With the winners of the Who’s Next/Arts Thread Fashion Graduate Competition being announced this week, and in advance of the Who’s Next show end June, we talk to jury member Song Haldeman, account manager for Harvey Nichols Hong Kong at Paris fashion consultancy MP SELECT.
ARTS THREAD: Can you briefly describe your role at MP SELECT?
Song Haldeman: I am the Account Manager of Harvey Nichols Hong Kong and also in charge of the research for the buying office. By consolidating the information collected on the French and International markets, I closely work with Martina Planty, MP SELECT founder and the rest of the team on identifying the most suitable brands for MP SELECT’s other retail clients in different product categories.
AT: Why do you regularly visit Who’s Next Paris?
SH: WHO’S NEXT Prêt-à-Porter being a major trade show in Paris for contemporary RTW and accessories, it is essential for me to visit it each season as a part of my market research responsibilities.
AT: How do you thinkwww.artsthread.com can benefit young designers?
SH: Networking is crucial for young unknown designers to acquire visibility. I think that Arts Thread is a great platform for them to launch their projects by giving them the necessary advice and support in the competitive fashion industry.
AT: What do you hope to discover from the competition?
SH: New talents, potential brands for our clients.
AT: What is MP SELECT’s involvement with young designers and students/graduates?
SH: Concerning the buying activity, MP Select chooses the designers who are the most adapted to their clients’ image and market. Although our clients are positioned high end and luxury, they are open to emerging brands and trust us in our selection.
This buying office activity has led us to develop a consulting activity and to create a collective showroom, specialised in the accompaniment of young designers in their commercial development. We believe in young designers and always wish to support them thanks to our multifaceted activities.
AT: For the Hong Kong market – in what way is it different in terms of buying in Europe? Are there any particular factors young designers should look out for?
SH: Hong Kong is a very dynamic market, avant-garde, open to creativity, ready to consume and fond of fast fashion. Retailers are willing to pick up new brands and to test them on the market without necessarily having to wait for the brands to already be internationally established.
The results of the Who’s Next/Arts Thread Fashion Graduate Competition will be announced this week.