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4 April 2002

Hong Kong Footwear Design Advances In Style

"Fashion design faculties of local tertiary education should offer courses on footwear design; this will help nurture more young designers in the related discipline, thus enhancing Hong Kong's capability in footwear design," said Chairman of the Hong Kong Leather Shoe and Shoe Material Merchants Association Limited, George Miu, at the 2002 Footwear Design Competition's prize award ceremony yesterday (April 4).

Miu further elaborated that through fostering local design talents; which in turn encouraged more manufacturers to engage in original design manufacturing, local tertiary education could help to boost the export competitiveness of Hong Kong footwear. Such collaborative direction would be a support to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) which was endeavoured to promote the external trade of Hong Kong.

Miu pointed out that the younger generation had become more demanding when it came to aesthetic in fashion. Apparel and accessories were essentially complementing each other; handbags and shoes were therefore required to be practical as well as upbeat.

Miu continued to say that the judging panel was greatly impressed by the creativity of the overall entrants, though some failed to win out because they lacked the experience in reckoning problems which would affect the possibility of mass production. Miu hoped a footwear design competition could be held annually to help budding designers to acquire a deeper understanding in footwear production and technique, thus mastering the maneuver in footwear design.

Winning both the 1st Runner-up of the Fashion Shoes category and 2nd Runner up of the Casual Shoes category, Vivian Lam was ready to join the rank of footwear designers after graduation. "If fashion design faculties of local tertiary institutions could offer design courses on footwear and handbag to train up designers with related specialised skills, more talents will be attracted to work in the field," said Lam.

Creative integration of new technology empowered Tsai Nga Chun to become winner of the Casual Shoes category.

"After designing the ideal motif in the computer, I utilised our school's newly acquired digital textile printer to print out the motif directly on fabric, the fabric then went through repeated cool and hot water rinsing to achieve a 'wash-out' effect; it was great to be able to 'make' the printed fabric for my own design," said Tsai. "Once this technology is widely adopted, it will be as popular as T-shirts with heat-transfer motif; anyone can use his/her own favourite photo or computer drawing to make a unique pair of shoes."

Among a total of 400 pieces of designs which entered the Competition, 50 pieces were chosen for the final round, among which 41 pieces were made into samples under the sponsorship of manufacturers. The winners were:

Fashion Shoes Category

Winner: Koo Man Kit / Yim Kit Ling (Nobility)

1st Runner-up : Lam Bik Yan, Vivian (Fish Fin)

2nd Runner-up: Tsui Sau Kuen (Bamboo)

Casual Shoes Category

Winner: Tsai Nga Chun (Rainforest)

1st Runner-up : Tsui Sau Kuen (Rickshaw)

2nd Runner-up: Lam Bik Yan, Vivian (Biscuits)

Sports Shoes Category

Winner: Lee Pui Yan (Soccer)

1st Runner-up : Fung Chi Kwong, Mickey (The Beauty of Sunshine)

2nd Runner-up: Lee Sze Wan (Breakthrough)

Joy and Peace Creativity Award

Winner: Ng Wai Hoi, Alex (Step on Technology)

To illustrate the creative flair of the new design force, all winning designs and part of the entrants' creations are being showcased at the 2002 Asia Pacific Leather Fair until April 10 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The 2002 Footwear Design Competition was organised by the Hong Kong Leather Shoe and Shoe Material Merchants Association Limited; the Hong Kong Rubber & Footwear Manufacturers' Association; and sponsored by the TDC.

The judging panel comprised of Honorary Chairman of the Hong Kong Leather Shoe and Shoe Material Merchants Association Ltd, Leung Fok Shing; Chairman of the the Hong Kong Leather Shoe and Shoe Material Merchants Association Ltd, George Miu; Chairman and Managing Director of Mirabell International Holdings Ltd, William Tang; Director of Staccato Footwear Co. Ltd, Tang Yiu; Vice President of Hong Kong Rubber & Footwear Manufacturers' Association, H.W. Kwong; renowned fashion designer and image consultant, Judy Mann; Associate Professor and Course Leader of School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Sheila Cook; and Head of Fashion, TDC, Patrick Lam.


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