FIP Designer Mountain Yam Debuts at New York Fashion Week
Among the “Big Four” fashion weeks, New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is the only one that takes place outside of Europe. But like its hosting city, NYFW stands at the forefront of all trends and hypes. Stars, celebrities and fashionistas flock to its fashion shows, big or small, to hunt for their upcoming wardrobes. Every catwalk there is being watched and is a potential global trendsetter.
In NYFW’s latest edition in February, we saw the dazzling premiere of Mountain Yam, a designer of our Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP). Thanks to Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the organiser of NYFW, Mountain revealed his brand, 112 mountainyam’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection at NYFW alongside with two other local labels, ANVEGLOSA and HEAVEN PLEASE+. He presented yet another collection accentuating the vitality, perseverance and sophistication of urban women. The group show, Fashion Hong Kong, was enthusiastically attended by more than 500 international buyers, media and industry players. Having returned from New York, Mountain talked to us about this dream-come-true experience and his future plans.
Congratulations on completing your first appearance in NYFW! How did it feel to step on the stage of a major international fashion week?
Thank you, and I am grateful to everyone who has lent us a hand. Getting invited and doing the show in New York just went by like a flash. My team and I created the whole collection in only a month’s time. I am still on cloud nine and filled with thrill and gratitude.
Tell us more about your FW19 collection ‘Hide & Seek.’ What is the concept and what inspired it? How did you express your ideas using different design elements?
At the end of last year, I had the chance to travel to Tanzania. Many things there impressed me: the wildlife, aboriginal cultures, tribal palettes, traditional crafts and especially the smiles of the locals. The wildlife park there houses a lot of different animals. Some were hiding and waiting for the right moment to prey, while others were hiding from predators. What I saw there reminded me of us who live in Hong Kong, a world-famous concrete jungle. We often conceal our real feelings and personalities. We do not dare to truly and fully express ourselves. Through this collection, I hope to inspire wearers to get in touch with nature, be true to themselves and be brave in the face of any challenge. In the design, animal patterns are veiled in prints and embroideries. I mixed together the tailoring of men’s and womenswear as well as the sporty chic style to bring out a modern African aesthetic.
What did you learn from participating in NYFW? How did the opportunity help the growth of your brand?
NYFW has a long history and plays a key role among major fashion weeks. The chance to participate in it is a recognition in itself. It certainly helps with my brand’s international positioning. Immediately after my show, the press and other industry players came to greet me and show their appreciation. I felt very grateful. Some members from the audience approached me to make personal orders, as did some influencers. I could feel their enthusiasm and appreciation of my collection.
What is the biggest difference between NYFW and other fashion shows? Compared with local and Chinese fashion events, how did the audience’s response differ?
The most distinctive aspect of NYFW is its inclusiveness. There are many races in the US and many different cultures co-exist. It seems to be a relatively more inclusive place. The audience is also more enthusiastic and more outspoken about their preferences.
Having been supported by FIP for more than half a year, how has your brand developed? What are your plans for the future?
After joining FIP, we started repositioning our brand. In the first half year, we put a lot of effort in modifying the brand and getting things ready. I am looking forward to joining more international fashion shows and events, and bringing Hong Kong design to more places around the globe.