Off The Record, the invite-only uncensored discussion forum for fashion and luxury industry insiders, press and designers, held its second symposium at the Private Lounge by Miele on June 9, 2014.
Off The Record #2 focused on the current state of fashion education in Asia, the challenges, opportunities and prospects for young designers as well as the infrastructure, or lack of, in place to help them to retail and success. A heavyweight and international panel comprising Natalie Gibson, MBE (Head of Print, Central Saint Martins), Anne Peirson-Smith (Assistant Professor of English, HKU), Joanne Ooi (CEO Plukka) and Sarah Rutson (Fashion Director, Lane Crawford) moderated by Jing Zhang (Fashion Editor, SCMP) gave valuable insights from their own deep experience of fashion education, business development, mentorship and retail before engaging the audience in a frank and lively debate about specific problems, potential remedies and the future outlook.
The consensus from the evening’s discussion was that despite one or two shining talents who have come through in recent years as well as industry support from key retailers, Hong Kong and Asia more widely still lacks the appropriate infrastructure for a sustainable conveyor belt of young fashion creatives to make their mark. Despite the present situation, we also discovered the positive changes taking place that are laying the foundations for a vastly different future for fashion education in Asia.
The audience was a mix of brand heads, educators, designers, CEOs, international sales managers, key media. An intimate cocktail party before and after the panel discussion provided an opportunity for guests, panelists and industry figures to meet, mingle and take the debate further.
Big thanks go to:
Our panelists for their contributions and valuable insight. Our audience for participating and really entering into the lively debate style we hoped to achieve.
Our partner Miele for the use of the sumptuous Private Lounge by Miele as well as providing drinks and canapés.
Photography and videography by Jeff Chen.