Michael Cinco Launches Couture Metaverse Fashion Gala

All eyes were on Philippine Blockchain Week (PBW) as world-renowned Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco showcased his iconic style in the digital and physical spaces. Following the event, Dr. Sayed Ali, co-founder and managing director of Michael Cinco Couture, announced the launch of the designer’s first couture ready-to-wear collection, along with a perfume and jewelry line.

“It’s not normal ready-to-wear,” said Ali, during a PBW panel entitled, ‘Fashion Digital Runway’. “It’s couture ready-to-wear, with a touch of Michael Cinco Couture, but the price is very affordable.”

Bringing Fashion to the Digital Space

Host and eventologist Tim Yap moderated the discussion with Ali, Blockchain Council of the Philippines founding VP Chezka Gonzales, and Xctuality co-founder and CEO Warren Woon, whose company was responsible for bringing Cinco’s creations to the digital world.

“We wanted to bring together the physical elements of the gowns with elements of the Metaverse and NFTs,” said Woon, before sharing that the designer’s gowns are so unique that it took some time to translate them into the digital format.

Showing the Possibilities of Blockchain Technology

Based on reactions from the audience and on social media, the event was successful in presenting the possibilities of bringing art to the digital space, not the least of which was helping creatives reach a younger, wider demographic.

For Gonzales, who’d helped conceive the event, the Metaverse Fashion Gala was an event over a year in the making. She cited the value added by placing Cinco’s pieces on the blockchain, stating that, “Recreating Michael’s fashion in the Metaverse and authenticating them with NFT’s helps give consumers the value they really deserve.”

Running concurrent with the Gala was the sale of both featured pieces and iconic designs from Cinco’s portfolio, with proceeds benefitting the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Global Reskilling Movement.

Now on its second year, PBW is dedicated to shining the spotlight on how blockchain technology is evolving the way we live, work, and play. PBW runs from September 19-21 at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom. For tickets or more information, visit www.pbw.ph

Global Sports Apparel Market Expected to Reach USD 308 Billion By 2032

The global sports apparel market is growing at a CAGR of 4.45% from 2023 to 2032. The market is expanding fast in emerging economies as there is a surge in the affluent population. The blending of sportswear and fashion is giving rise to athleisure. Lululemon Athletica Inc. is focusing on investing in new stores and expanding its online research to strengthen business.

As per the report published by The Brainy Insights, the global Sports Apparel market is expected to grow from USD 199.58 Billion in 2022 to USD 308.47 Billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 4.45% during the forecast period 2023-2032.

This market growth is attributed to the surge in the population's healthier lifestyles and increased participation in fitness and sports activities. Also, there is a presence of many types of sports apparel in the market, which are designed to offer comfort and support while doing high-intensity workouts. It also provides a stylish look. All these factors are driving the market to grow.

Competitive Strategy

To enhance their market position in the global Sports Apparel market, the key players are now focusing on adopting the strategies such as product innovations, mergers & acquisitions, recent developments, joint ventures, collaborations, and partnerships.

In June 2022: Puma, a leading sports brand, launched a smartphone shopping app in India and used its brand ambassador, Virat Kohli, with a short digital feature film. India became the first market to access the app. It is planned to cater for the growing population of fashion-forward online shoppers and a surge in the preference for direct-to-consumer channels. These strategies help organizations grow in the market.

Market Growth & Trends

Sports apparel are designed using a breathable material, which helps evaporate sweat quickly and helps the person who wears it feel fresh for a longer time. Some common fabrics for producing sports apparel clothing are microfiber, polyester, calico, and spandex. Athletes generally used this apparel, and with time, it has become very common with regular gym-goers and other non-athletes, like people going jogging, etc. Also, it has been observed that sports apparel is common in mature regions like the US, Canada and Germany and emerging economies like China, India and Brazil; this trend is growing fast. Also, there are many product launches happening with increased participation in sports activities in countries such as the US, India, etc. Also, there is an increase in the preference for outdoor recreational activities, especially among the young population, which has increased sports apparel sales. Moreover, people are becoming health-conscious, and there is an increased inclination towards sports activities and adventurous sports, eventually driving the growth of the sports apparel market. Also, high-profile celebrities and athletes endorse the sports apparel brands, influencing consumer preference. The consumer often follows the styles of their favourite athletes, and the demand for the endorsed products will grow. Also, major sports events such as the Cricket World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Olympics and Marathons often trigger interest in fitness and sports, which eventually help in buying sports apparel.

Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams Fashion Show

Hong Kong's Avenue of Stars lit up in the glitziest fashion on Friday night (30 November) as French fashion house Louis Vuitton took over the promenade for its first-ever fashion show in the city. Overlooking Hong Kong's stunning skyline, Victoria Harbour and the revitalised Victoria Dockside, Louis Vuitton's Men's Pre-Fall 2024 show was a nod to the city's cultural vibrancy and nautical past, and showcased Hong Kong's allure as a world stage for mega, cultural events.

Led by Louis Vuitton men's creative director Pharrell Williams, the Avenue of Stars was transformed into a sandy beach, as models marched down digital displays of lapping waves.

One of the biggest spectacles of its kind in Asia, hundreds of international stars and socialites lined the promenade, including Louis Vuitton CEO Pietro Beccari, French actor Tahar Rahim, American rapper Pusha T, Chinese idol band TNT, South Korean actor Song Joong-ki, as well as Hong Kong celebrities Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok, and Louis Koo.

The success of the momentous event was attributed to facilitation from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government, which offered its full support to Louis Vuitton, including coordination of approvals, venue usage and layout, as well as crowd control, ensuring the show advanced smoothly from conception to fruition, and all planned in only a few months. The Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department also played instrumental roles in staging the remarkable event.

Ending with a riveting light show above Victoria Harbour, where a squadron of choreographed drones displayed "LVers" (a combination of Louis Vuitton's monogram with the word "lovers"), the show sent a message of positivity to Hong Kong and the rest of the world. The event was livestreamed on Louis Vuitton's social media accounts, attracting over 10 million views, and is still reaching eyeballs on multiple social media platforms transmitting snapshots of the magnificent show to the globe.

Hong Kong's international comeback as a hub for mega cultural events

The Hong Kong SAR Government attaches great importance to enticing international and mega arts and cultural events, cultivating Hong Kong as an arts and cultural metropolis and tourist attraction. Locals and tourists alike can expect more acclaimed events in the city over the coming year.

FabriX 2023 Digital Fashion Roadshow

Following its Hong Kong debut in 2022, PMQ's FabriX came to London and Paris this fall, partnering with the British Fashion Council (BFC) and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) at the London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Powered by DRESSX, the world's first AR photo kiosk has been opened to all visitors to try or own a metalook in a blink of an eye. The showcases brought together a strong line-up of 20 international designers hailing from Hong Kong, London and Paris, including Ancuta Sarca, Chet Lo, Harri, Masha Popova, Paolo Carzana; LGN – Louis-Gabriel Nouchi, Ponder.er and Florentina Leitner.

Presented by PMQ and with Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as the Lead Sponsor, FabriX is Hong Kong's pioneering digital fashion initiative. Born of the dual desire to weave a new reality for fashion and introduce the next generation of local creative talents to global fashion audiences, FabriX is a unique platform that supports designers throughout all stages of the digital design journey: from sketch, design and 3D digital production to listing on global digital fashion marketplaces.

Partner with British Fashion Council (BFC) and Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) to present a pioneering digital fashion experience at both Fashion Weeks. FabriX offers the traditional fashion design veterans a future-proof creative medium to explore, alongside an innovative way to engage with customers and showcase their designs. Following its Hong Kong debut last fall, FabriX was launched earlier in London, partnering with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to present a first-of-its-kind digital fashion experience throughout London Fashion Week SS24 under BFC NEWGEN. As an initiative that supports the best emerging fashion design talent, the BFC NEWGEN offers financial support, showcasing opportunities and mentoring to develop critical skills to future proof their businesses. The BFC NEWGEN fashion shows took place at The Old Selfridges Hotel, located behind the Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, which fully demonstrates the DNA of London Fashion Week that makes design talent shine.

As this year marks the 30thanniversary, the BFC NEWGEN exceptionally launched FabriX with PMQ. 'FabriX 2023 – Digital Fashion Roadshow: London', took place from 15th to 19th September, featured a curation of 17 design talents including the original 12 Hong Kong designers and a roster of five exciting London-based creatives, each celebrated for their experimental and unique identities.

Following the London showcase, the FabriX now arrived Paris, partnering with Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) to present the digital fashion experience throughout Paris Fashion Week at the SPHERE, Palais de Tokyo. The Paris edition features a curation of 15 design talents each celebrated for their experimental and unique identities, including the original 12 Hong Kong designers and 3 strong Paris-Based creatives.

FabriX is curated by a team of experienced creative drivers including William To (Executive Director of PMQ), Shin Wong (Overseas Creative & Program Consultant, PMQ and FabriX Project Director) along with Fashion Curator Declan Chan, bringing the public a new dimension to the virtual fashion experience.

Declan Chan comments: "Over the past decade, I have been engaged in different ways to help promote Hong Kong fashion and designers. With the emergence of digital fashion and the metaverse, it seems we have finally found an innovative vehicle to do this on a truly global platform. Through this roadshow, a creative exchange is made possible with the help of both the BFC and FHCM, and the addition of European designers from two major fashion capitals. We look forward to a wider audience discovering and appreciating the breadth of Hong Kong creative talent through this fun, digital kiosk and hope FabriX can encourage other cities to look at new ways to support and promote their local fashion industries."

Shin Wong adds: "FabriX came about as a result of the effect of the pandemic on emerging designers, who faced difficulties participating in international trade events and saw a severe decline in in-person sales opportunities. With the generous support of Create Hong Kong, FabriX came to life in 2022 as a platform that allows young designers to seamlessly transform their collections into captivating augmented reality experiences. It has also facilitated unprecedented collaboration between designers and tech experts from across the globe. With our AR kiosk, statistics have shown a remarkable increase of 70% in consumer engagement through the introduction of digital try-ons. We're thrilled to bring this experience to London and Paris, and look forward to seeing FabriX develop as a dynamic platform for audiences to explore the entire spectrum of designer offerings."

Powered by DRESSX, the world's first AR photo kiosk features the digital masterpieces from 3 Paris-Based creatives and 12 Hong Kong designers!

Similar to London Fashion Week, the FabriX experience will be open to Sphere's visitors throughout Paris Fashion Week, in the world renowned Palais de Tokyo, bringing a holistic digital fashion concept to the industry crowd and other fashion week participants. Presenting a new 'try before you buy' development becoming increasingly popular within the flourishing virtual fashion sphere, the showcase is designed to mimic a real-life shopping experience. Guests will be able to 'try on' each of the participating designers' bespoke digital looks via AR filters, in the custom FabriX kiosk, with the option to customise and purchase their chosen garment via leading digital fashion marketplace DressX. Digital looks include Ponder.er's SS24 runway PARA denim jacket, using one of the brand's signature smocking and fraying techniques; 2023 Andam Grand Prize winner, Louis-Gabriel Nouchi's iconic asymmetrical neckline opening textured tank top or Florentina Leitner's spike Sunglasses and mesmerising catsuits.

The launch party of 'FabriX 2023 - Digital Fashion Roadshow: London' was held at the showplace of BFC NEWGEN fashion shows in the Old Selfridges Hotel on 17 Sept. Attending guests included collaboration partners and KOLs from fashion industry. London Fashion week : https://londonfashionweek.co.uk