Taipei In Style : Emerging trends from Taiwan
Taipei IN Style staged at Taipei World Trade Centre, 16-18 October highlighted emerging design talent and fashion rising stars from the Asian region. TCF Australia CEO Carol Hanlon hosted two emerging Australian designers to showcase at the event, toured 6th Taipei IN Style exhibition and the adjoining 16th Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show (TITAS) staged by the Taiwan Textile Federation.
Taiwan is often not highlighted in the area of fashion and design talent, but there is an upward trend of young ‘streetwise’ designers that have both the passion and ability to create a look that is distinctive and attracting global interest with designers linking up with online stores and retail showrooms in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore and beyond.
Taiwan Textile Federation is also to be congratulated on nurturing upcoming designers through the Fashion Express Design Centre, a retail incubator showcase with café, and meeting place to view the collections of emerging designers.
Opportunities exist for Australian designers, retailers and agents to better understand the booming ASEAN market by attending a fashion trade event such as Taipei IN Style, building networks and developing new opportunities and in turn supplying fashion and accessories ONLINE to the growing Asian fashion consumer.
A few local Taipei designers that caught Carol’s attention were labels NAIF, JASPER.H, and DA.AI
NAIF designed by Hus Chiu, a textile artist trained in Paris, developed a superb collection of natural ‘indigo’ hand dyed day wear in silk, linen and tencel. NAIF stands for Nature – Art – Indigo – Fashion, with these artisan ‘works of art’ developed by Hsu Chui using natural dye techniques some featuring mountain landscapes were breathtaking. NAIF has already been snapped up by a stockist in New York and the label has a great story to offer any Australian retailer looking for individual ECO daywear produced from the mountains of Taiwan at reasonable pricing.
JASPER.H label designed by Jasper Huang is an exciting designer gaining a lot of attention through global fashion weeks, couture showcases and media events with his substantial design portfolio which also includes corporate product design, accessories and celebrity red carpet gowns. Jasper has now set his focus on developing a global fashion collections utilising his traditional Taiwanese culture of oriental detail transferred into wearable contemporary styling.
DA.AI is a label promoting ‘ECO Fashion from the Heart’. I first saw this product range when I showcased the work of our TCF Global village designers at the United Nations Artisan Fair in New York March 2012. I was amazed to feel and touch the wonderful soft textiles made from PET plastic drink bottles. It was great to meet the design team at Taipei IN Style behind this label and discover the humble beginnings of the foundation which was established in 2008 by 5 Taiwanese entrepreneurs who in 2010 donated all their shares to the DA.AI Foundation that has 3 main goals – environment protection, cycle of love and contribute back to society. The Foundation has 72,000 volunteers who collect plastic PET drink bottles from across Taiwan to recycle into usable product which is now so popular, DA.AI now buys in an additional 20million plastic bottles from surrounding countries to keep up with demand. With 50 retail stores across Taiwan and ONLINE shopping site the DA.AI Foundation is keen to expand the technology and manufacturing operations to other countries or find investors wishing to contribute back to society. DA.AI distributes hundreds of thousands of blankets during disasters to those in need that have been made from the PET recycled water bottle.
Clean energy through green sustainable textiles was a major theme of the 16th Taipei innovative Textile Application Show (TITAS) with many exciting textile developments on display. Many of these innovations will be showcased in coming months through the series of TCF Australia Green Energy webinars ONLINE. These will include the leading textile R & D firms such as Far Eastern New Century Corporation that developed the technology for Nike of the recycled polyester football jerseys for the 2010 World Cup soccer, which are now used in mainstream product ranges. Future innovations in the Far Eastern pipeline include biodegradable textiles, cradle to cradle (c2c) textiles, waterless dyes, and recycle ‘dope’ dyes. Another Taipei R & D innovative textile firm was Singtex Industrial Company, SCafe ‘Drink it, Wear it’ textiles made from recycled coffee grounds collected from the major coffee houses and cafes throughout Taiwan. This is the type of innovative textile technology that is being taken up by leading global brands and Australian labels needs to research and utilise these new ECO textiles in ranges to create new market opportunities.
All queries regarding Taipei In Style can be directed to [email protected]
TCF Australia is a non-profit community organisation established to provide small business support and assistance to the fashion, TCFL Industry across Australia. www.tcfaustralia.com