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Hong Kong fashion is big business

July 14, 2000
Web posted at: 6:05 p.m. EDT (2205 GMT)

HONG KONG (CNN) -- The leading designers' collections were big on glitz and glamor. But for all the flashiness at Hong Kong Fashion Week's opening night gala, fashion on the island is serious business.

"Hong Kong's garment industry has successfully ventured into original designs, retail servicing and brand-name marketing," said Chau Tak Hay, Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and industry.

"We are proud to see Hong Kong labels gaining ground in prestigious stores around the world."

Organizers predicted that Hong Kong labels would attract about 13,000 visitors to the four-day event that ended Friday.

Among the show's highlights: the Fashion Designers' Showcase, featuring the latest from local luminaries like Walter Ma.

"Many designers are trying, have already entered most Asian markets, like Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia. And some even go to Australia and the States," the designer said.

Not all the buyers and 500 exhibitors were there for cutting-edge couture, though.

Fashion designer Walter Ma  

The goods being peddled include everything from children's clothing to winter wear. That's helping to make Hong Kong's garment trade the largest manufacturing industry in the territory -- accounting for 30 percent of domestic exports.

Hong Kong's total exports of clothing and accessories increased by 11 percent in the first four months of 2000. And with economic recovery now in full swing across Asia, that's expected to keep growing by leaps and bounds.




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