The creative industry is a powerhouse of economic growth and is expanding rapidly as the global economy returns to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) this week unveiled seven creative events covering fashion, lifestyle and licensing at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) – the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair; Home InStyle; the Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair; Fashion InStyle and the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair, as well as the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference.
The events attracted more than 4,100 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions, covering gifts, home products, home textiles, fashion, printing and packaging solutions, licensing projects and more, while the Asian Licensing Conference invited about 30 global industrial giants and insiders to share insights.
During a media tour at the events, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Sophia Chong said: “HKTDC has always been committed to promoting Hong Kong creative and design industry to the world through exhibitions, conferences and other activities. This year, we are bringing together seven major events covering fashion, lifestyle and licensing in April under one roof for the first time, providing a unique platform to cultivate new possibilities for licensing business through accommodating more non-character IPs; broadening the IP portfolio to include art, culture and digital brands that are used in licensed gifts. We believe this will create greater synergies and will open up more business opportunities across industries and disciplines.
“As one of the world’s most recognised cities for meetings, exhibitions, incentive and business travel, Hong Kong attracts high-quality exhibitors and buyers from around the globe. HKTDC exhibitions are known for their internationalisation, scale and comprehensive support facilities. This year, the exhibitions featured about 70% non-local exhibitors and welcomed numerous provincial and municipal delegations from Mainland China – a testament to the return of international businessmen to Hong Kong,” she added.
The events have recruited more than 200 buying missions from 50 countries and regions, including buyers from the mainland, Japan, Korea, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, India, the Middle East, Germany, France and the United States to source in Hong Kong. The EXHIBITION+ hybrid model extends business discussion beyond the physical shows until 29 April via the smart business matching platform Click2Match.
Cultural and Creative Corner
The exhibitions feature a diverse array of fashion and lifestyle products, with many institutions and companies joining for the first time. The Gifts Fair, Home InStyle and Home Textiles Fair feature more than 2,800 exhibitors from 21 countries and regions. As the cultural and creative industries flourish, the Cultural and Creative Corner debuts at the Gifts Fair and Home InStyle to showcase designer brands and products with cultural characteristics, unique and tasteful designs. A mainland pavilion also debuts, bringing exclusive Chinese traditional handicrafts such as bamboo carvings and ceramics. At Home InStyle, the Zhejiang Pavilion features handcrafted home-decor products from different provincial cities under the Zhejiang Ingenuity: Culture and Quality theme. The Yuecheng District of Zhejiang Province is also participating in the Home Textiles Fair for the first time, showcasing high-quality bedding products.
Fashion InStyle has attracted about 500 exhibitors, including a debut Jiangxi Province pavilion where 25 exhibitors showcase fashion and accessories. The Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair also attracted 460 exhibitors with a newcomer from Hungary. The international presences signal the strong revival of international business confidence in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Industrial Designers Association (IDSHK) joined Home InStyle; its ReMIX brands and designers matching programme created design products in collaboration with local traditional brands such as Camel’s vacuum flasks and Red Apple’s home furniture, illustrating the power of design in brand rejuvenation. Other newcomers include local brand Inwork Synergy International Limited, which specialises in handcrafted wooden tableware, and Derangedesign Co. Limited, which won the A'Design Award for its iconic irregular stainless steel sculpture containers. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association highlights Hong Kong Smart Design Award winning pieces at the Gifts Fair to promote local design talents.
The HKTDC has been a staunch advocate for the development of local creative culture and protection of intellectual property. With the support of CreateHK, the DLAB Hong Kong Pavilion returned to the Licensing Show this year, gathering 45 locally produced, original intellectual properties – including SHIBAINC, Falling Cyan, Malut Design and 8EGGS Studio – displaying the products of Hong Kong creative minds.
Highlighted Fashion InStyle’s zone InnoFashion and Trade Services focuses on fashion technology and trade services and showcases a variety of innovative fashion technologies, including the AiDLab of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which brings in world’s first designer-led AI system (AiDA) that facilitates designer’s inspiration and speeds up the whole ideation and design development process, improving the sustainability of the production chain. Headquartered in Israel, Hong Kong exhibitor Stratasys has developed a 3D printer that can print three-dimensional textile materials entirely with computers.
Demand for environment-friendly products continues to rise in global markets. About a quarter of the Printing & Packaging Fair exhibitors provide green printing and packaging products and services. Sustainability and safety certified products are also available in the Home Textiles Fair, including products made of organic and recycled materials with international certifications such as GRS, BSCI and OEKO-100.
Dialogues on trending topics
The AiDLab Summit debuted at Fashion InStyle this morning. Academic experts such as Professor Sharon Baurley, Director and Professor of Design & Materials at the Materials Science Research Centre of the Royal College of Art and Professor Calvin Wong, Cheng Yik Hung Professor in Fashion at the School of Fashion and Textiles at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Centre Director of AiDLab discussed artificial intelligence (AI) application in fashion design. The Feel the Pulse of the Upcoming Trend in 2023 seminar invited Euromonitor International Hong Kong Research Manager
Herbert Yum and Ivan So, digital consultant at HDcourse, to share insights on global consumer trends as well as ChatGPT and its impact on business-to-business marketing implications.
Licensing Show displays over 500 brands and projects
Hong Kong is a bustling hub for licensors, licensees, agents and manufacturers and is the preferred partner for foreign licensors. This year’s Hong Kong International Licensing Show showcased over 500 diverse licensing projects and brands; exhibitors include top global licensors and licensing agents such as CAA-GBG Global Brands Management Group, Medialink Group and WildBrain CPLG. The exhibition features nine large pavilions, the largest being the Mainland China Pavilion, along with those from Macao, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, where exhibitors bring unique brands to Hong Kong.
At the concurrent Asian Licensing Conference, the first session featured Ben Peace, Vice President for the Asia Pacific at WildBrain CPLG (the agency for PEANUTS, Sonic Prime, and the Teletubbies); Maura Regan, President of Licensing International; and Miki Yamamoto, Senior Vice President, Licensing in Asia at IMG, who discussed global licensing developments, post-pandemic shifts in consumer behaviour and key factors reshaping the licensing landscape.
Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair
Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair
Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair
Hong Kong International Licensing Show
Asian Licensing Conference