Interview: Emerging Designer Mim Mak Showcases Hong Kong Style On Global Stage

    After winning Hong Kong Fashion Week's most prestigious award for young designers in 2012, Mim Mak makes her way to New York with new label HANG.
    Jing Daily
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    A piece from the HANG presentation at the Asia Fashion Collection runway show on February 11, 2014. (Asia Fashion Collection)

    On February 11, a group of young, up-and-coming Asian designers had the opportunity to show their collections in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln center as part of Asia Fashion Collection, a traveling designer “incubation project” that has made its way from Tokyo to New York.

    Of six labels presented hailing from across East Asia, the designer from Hong Kong was rising star Mim Mak, who presented her collection for the label HANG.

    The new designer has already made quite a name for herself in Asia. In 2012, she received a massive career boost when she won the Hong Kong Fashion Week Young Designers’ Contest, which provided her with the opportunity to intern with Japanese designer Atsuro Tayama. Subsequently, her newly launched label HANG captured the interest of Joyce Boutique, which sells pieces by the label, and she has also teamed up with mainland label R.C.M on a fashion show in Guangzhou.

    Featuring “stark blacks and winter whites” with raw edges paired with “graceful hemlines,” according to an official description, HANG’s F/W 2014 collection was meant to articulate movement. Jing Daily caught up with Mim Mak to discuss her inspirations for the collection, her views on the position of Asian designers in the global fashion scene, and her perception of the differences between mainland and Hong Kong fashion.

    What is the concept behind this collection?#

    “Comfort zone.” During rush hour, it’s really crowded on the subways during the peak hours. If you try to get something out of your pockets, it’s often easy to bump into other people and get into arguments. The cause of this is a problem with pocket placement. In order to solve this problem, HANG places pockets in convenient places and makes consumers’ lives easier, helping them find ”comfort zones” in their busy lives.

    How did winning the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest affect your career?#

    The most important benefit I received was support from HKTDC, which included event assistance and promotion and publicity opportunities. These opportunities have given me the chance to promote HANG all over the world.

    Before launching your label, you worked with Japanese brand Atsuro Tayama. Did this experience have an influence on your designs?#

    The internship enabled me to understand that people of different cultures have different needs for fashion. This forms an important backbone to HANG ‘s concept.

    The Asia Fashion Collection show featured designers from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Do you think these places have their own distinct styles when it comes to designer fashion?#

    I think each designer from these regions has their own individual style; none of them are the same. But even though our interpretations are different, we have the same goal in this fashion arena: to raise the quality and style of life.

    In addition to presenting your collections in Hong Kong, you’ve also collaborated on a project in mainland China. What are the differences between the Hong Kong and mainland fashion scenes?#

    The difference lies in the starting point of development. Hong Kong is pretty well-developed and her road ahead is clear. The mainland is still at a stage of exploration. This development has unlimited possibilities and is always full of surprises.

    Do you think Hong Kong designers will become more involved in global fashion weeks in the future? How can this be achieved?#

    They should expand their focus outward, and let themselves connect their core personal world with society. Take the lead in the fashion cycle, just like the brain controls the organs, muscles, and cells.

    More looks from the collection:

    This interview was translated from Chinese.

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