eleven Asian markets were represented: China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The designs that were showcased on the runway during the span of the four days were thus, as eclectic as they could be. From gorgeous dresses to natty suits, there was definitely a beautiful range of ready-to-wear options that all style enthusiasts – no matter their gender – could look out for.

And it wasn’t just the end consumers (people who decidedly live and breathe fashion) that were in attendance. Various retailers and trade buyers from around the Asian region also flew in for the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week.

With 29 fashion weeks bearing the Mercedes-Benz name already spread across every continent, this is the 30th for the German luxury automaker. It is, nevertheless, the first business-to-business (B2B) fashion week in South-East Asia.

Stylishly distinguished: Fairuz Ramdan looking dapper in his signature style.

Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week presented an opportunity for those in the trade to keep up with the trends of the different participating fashion markets. This is especially so, when it comes to the context of local Asian designers.

During the interview, Arief Nuary, a buyer from Galeries Lafayette Indonesia, said that it was a fantastic platform for Asian designers to showcase their designs. The buyers benefit from attending such an event as well.

“The Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week provides an opportunity for us in the trade to foster connections, especially from the various Asian markets of different countries.”

Petra Hahijary, the head buyer from Metro Group Indonesia, added, “We have seen a lot of designs on the runway that are potentially sellable.

“Unlike the usual fashion trade shows, where one is only afforded just a short time to look at stuff and make retail decisions, this one gives us a chance to actually get to know the designers better.”

South Korean actress, Yoo In Young closed the show for Salut de Miel.

A. Rick Yang, consultant buyer from Hempel Fashion & Marketing Management of Taiwan, commented: “After viewing some of the designs and meeting the designers, I would say it has shifted my views on what Asian fashion can really achieve in terms of widespread commercial success.”

The guest list for the event included the who’s who from various fashion associations from across the world. Yoko Otsuka, chairperson for the Council of Fashion Designers of Tokyo, was also present.

“This (the Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week) is an opportunity for us to take a look at designs from other neighbouring countries as a whole. And, we also learn about their aesthetics and what they have to offer,” she said.

Ali Charisma, vice chairman for trade and international affairs for the Indonesian Fashion Designers Association, was of the opinion that Asia is indeed coming up with regards to the fashion scene.

“I think, judging from the past few days, it’s apparent that we have very good Asian designers. We are very strong. Asia definitely has a future in the international fashion industry.”

The Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week presented the industry choice awards to participating designers too. This included the announcement of the overall winner for the title of Asia’s Most Influential Designer 2014.

A flowy design by Crystal Wang.

Malaysian Joe Chia came in first for the industry choice award, followed by Salut de Miel from South Korea and Sofie from Indonesia. The big win for the night, however, went to Avel Bacudio of the Phillipines.

The award recipients were chosen by the official Asian delegation, comprising heads of fashion weeks and associations, international fashion media and trade buyers, as well as through social media voting.

As it is, the digital news on the event attracted over 250,000 hits (180,000 on Facebook, 30,000 on Sina Weibo and 40,000 on Instagram) with over 20,000 votes made by the public.

Others that were in contention for the awards included Kor-Deuxy (South Korea); Li Xion Yan, Tanya, Liu Wei (China); Illiza Ho, Duo by Joyce Wong, Silas Liew, Yii by Alan Ooi, Fairuz Ramdan (Malaysia); Billy Tjong, Ben Ten (Indonesia); Steve Tach, Mode Acote (Japan); Depression (Singapore); Joel Escobar (Philippines); Keraia, Crystal Wang (Taiwan); Ally & Rachelle (Hong Kong); Siddharth-Hangar (India); Ek Thongprasert, Q Design & Play (Thailand).

The Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week Benz was made possible by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s fashion partner, Stylo International, with Prof Datuk Jimmy Choo acting as honorary adviser.

Its partners and sponsors included Lada Eco Ventures, Starwood Hotels, The Aloft Hotel, The Andaman, White Box Publika, A Cut Above, Kinohimitsu, Kronenbourg 1664, Diva Productions and Tropical Charters. The event was supported by My Creative Ventures and IM4U.

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