In search of multi-dimensional expression, Hoiming Fung and Baldwin Pui have challenged the traditional structure and appearance of a woman’s “handbag”. Extracting inspiration from their rich Chinese heritage and the demands of modern living this young design team have managed to transform everything from an average clothing hanger to used leather jackets into fashion masterpieces. “How do they do it?” we wondered. Clutch had to chat with the recycling radicals themselves to find out just that.
Q: You’re bags are so fun and full of character. Where do you draw inspiration from for each collection?
Our inspirations always come from our surrounding and happening. It is a reflection of our emotion too. Our 1st collection “Recess Time” was our pursuit of fun, inspired from our pleasant memories in our childhood. It’s an interpretation of different games enjoyed in playground. Fun elements like skip-rope and hula-hoops have been blended in the collection. For the F/W 08 “Rose” Collection, simply because we created this collection at a special moment, right before we were getting married, so love & happiness have been blended in the collection:)
Q: When did you first become interested in accessory design?
I hardly can remember…I have alway been interested from long time ago, as a daughter of a tailor, while watching my mother worked in her studio, and I remember thinking I have to make even better things…
Q: What part of your culture plays the biggest influence in Hoiming designs?
We think that every designer has a wish to be different (or they are originally different). Implying that they would probably become a “con” or “anti” towards their existing social (mass) conventions/ value. We were both born and grown up in Hong Kong, where is a crowded, fast-tracking, east-meets-west, materialism modern city. We disdain blind-consumerism on mass-made low-quality products, while it equals a waste to us. We have a fear on trend too because it turns so fast and leave no trace at all. We respect on originality, hand-craftsmanship, traditional culture and timelessness, which may be the origin of our handbags.
Hong Kong was also once a British colony until 1997. Most of the young people have just found they belongs to nowhere at that time. We were always confused on where we supposed to be rooted, therefore it gives us an atmosphere on seeking our own identify – “Hongkongese”. We intend to blend in Hong Kong culture in our design, subtly, as a touch for ourselves.
Q: What are the most important elements of hand stitching leather?
Among good quality of leather, fine tools, practices, accuracy, craftsmanship, pattern cutting…the most important elements are patience, and a pair of non-shaking hands.
Q: How difficult does it get when adding the details to a Hoiming leather bag as it is hand crafted?
We cannot compare because we always design our bags from handmade angle. We are kind of craftsman too, who usually make and test on handbag samples by ourselves. It means that it may become more difficult for us to make “machine-made” bags while we are not familiar on handling machines. The most significant difficulty is handmade takes much longer time in the production.
Q: The Big Pocket Collection is one of the most fashion forward bag collections I’ve ever seen. Where in the world did you come up with the concept?
We love recycling, and hope other people do as well. This idea came up while we’ve found fine beautiful leather with good quality on some vintage leather jackets. We thought it would be a waste to leave the beautiful leather in the vintage shop while no one would appreciated them (since most of them were over-sized with out-dated cutting). We hope to give those old jackets new lives. In this collection we didn’t use it only as a piece of leather, but try to transform it into a concept of “wearing a bag”, a half-bag-half-jacket form, in order to make it from old-fashioned into super-cool.
Q: Looking through some of your personal works, which bag would you deem your most prized?
Each bag was in different stages so they all have different meaning to us. “Crow”, “Cat” and “Heavy Bag” may be considered as “most prized” since I don’t think I can make them twice.
Q: What can we expect from your next collection?
Q: “Handbags” today, where do you see Hoiming in the future?
We haven’t set a boundary on what will we do in the future. We have made handbags, accessories, knitwear, art direction, advertising…. but we do believe that specialized on one thing, and do it hard, is more meaningful than doing many things at the same time, ends up with fair performance on all of them.
Q: Where can Clutchettes get their hands on a Hoiming bag?
“hoiming” can be found in several concept stores/ select shops in Hong Kong. Harvey Nichols Hong Kong, Delay No Mall, Cocktail (by Sidefame Ltd, Fenix Group) and Select 18 will feature hoiming’s collections from now on. Clutchettes can also visit our website, www.hoiming.net, since we are going to launch our online shopping service in July 2008.
For more information about Hoiming please visit www.hoiming.net