Quality rather than quantity has been the overriding flavour of the debut edition of Asian trade show The Hub, which kicked off in Hong Kong yesterday (August 28).
The show, which is predominantly premium and luxury menswear brands, saw a strong turnout from British businesses looking to attract Chinese retail and distribution partners. John Smedley, Barbour, and Orlebar Brown were among those flying the flag for the UK, while European brands such as Desigual, Sandqvist and Maison de Fous and Japanese stalwarts including Evisu and Yamane turned it into a truly international event.
Footfall was steady on day one, with buyers from Hong Kong arms of Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford out in force. Buyers from mainland China also trickled through on the first day, and exhibitors including Swims and Chester Barrie reported a regular flow of potential contacts passing throughout the day.
The second day had a quieter start but brands such as Luke noted a pick up in the pace later on, with “decent” contacts arriving in the afternoon.
Most brands were satisfied with the quality of conversations they have had over the past couple of days, with networking continuing late into the night and an optimistic forecast that the last day being a Friday would attract more mainland visitors.
Perhaps a factor in brands’ positive take on the show, which is quieter than equivalent events in Europe, is that their aims are different here.
For most it is an opportunity to show their product to entirely new customer and initiate conversations that will continue long after the show has ended. As the designer for Private White VC Nick Ashley told me, he had “lowered the bar” to such a degree that one meeting a day would make the show worthwhile because that one meeting could be the start of a move into an entirely untapped market.