A World of Phygital

powered by Vogue Hong Kong
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Welcome Message

CENTRESTAGE 2020 marks the fifth iteration of one of Asia’s premier fashion events. For the first time, the annual spectacle is taking place online, integrating imagination with technology to offer a digital experience and open up new possibilities for the industry.

The theme, ‘A World of Phygital’, highlights the creative combination of physical and digital elements in a fashion event that responds to prevailing circumstances. Free of spatial and temporal constraints, the new format enables buyers and fashionistas to view the latest designs anytime, anywhere while helping designers gain broader exposure and foster connections.

A total of 240 international designer labels and fashion brands are showcased. In the spotlight is a series of six virtual runway shows to be premiered to a worldwide audience. Designers’ latest collections are featured on an interactive digital platform jointly developed by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and our digital content partner Vogue Hong Kong.

Our thanks also go to Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, for its continued support to the local fashion community.

I hope CENTRESTAGE 2020 will offer a new experience that excites both established and emerging fashion designers as well as brings fresh perspectives to the industry as a whole.

Margaret Fong
Executive Director | Hong Kong Trade Development Council

A Brave New World

A new world is, naturally, defined by new boundaries. Phygital is at the forefront of it all. The term represents the hybrid of a physical and digital experience, and the way of life going forward. Fashion, which has long encapsulated the best of creativity, emotional resonance and passion, is also entering this Phygital era. 

CENTRESTAGE, which has been supporting both Hong Kong’s and international amazing creatives in the fashion industry, is proud to be on this journey by presenting A World of Phygital - putting our designers at the forefront of this experience. Watching a new generation of designers exploring sense and sensibility in this Phygital age creates a reality with a utopian vision. Those who dare to dream are able to create and shape their reality!  

Vogue Hong Kong is proud to be part of the conversation and connection with our fashion community. The world may be filled with uncertainties, but the spirit of creativity and passion will triumph against all odds. Let us make the brave new world, a better world!

Desiree Au
Publisher | VOGUE Hong Kong

SFZ&SON

As the first runner-up in the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest (YDC) 2017, the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) graduate Sonic Lam went on to launch his brand SFZ&SON in 2018, focusing primarily on workwear. His work exudes boldness with a distinctive style.

  • The fashion industry has officially welcomed the digital age. How do you feel about different brands experimenting with the phygital format?

    It doesn’t hurt to try. Online merchandising allows us to reach out to potential customers more easily. However, not all brands can benefit from the perks of online marketing in the same way. Common marketing tactics include setting up Instagram shops or selling products through live streams, but these may not necessarily work for independent brands whose laborious and time-consuming design processes result in a higher price point and a low volume production. Many online livestream shops are just the opposite—they aim to sell products at a lower price to appeal to the masses.

  • How do you think independent brands or young designers should prepare for the phygital transition in fashion?

    Independent designers have to learn to seek help. E-commerce is often not the strength of entrepreneurs with a fashion background. I would advise them to outsource the sales and marketing portion. It may not be necessary for the designers to be responsible for sales as well.

  • How would you describe your brand's style?

    It's quite American. Fashion is often considered ‘highbrow’ and can be intimidating sometimes, and I want my designs to be more approachable with a relaxing and cheerful character. We aim to create modern designs through the lens of ‘vintage’, while incorporating elements of workwear in our designs.

  • What is the meaning behind your brand name?

    Aside from apparel design, I am also working with a group of woodworkers who have named themselves “Start From Zero,” in short “SFZ.” “SON” is an abbreviation of my English name “Sonic,” so “&SON” symbolises our partnership. I also drew inspiration from how traditional British family tailors add “& Sons” at the end of their brand names when they pass their family businesses to the next generations. SFZ has been creating street arts and woodworks in Hong Kong for over two decades, and has also designed clothes as well. Having been a fan of them ever since my days as a student, I proposed to SFZ that we launched a fashion collection together. To us, we are like the second generation of Start From Zero.

  • In response to the strong call for sustainability in the fashion industry, consumers are becoming more interested in vintage pieces. As a vintage enthusiast merging eastern and western styles, can you share some design tips with us?

    Every place has its own history, and I think ‘vintage’ is not a concept that is exclusive to European or American fashion. I am always looking for Chinese style fabrics from our region, like fabrics from the Republican era. In fact, I am more fond of tailoring than following a certain trend, and thus my designs are not constrained by trends or seasons. They are meant to be worn anytime, anywhere.

  • What are your plans for the future?

    My designs are dedicated to the young people of Hong Kong, so I hope that my products can be carried by more local retailers. And of course, it would be great to explore the overseas market as well.