Asian Design Debut
04 June 2014
Hong Kong’s standing as the creative hub of Asia is getting a boost with the launch of the new quarterly Design Anthology, which debuted last month. The publication is the brainchild of Australian interior designer Suzy Annetta, who envisioned a high-end publication that would serve as a global showcase for the region’s designers.
Ms Annetta has held senior positions at award-winning Hong Kong interior design firms, including Aedas and AB Concept, specialising in such high-end residential and five-star hospitality projects as the W Resort in Bali and the Langham Hotel in Shenzhen. She says the city’s thriving art and design scene inspired her to launch the publication.
What’s the idea behind Design Anthology?
I really wanted to create a global platform to promote local designers in a way that they aren’t being at the moment. The focus of the magazine is largely high-end unique and creative design within the built environment, whether it be urban planning, architecture, interiors, furniture or fine art. By focusing specifically on those areas, we are more targeted in our editorial content and get to really show off the amazing creative talent in Asia to the region and the rest of the world.
Why did you choose to base the publication in Hong Kong?
I based Design Anthology in Hong Kong because it is home and has been for the past nine years, and I really can’t see me leaving anytime soon. It also seemed to make sense launching a publication like Design Anthology here, too, because of the growing momentum across the art and design scene, so it was the right place and right time to launch something new.
Establishing a new business here in Hong Kong is also extremely quick and easy, and registration procedures are kept to an efficient minimum, making it a very attractive place to do business across the board. The initial concept phase to the launch of Design Anthology took only six months. Only in Hong Kong could this ever have happened so quickly.
What are your distribution plans?
Prior to the launch of Design Anthology, I made the decision to distribute it as widely as possible. It is already available in many locations worldwide. Apart from Hong Kong, Macau and the Chinese mainland, we have also set up distribution in the United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Australia, Middle East, North Africa, as well as elsewhere in Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan.
I am now trying to finalise agreements with distributors in a few other regional locations as well. We also plan to launch a simplified Chinese edition specifically for the mainland market in the not-too-distant future. But, at the moment, the primary focus is on establishing the English-language edition.
Tell us a bit about your design background.
I initially worked in interior textile industry sales and product development for many years before I moved into interior design. By that stage of my career, I had been involved in textile production, wholesale and retail, as well as furniture, bedding, table and bath linen, and window coverings. I had been slowly gathering experience with a lot of the elements that make up a room, so by the time I transitioned, I had a lot more practical knowledge than some of my peers.
When I first moved to Hong Kong, I was working for a textile company in a product development role and was travelling to the mainland frequently to source and troubleshoot for our clients, many of which were large American corporations.
Why is Hong Kong attracting many of the world’s leading designers and architects?
Hong Kong is unique in many ways. It’s an incredibly dynamic and exciting city that also affords many of us here a fantastic lifestyle. I think many creatives across many disciplines, not just interior design, are relocating here from around the world because of the endless opportunities in Hong Kong. Its proximity to China, with its breakneck development and huge spending power, makes Hong Kong particularly appealing to designers and architects. The compactness of the city makes getting things done very easy. The community here is incredibly supportive of people who want to try new things, and it is such a business-friendly metropolis.
Where do you see Hong Kong’s design scene headed?
I think Hong Kong has evolved and changed enormously over the nine years that I’ve been here. There is far more public awareness, government involvement and local interest in all things design, art and creative. If there are more spaces and funds dedicated to design education and affordable spaces for designers to work and pursue their endeavours, then I also see Hong Kong becoming more than just the creative hub of Asia.
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