Published on November 25, 2014
Why Hong Kong is the Place to be for High Fashion
Looking to explore a new culture, live in a vibrant and fast-paced city, and all the while gain invaluable experience in the throws of the fashion industry? If this sounds like the good life to you, then living and interning in Hong Kong should go strait to the top of your bucket list.
Hong Kong, with a population of seven million, has a thriving and modern metropolis. With Chinese cultural roots and a history of British colonialism, Hong Kong truly is the meeting place for the East and the West. In fact, Hong Kong has two official languages today - English and Chinese. Amongst the sea of sky scrapers and high-rise apartment buildings, it’s not hard to find incense-filled temples; both a reverence for the past and a forward-looking spirit permeate. Hong Kong offers the creature comforts of home alongside the opportunities of a world-class city. Rich in cultural diversity and home to a deep respect for native traditions, Hong Kong will absolutely feel unique and inspiring to any first-time visitor. This blend makes it both an extremely comfortable and ever-exciting place to experience life as an expatriate, or “expat”.
An island off the coast of southwest China, approximately one quarter of Hong Kong’s 1,104 square kilometers has been developed. The remaining, untouched land is largely occupied by nature reserves and parks. Although the weather can be muggy and rainy during some months, Hong Kong has four distinct seasons and temperatures are pleasant all-year round.
As a foreigner moving to Hong Kong, it won’t take you long to get settled. Although the cost of living is high, you will experience a great quality of life and have access to anything you may need. Low tax rates, accessible and easy public transportation, immense infrastructure, and high quality healthcare all make living in Hong Kong desirable. In addition, the city is full of diverse restaurants, exciting entertainment options, endless shopping, and great gyms. It is not hard to set up a lifestyle and routine that works well for you.
You’d also be wise to learn about popular local activities, such as cantopop (pop music), animation, martial arts, and gambling. By broadening your horizons and enjoying life as a local, you’ll truly experience your new home and make friends with fellow expatriates and Hongkongers alike. In addition, when you’re not busy assisting at a runway show or preparing a marketing layout, you’ll have time to enjoy the leisurely side of Hong Kong. For this, the options are wide. You can observe old men playing a heated game of chess in a nearby park, listen to karaoke at your local bar, attend a barbecue with friends, or get outside of the city for hiking and various water sports. Hongkongers thoroughly enjoy their down time, and so too will you!
Economists forecast that China will be the world’s largest economy by 2025. The country’s internal purchasing power is steadily increasing and consumerism is on the rise. The garment industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in Hong Kong, and the fashion-related companies are respected for their professionalism and adaptability to industry trends. Thanks to booming growth, high wages, and an effective legal system, Hong Kong has been lauded as a service super-center for the fashion world. It is a prime place for companies to set up operations because of the one-stop-shop advantages is offers, including global sourcing, efficient lab testing, inspiring innovations, and an East-West mindset that easily transcends borders and oceans.
Hong Kong attracts many major international design houses and retailers. Ranging from the giant department stores, such as Macy’s and Target, specialty chains including The Gap, and designer labels like Donna Karen and Yves Saint Laurent, Hong Kong is a hub for fashion on both ends of the spectrum. Local designers are also gaining prestige and respect world-wide; proof of this can be found on the shelves of Harrod’s, Nieman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s alike. In Hong Kong’s giant world of fashion, the opportunities for learning are broad and diverse. As an intern, one can expect to gain experience in design, production, merchandising, marketing, PR, or fashion business.
Hong Kong hosts two fashion weeks annually. At the Fall/Winter Fashion Week, held in January 2014, Hong Kong hosted approximately 38,000 buyers from over 92 countries. The fair put on over 60 internal events, including seminars and runway shows. In addition, every fashion week sees an excitement and love for fashion spike throughout Hong Kong. This year, over 50 public events were held throughout Hong Kong, concurrent with the official fair. The sheer magnitude of these events truly highlight the strength and importance of Hong Kong’s fashion industry.
Fashions internships in Hong Kong will open a plethora of opportunities for your future career. You’ll easily connect with industry leaders and fast-rising newcomers. You’ll learn about the booming industry from the inside, and will be able to seriously contemplate your career path while receiving mentorship and guidance from your colleagues. In addition, by working abroad, you will prove your ability to adapt, your cultural sensitivities, and your worldly know-how. All of these traits are respectable and will be recognized as such by any future employer. No matter what industry or job you seek out post-internship, know that interning in Hong Kong will prove advantageous in the long-run.
Living and working in Hong Kong can be inspiring, exciting, and auspicious on many levels. For those that are adventurous and ambitious, the rewards you’ll experience from interning and living overseas will feel endless. With the perfect blend of Western familiarity and Eastern culture, Hong Kong is a prime location to work as a foreigner. The fashion world of Hong Kong is reputable, reliable, and a global powerhouse. For someone looking to gain a wide-range of skills and experiences in a truly global market, Hong Kong is the place to be. A world fashion capital, it’s an ideal city in which to live, work, and thrive as an intern.
Apply now to go global and boost your Fashion career!
Sources:HKTDC Just StyleHong Kong Economy Research HKTDC
Photo 2. The Intern Group