With Asia’s consumers moving away from showy labels, the Hub, a new trade show just held in Hong Kong (August 28-30), focused on niche brands and heritage products — ranging from British heritage to Japanese denim — looking to enter the Mainland and Southeast Asia.
The Hub is a great avenue for smaller brands that would find it difficult otherwise to enter and navigate China’s challenging market landscape.
Industry veterans and HUB founders, Peter Caplowe and Richard Hobbs, seek to create both a forum and a compass for brands seeking to venture into uncharted territory. The roster of participants in the fair reflected both the shift of the past few years toward understated, classic style and a greater desire for individual off the well-trodden path of familiar mega-brands. This comes at a time when China as well is moving away from logos and flashiness due to austerity as well as increasing customer sophistication.
At the Hub, retailers and investors from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand and Australia, among others, were able to choose from over 100 carefully curated brands including Y-3, Barbour, Desigual and Penrose London to reinvigorate their selection without having to travel far.
Set to become a biannual event, the next HUB is scheduled for February 2014.
Contributed by Fernanda Aspe