Runway Progress

The Macau Fashion Festival presents creative local and regional designers

In October, the Centre for Productivity and Technology Transfer Macau (CPTTM) teamed up with City of Dreams to organise the Macau Fashion Festival 2013. Over four days, designers from around the region, as well as local and graduating designers, showed off their latest collections to an international audience at the Macau International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF) at the Venetian Macao.

The Macau Fashion Festival was created to support graduating fashion students and local fashion houses alike, providing them with an affordable platform to show their work. Although the fashion school has been taking part in MIF from day one, it was only four years ago that the first fashion show actually took place.

The opening show this year saw collections by designers from Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei and a few other Chinese cities as well as local designer Stella Tam, regarded as one of Macau’s top fashion designers. 

“By bringing famous labels from abroad to show in Macau, we are creating more press and exposure for our own local designers,” explains Victoria Kuan, Senior Manager of CPTTM. 

CPTTM has been training local fashion designers for almost 20 years. 

“When we set up in 1996, our mission was to support the local garment industry. Nowadays we focus more on the creative aspects rather than on mass production, as it is impossible to compete with big name brands,” Ms Kuan notes.

There is also an exchange of sorts, as designers from the Mainland show in Macau, and then local designers often have the chance to show their work in other Chinese cities, promoting Macau and the local creative industry.

Ana Cardoso, designer and owner of Anna Noir, who showed for the second time at the fair this year says, “Showing at MIF is a great way of promoting my brand”. 

The Macau Fashion Festival at MIF being one of the few runways in Macau, definitely plays a very important role for local designers.

Victoria Kuan believes that the local fashion industry has come a long way in recent years and that it “fits in quite well internationally, although we do have a unique taste; a mixture of eastern and western, that Macau is so well known for.” 

Ana Cardoso agrees: “Local fashion students are getting better every year. I would even say fashion in Asia generally has seen a lot of progress”. 

Ella Lei, a graduate of this year’s CPTTM Fashion Design and Manufacturing Diploma says, “Over the years, Macau’s fashion scene has made obvious progress. It is largely due to there being a lot more new and active fashion designers. But in my opinion, Macau’s fashion designers need to be in contact with the rest of the world, and for that we still need to work harder.”

“There is a shortage of resources and very little marketing. We need to improve our trend scene and try different things to make Macau stand out internationally,” she adds. 

Ella won the most prizes at this year’s Macau Fashion Festival: 2nd Overall Winner of the Graduate Show; Best Colour Coordination; and the Melco Award. 

“I’m honoured to have won these prizes. It shows people appreciate my work and that gives me a boost of confidence to continue my career in fashion. For me, the graduate show is a new start. Now I am ready to create my fashion brand”.