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Fashion label Emma Wallace heads a growing list of local designer startups

A burgeoning number of fashion designer startups are calling Hong Kong home and opening boutiques, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 

In HKTDC’s online publication Hong Kong Means Business local fashion label Emma Wallace, is highlighted as an example, offering garments that incorporate influences from art nouveau, African and Japanese-inspired prints. The hard-to-find store has survived by hosting collaborative events where customers can create complete looks in-store.

Emma Wallace competes on a range of formal garments.

“Whether you need a boutique depends on the type of brand you are,” said founder Emma Wallace. “If you’re looking for something for a nice dinner date, you want to try it on first to ensure it fits just right. If we were just a t-shirt brand, maybe it wouldn’t matter so much if we had a physical store or not.”

The designer intends to expand her work with jewellery and shoe labels to offer customers the chance to style a whole look for themselves.

“When I was in the UK, I always had to travel to visit sample rooms, or talk about product development,” said Wallace. “Now I can do all that here, whether it’s sourcing trims in Sham Shui Po, or meeting suppliers and finding out what’s new resource-wise … Where we are based in Po Hing Fong, there are lots of individual business owners, and they are happy to share their experiences.

“You have people from all over the world [here] and there’s inspiration everywhere,” she added. “We’ve got a diverse customer base of different ages and cultures.”

The designer intends to expand her brand by moving into online business. She hopes to open more locations in Hong Kong before expanding to the UK and US.

Read the full story in Hong Kong Means Business.

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