Placemaking at Sham Shui Po

There are hundreds of fabric and fashion accessory and supply shops located in the Sham Shui Po area which draw fashion and design enthusiasts. Earlier in January, the government unveiled the plan to turn the traditional garment and fabric wholesale and retail hub into a fashion and design base, starting off with a five-story building on Tung Chau Street/Kweilin Street.

The project aims to help nurture a new generation of design and fashion talents and turn the district into a design and fashion landmark by creating synergy through blending and enriching the traditional garment and fabric wholesale and retail hub with design and fashion elements, thereby driving local tourism and boosting the local economy. The 3,600 square-metre centre will be developed under the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and operated by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC). The government plans to revitalise the traditional garment and fabric retail district by blending it with the new fashion hub. HKDC will take the lead in nurturing more design talents, create new creative collaborative and business opportunities, and in staging publicity and promotional activities on fashion and design; while some facilities will be operated in tandem with other industry associations or academic organisations to create synergy and maximises impacts.

Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau said with the uniqueness of Sham Shui Po, there is potential ready to be unleashed by turning the wholesale/retail hub and cultural heritage into a breeding ground for our next generation of designers as well as a popular spot for networking and collaboration among designers and with other industry players. The new base will also allow designers across different industries to share their ideas and experiences with one another. Design students, incubatees of the Fashion Incubation Programme (FIP) and the Design Incubation Programme (DIP) and other designers will have a chance to advance their trade with guidance offered at the centre. Apart from the mentioned individuals, the project is meant to be an exchange platform for students, retailers and merchandisers as well as attract customers and visitors from Sham Shui Po and other districts, local fashion fans and tourists.

 A Resource and Practice Centre will available to house a library with publications, fabric samples and databases to facilitate creation of design products among students and practitioners. There will also be co-working space and supporting facilities, including Fashion Production Workshops for prototyping to enable design start-ups to realise and commercialise their designs. The URA centre aims to complete the site development by 2023.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau (first right), and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Design Centre, Professor Eric Yim, met the media to announce the Government's plan to launch a design and fashion project in Sham Shui Po.