In this dialogue, four denim fashion designers from different backgrounds will discuss their design experiences with denim craft and design in the form of “Trial and Error”, the past and present of denim and their blue inspirations.
The dialogue is a prologue of the Hong Kong Denim Festival 2019 (HKDF), a 3-week cultural and design event that aims to promote denim culture, organised by Vocational Training Council (VTC) / Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI).
Osmond Lee (Co-founder, Bleu•Kobo)
Osmond Lee graduated from the Department of Fashion & Textile of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He started his denim career in 2010, by working as a product developer at a denim garment factory. Lee then worked as a designer at a denim trading company which was owned by a Japanese senior denim washing specialist. In the past 8 years, he has been working with different internationally famous brands such as Evisu, Denham, Mastercraft Union, Kent & Curwen, etc.
In 2018, Lee and Ming Fan co-founded a workshop and their brand Bleu•Kobo.
Janko Lam (Design Director, Classics Anew)
As the foundress of Classics Anew, Ms Janko Lam is well-known for her hybrid fashion pieces where the traditional meets the modern. After graduating from Caritas Bianchi College, Lam joined the Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association (HKFDA) and worked as a costume designer for stage and drama productions at TVB in 2008.
In 2010, Lam founded her first company, Mutt Museum Design Company Limited, and commenced a workshop at InnoCentre in Hong Kong.
In 2011, Lam won the championship of the EcoChic Design Award from a fashion design competition for Asia’s emerging design talents organized by REDRESS, a Hong Kong-based charity organisation which drives environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. As the champion, Lam interned at a top sustainable fashion brand in London.
In 2012, Lam collaborated with ESPRIT and launched the first local collection on recycled textile capsule. In February 2012, Lam participated in the “Fashion Visionaries” exhibition by invitation of HKFDA. Her showpiece was kept in the permanent collection of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum after the exhibition.
In 2013, Lam was granted the “40 Under 40” (Fashion/Accessories) Award from Perspective magazine. Being actively engaged in the community, Lam has delivered seminars, participated in street shows, and given live demonstrations of her creation process in shopping malls. Her work has been exhibited at the Louvre in Paris, in Germany, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, etc.
With her love and passion for Chinese costumes, the brand Classics Anew was conceptualised and launched in 2014. Lam subsequently started a retail shop with two partners at PMQ, a creative hub at SOHO Central, in the same year and kicked off her first online store in 2015. Lam is enthusiastic and devoted to her oriental fashion design, aiming at raising public interest in the Chinese heritage and modern aesthetics.
Jason Lee (Founder, YMDH studios)
YMDH was established in 2018. Founding designer Jason Lee was awarded “Best Footwear Design Award” at the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers Contest in 2017. Jason collaborated with i.t. to produce a capsule collection for his “Kingdom of the Underground” collection.
Lee has been guiding his brand YMDH with a sense of individuality interweaving street fashion with oriental and historical graphics to redefine contemporary urban styles. The brand essence of YMDH rests on the journey of searching for infinite possibilities and novelties on the street. Lee advocates that fashion is more than just design; in YMDH, fashion is always an audacious explorer and reflector.
Sonic Lam (Fashion Designer, Start From Zero / Vintage Lover & Collector)
Start From Zero is a street art group which has been promoting street art for 10 years.
Recently, Start From Zero has transferred street art into different kinds of design, such as interior design, graphic design and fashion design. Their “Happy Workers” love to wear denim and canvas because of their durability. Denim and canvas are always considered as the main materials for Lam’s designs.The originality of clothes is the foundation of Lee’s design, on top of that he is keen on exploring the possibility of denim.
Hong Kong Design Institute
The Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) is a leading design institution under the VTC Group. It provides high-quality education to cultivate knowledge and professionalism, and produces emerging talents who underpin the creative industries in Hong Kong.
With years of experience in design education, HKDI brings together the strengths of four design departments – Architecture, Interior and Product Design, Communication Design and Digital Media, Design Foundation Studies and Fashion and Image Design – to offer 20 design programmes.
Highly flexible in articulation and advanced education, HKDI offer students a three-year university degree pathway from a Higher Diploma to Bachelor degrees offered by reputable universities in the UK. HKDI adopts a “think-and-do” approach through its contemporary curriculum and active collaborations with local and international academic and industry partners. Students are given opportunities to acquire hands-on experience and participate in global exchange programmes to expand their horizons while enhancing their creative thinking and social sensitivity.