Fashion Design of the Year
Vickie Au is an experienced Fashion Designer with 20 years in fashion industry, skilled in trend analysis, corporate’s branding and imaging, retail, wholesale, fashion design and education. She recently focus on the business about “FASHION for SOCIAL GOOD” to extended her business not only in fashion but also be a social innovator, curator to demonstrate the new norm between “Fashion, Business, Community, ECO-Conscious” by Collaborative, Innovative and Sustainable. Her first sustainable fashion brand was launched at 2019.
What do you see as the strengths of your winning project and what does this award mean to you personally?
I believe that the strength of my winning project is a response to the needs of the planet, as you may know that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet. I design in collaboration and co-creation with the supply chain in mind to demonstrate the possibility of a fashion industry which can evolve from a linear economy to a circular economy.
V Visionary is honored to have been named Fashion Design of the Year by the IDA, recognizing our vision to drive innovation through sustainable fashion. The recognition from the distinguished panel of IDA judges is testament to our commitment to fostering change in the fashion industry.
What impact has winning this IDA Award had on your career/opportunities?
My company and brand have received a lot of attention because of this IDA award. Even just a few weeks after winning the IDA Award there have been many opportunities locally and from international sources as well.
What was most important for you when planning the project and what were the biggest challenges you faced?
In planning this winning collection, I spent several years studying how to address the serious environmental issues in the fashion industry and to try to find a more sustainable way. We believe that fashion plays a key role in advancing global sustainable development through re-examining and re-inventing the way we dress and how the garment industry works. That learning process will inﬂuence our way of living, not only for the fashion industry but for the wider public, with a new and more sustainable lifestyle.
Where do you get motivation and inspiration from for your work?
In addition to paying careful attention to the selection of materials and supply chain partners, our design is always guided by architecture elements and V VISSI (Revisit) strives to create minimalist yet elegant fashion. Inspired by architecture, with in-house developed prints and patterns, each season we design multi-styled outfits where every detail is carefully crafted and coordinated to ensure sartorial harmony.
How do you think your own culture and environment has shaped your personal and professional creative vision?
As a Hong Kong fashion designer, living in a cosmopolitan city with a fusion of Chinese and Western cultures, my environment has definitely developed my aesthetic sense and taste in the modern and contemporary.
Tell us about a project which has been your greatest achievement?
This IDA award-winning project is my biggest achievement to date. After 20 years’ working for different local and global fashion brands, I finally left my comfort zone to establish a design studio and brand which demonstrates a collaboration with designers and artisans who share a belief of creating products in a sustainable way. The launch of the first sustainable collection in Hong Kong and Shanghai has already seen some interest from global department stores, select retailers and showrooms. We also have the opportunity to work for some global corporate brands by providing design services in sustainability, supply chain management and circular economy product development and production.
How do you feel fashion design has evolved over the past years and how do you see it evolving in the future?
Regarding the evolution of fashion design, I see the biggest change in the past few years is that trends are no longer lead by industry giants and then trickling down to market. The current norm is that trends trickle up from Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or from small focus groups. Fashion trends are no longer defined by major renowned fashion house or international brands. As long as KOLs have a concept that can provide fulfillment to the market and consumers, they also have the opportunity to be launched globally or become the trend setters.
What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in your career/industry now?
The biggest challenge, but also an opportunity we are facing in the industry is the booming of different online and social media platforms which are taking us into a boundaryless era. Although we are facing competition not only from local but international businesses these are also providing business opportunities. The key is to be prepared and remain focused, ready to take on any challenge.
What kind of questions do you ask before beginning a design project? What piece of information is of utmost value?
Before starting a project or developing a new collection, I ask myself whether there is a need in the current market for this service or product. Then, can this service or product be provided into a sustainable way. It is always key to learn the pain points for our market and consumers to ensure that the product or service is developed in a sustainable way.
What kind of culture or structure needs to exist to foster successful team collaboration?
First of all, when choosing a team or partners, sharing common values and concepts are the key to working together collaboratively. For example, in my case, they should respect the belief in environmental protection and sustainable development. Secondly, being creative and transparent so that we can co-create with an aligned work attitude. Finally, being open and welcoming to innovative ideas and collaborations with different relevant partners to make every step of the process smart and smooth.