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Kain Picken was not overjoyed after the Hong Kong debut of his fashion brand on the night of Sept. 9. Instead, he and his partner were grasping at every opportunity, during a three-day Hong Kong fashion exhibition, to get more connections with global buyers and fashion insiders.
Picken, who has set up a fashion studio at Wutong Mountain with his design partner Fiona Lau, has shifted their focus from U.S. and European markets to Asia.
“The brand was born in 2008 in Berlin. A year later we moved to Hong Kong. In 2010 we went to New York to regroup and think about what we want to do, what we should do next and where we want to go,” he said.
“A French designer who has a design gallery in Hong Kong introduced Wutong Mountain to us, where he often spends his weekends,” said Picken, adding that they keep their office in Hong Kong and found a studio in Shenzhen.
“At that time we didn’t realize that fashion in China was soon to become a big thing. We feel so fortunate to have a base in Shenzhen and be able to be apart of it (the Chinese fashion industry),” he said.
Staying in the relaxing, slow-paced environment of Wutong Mountain, Picken said they found that life there matches the style of their brand, which highlights the delicacy of details by using quality natural fabric and simple but refined cuts.
The choice to design with natural fabric helped them win the Asian leg of the International Woolmark Prize 2013/2014.
“It is exciting that so many changes are being made in China. Shenzhen has become more creative and we get inspirations every day,” he said.
Commuting between Hong Kong and Shenzhen doesn’t trouble the duo. “The twin-city working style works really well for us,” he added.