Fashion Endeavours - 2020 DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards

Feature Story

As cities continue to recognise the integrated role design plays in social developments, local design institutions bear both honour and responsibility in educating and exporting talents that can contribute to a functional-meets-beautiful future. Hong Kong Design Centre offers a variety of award mechanisms for local aspiring designers. Here, we take a look at its three recent design awards, and their respective winners from Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI).

Joseph SO Chun-kit
Winner of the Hong Kong Design Institute Youth Design Talent Award

Joseph’s experience working at a bespoke tailor shop ignited his passion for craftsmanship and menswear design, and gave rise to his further studies in fashion design. At HKDI, Joseph received professional training and inspiring guidance to turn his passion into reality. The “Awakening” series, a champion collection at the HKDI Graduation Works Exhibition 2019 and now winner of the Hong Kong Design Institute Youth Design Talent Award, is a work driven by his love of fashion design. 

Joseph describes that fashion has fundamentally enlightened and changed his life. Based on his own story of pursuing dreams, “Awakening” consists of a series of contemporary wear with the application of traditional craftsmanship, an element close to his heart. One will find Joseph’s signature pleated patterns, fine embroidery techniques and asymmetrical tailoring in the well-received collection.

With the help of the DFA scholarship, Joseph plans on learning from master tailors in the United Kingdom and gaining more professional experience, in order to lay a solid foundation for his future career in fashion design.


Aries SIN Mei-yuk
Winner of the DFA CreateSmart Young Design Talent Award under Design Practitioner category

Think contemporary fashion industry, and keywords such as sustainability, manufacture innovation, gender fluidity and pop-up retail come up. Combining all these elements and you get Aries. An HKDI graduate and founder of fashion brand MODEMENT, Aries debuted at Hong Kong Fashion Week in 2013, followed by her acclaimed appearances at both Milan and Paris Fashion Week. Her creations fuse gender-neutral design philosophy with natural and sustainable materials, securing her pioneering position in the local fashion design scene. Aries’ award-winning collection SS 2.0 is a series of creations accurately representing her design styles. The unique three-dimensional effect in the collection was achieved by laser-cutting technology, one of the innovative manufacturing methods explored by Aries.

Aries also embraces fashion innovation beyond the manufacturing and design level. As a business owner, she is keen on experimenting with the latest business models. Aries promotes her “Made in Hong Kong” brands at a global scale through a hybrid model that combines pop-up shops and off-season shows with online strategies.

Aries wishes to use the scholarship to undertake industrial placements abroad. Understanding the importance of education, she hopes to train and offer guidance to young designers and students in Hong Kong with the experience gained from this placement opportunity.


Shahrukh KHAN
Winner of the DFA CreateSmart Young Design Talent Special Award

After more than 40 trials of bleaching, transfer printing and fabric patchworks, Shahrukh’s buds of ideas finally bloomed the most vivid colours. “Blossom” is a collection of female wear highlighting feminine beauty and celebrating craftsmanship. During the process, Shahrukh insisted on developing materials on his own, as opposed to choosing from readily available pre-dyed fabrics, in order to achieve his desired colour. The use of lotus leaf trimmed ruffles and wool fabric contributed to the composition and shape. The result is a series of vibrant coloured fabric layers mimicking natural blooming flowers. With this delicate yet powerful design collection, Shahrukh earned the first runner up of the Best Women’s Design Award in the HKDI Graduation Works Exhibition 2019.

Currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in design, Shahrukh wishes to use the scholarship to further his studies in Italy. His career goal is to establish his own fashion label in Hong Kong. In order to do so, Shahrukh plans to gain experience in all related aspects of fashion business, including advanced womenswear design, local tailoring, fashion and textile craftsmanship, upcycling, local sourcing and plant dye extraction, as well as business operations.