Hangzhou event gives Asian fashion a chance to take on Western brands

By Sun Yuanqing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-06-23 09:36

In Asia, indigenous fashion has long been overshadowed by Western brands, but the region has gradually come together to change this.

The Asia Fashion Federation recently held its annual conference in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

The theme this year is "fashion without borders in an Internet Plus era", focusing on how the fashion industry can take advantage of the internet.

The organization, established in 2002, is a fashion liaison among China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is intended to enhance lifestyles and culture in East Asia, and promote the development of the region's fashion industry.

Member countries alternately host the annual conference. It consists of a chairman's meeting, seminars, business-matching programs and other trade and academic activities.

This year, the opening runway show presented 60 pieces by Asian designers, including Chinese designer Liu Sicong and Singaporean designer Danelle Woo.

Zhang Qinghui, president of the China Fashion Association, says Asian countries now face similar challenges with the rise of the internet, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, despite its huge market.

"It is time for us to work on a deeper level to promote the fashion business in Asia," he says.

David Wang, the chairman representing Singapore in the AFF, says: "It is very challenging for brands to expand their business or to stay sustainable.

"Many young designers have already experimented with digital prints, new methods of cutting and garment-assembling techniques as well as using techno fabrics to give their products an edge. And further technological improvements have enabled bigger brands to be a step ahead of the others."

The three-day event was broadcast live on the internet, attracting tens of millions of viewers online. They could also buy designers' products directly on the live-broadcast page.

The participants were invited to visit the Alibaba Group, where they were introduced to the latest developments in e-commerce.

The event also saw the opening of the E-fashion Town, a newly developed town in Hangzhou for Asian designers.

Some 20 designers and 36 fashion brands have opened studios in E-fashion Town. They include renowned designers like Lu Minchao and Wang Yutao.

Meanwhile, Hangzhou is encouraging more designers to set up studios in the town.

 Hangzhou event gives Asian fashion a chance to take on Western brands

Models present creations by Asian designers at the opening runway show during the annual conference of the Asia Fashion Federation.Photos Provided To China Daily

(China Daily USA 06/23/2017 page15)

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