Transformative FIP Journeys of 5 Local Fashion Brands

To make a unique mark in the fashion world, fashion designers have to be as entrepreneurial as they are creative. The transformation from designer to ‘designpreneur’ doesn’t come easy. Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) has been helping up-and-coming local fashion designers bring their labels to a new level. FIP has witnessed the designers’ metamorphosis, and from 2019 we see a cohort of incubatees finished the programme with flying colours. In the past few months, it was the turn of 112 mountainyam, A O G P, Angus Tsui, The World is Your Oyster and DEMO. Let’s find out more about their fruitful two-year advanced incubation journeys.

112 mountainyam: Enhanced the brand with a diversified business model

In the past 2 years, 112 mountainyam’s business model has been enhanced into one with diversified development plans. “We set up an online shop, opened a physical store at Tai Kwun and expanded our wholesale network thanks to FIP, which helped with our brand’s marketing and positioning.,” said Mountain Yam who founded the brand. While enhancing the brand’s development strategy, they also dipped their toes in a range of crossover projects, like a series of eyewear and accessories with other local design brands, a yoga activewear collection with a Taiwanese sports brand and a themed afternoon tea set with The Murray Hong Kong. “Each collaboration gave us different opportunities for promotion and introduced our brand to customers of different demographics and markets.”

Yoga activewear collection by 112 mountainyam x Mollifix Taiwan 

A O G P: Getting the hang of holistic planning

A O G P’s experience was also their venture to expand into the Asian and European markets. “We did so much research on the feasibility of entering overseas markets, and their needs, trends and pricing. Before FIP, we focused more on the accessories’ design. With our FIP mentors’ advice and guidance, we learnt to strategise our product lines and came up with pricing strategies for different markets,” said the brand’s founder Maggie Tse. Their transformation is not confined to market expansion and product development. “We made headway on all fronts. Now we are able to analyse and plan our development from a broader perspective. Our sensitivity to trends and markets also increased, which helps us make better decisions.”

Accessories designed by A O G P

Angus Tsui: Futuristic, Sustainable, Wearable

Angus Tsui’s latest collection '•••• - - - - - •', released in this year’s London Fashion Week, tells a 2120 story of deep space exploration driven by the need to find a solution for an Earth destroyed by extreme pollutions, shortage of resources and overpopulation. The collection continues his eponymous label’s use of futuristic style and angle to raise concerns about the sustainability issues in our age. “Having learnt so much about fashion techniques and strategic marketing, we strengthened the wearability and diversity of our designs. We paid more attention to the details to establish our unique aesthetics.” It was an enriching two years for them, not least because of the international recognition they gained. “We were invited by Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence to join the ‘Sustainable Thinking’ exhibition. And our collection received the DFA Design for Asia Award and was listed among ‘The 100 Project’ by JOOR x Not Just A Label.”

'•••• - - - - - •' collection by ANGUS TSUI

The World is Your Oyster: Capturing womenswear market with menswear

Setting out at first to gain international exposure and develop their label more holistically , Calvin Chan and Joyce Kun, who co-founded The World is Your Oyster, have achieved more than that. The menswear label successfully expanded into the realm of womenswear with the ‘Menswear for Women’ line. They grasped the recent boyfriend trend in womenswear and refashioned their men’s line with the addition of some women’s items to appeal to female customers. “With FIP’s help, we presented our collections via fashion show or showroom in Paris and Shanghai Fashion Weeks. We also met many experts in the industry whose business and branding knowledge inspired us to build a more  vision for our label.”

'Menswear for Women’ line by The World is Your Oyster

DEMO: Mastering the key to customer loyalty 

Speaking of a collection that can best illustrate their transformation, Derek Chan, Founder of DEMO, talked about their FW20/21 collection 'Brave Individuals'. "It was inspired by the ballroom culture of the 1980s, which is all about self-expression and gender nonconformity. The collection minimises the differences between menswear and womenswear to bring out one message: who you are is up to you.” The last couple of years saw them put more focus on building up strong connections with their loyal customers. “Having built our online presence, joined fashion showcases abroad and been listed among ‘10 Asian Designers to Watch’ in 2019 greatly increased our international exposure and helped us expand our fan base and customer list.”

'Brave Individuals' collection by DEMO

With more well-rounded business skills and exposure gained and developed during their FIP journey, we cannot wait to see these 5 fabulous fashion brands stretch their wings in their ventures ahead, and look forward to seeing them shine locally and internationally.