Fashion Accessories / 40 Under 40 2016

Alexis Holm, Fashion Accessories, 40 under 40 2016
Alexis Holm
Founder & designer, squarestreet Hong Kong

Describing himself as a “self-taught designer, entrepreneur, graphic designer, photographer and boss, running a retail shop, accessories brand and acting creative director of gram footwear”, Alexis Holm was born into a family of artists and engineers on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Holm says he “performed poorly through high school, skipped university and instead took a job selling shoes at a local mediocre chain store”, later taking classes in pattern making, sewing and design in the early 2000s. In 2003, he impressed a guest lecturer sufficiently to land himself a job at a Swedish fashion brand as design assistant and buyer, and two years later started his own footwear brand, gram, together with his girlfriend at the time.

In late 2009, he moved permanently to Hong Kong, staying on as gram’s creative director, and rented a space which would prove to be the crucible in which his house brand and retail space squarestreet was founded. At squarestreet, Holm designs a wide variety of fashion accessories, such as watches, bags, sunglasses and footwear, both for domestic and international distribution.

Kenny Chiu, Fashion Accessories, 40 under 40 2016
Kenny Chiu
Chief designer, MADE IN EDEN, & art director, 22°N, Hong Kong

After years of experience in leathercraft, Kenny Chiu festablished his MADE IN EDEN label in 2012, having sourced both an investor and a manufacturer. Combining both creativity and craftsmanship, Chiu designs classic modern leather goods with a strong attention to detail.

Having achieved notable success in both local retail and overseas exhibitions (Paris, Tokyo, Koera, Singapore, Taiwan, among others), he launched his 22°N shop in 2014, based in a three-storey building. With Chiu on board as art director, the space comprises an art gallery on the top floor, a workshop on the second floor and a retail outlet on the first floor.

Combining his love for leather craftwork with his passion for installation art, Chiu has garnered significant media coverage in print and broadcast media, as well as success at a variety of design and fashion awards competitions.

Maria Mak, Fashion Accessories, 40 under 40 2016
Maria Mak
Founder & designer, Twisted Sisters, Hong Kong

Raised in Toronto, Maria Mak graduated from Ryerson University, where her graduation show collection was sponsored by Fur Council of Canada in recognition of her outstanding performance throughout her studies.

She also presented the collection at the International Fur show in Montreal, and at Holt Renfrew, an upscale department store in Canada. Mak has designed for multiple international brand names, including I.T. and MaxMara, and debuted her TwS collection at CIFF (Copenhagen, Denmark) and In Fashion Munich (Munich, Germany), attracting the attention of Hollywood celebrities such as Neon Hitch and Angela Simmons, who have worn TwS in their music videos and events.

In 2013, TwS won a Bronze award at the Design for Asia Award, competing against 900 other entries, and went on to debut its crossover shoe collection with Titikaka at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Beijing the following year. TwS is now selling in US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Kuwait, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Polly Ho, Fashion Accessories, 40 under 40 2016
Polly Ho
Design director & co-founder, Creatique Studio

Designer Polly Ho graduated with a BA from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2004, going on to study at the University of Central England.

Prior to launching her own brand, Loom Loop, at PMQ in 2013 together with her partner, she worked for Misa Harada millinery in London (2003), and acted as a fashion consultant for a number of China brands.

Loom Loop’s first collection was launched in spring/summer 2014, prior to Ho winning a corporate fashion project for Philippe Starck’s new South Beach hotel in Singapore.

Since then, she has gone of the win SME’s Youth Entrepreneurship Award 2015, and a Design for Asia Award 2015 — Category Award (Bronze). Last October, she participated the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo with a catwalk show; and in February this year, she presented another catwalk show at the official New York Fashion Week, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Queenie Fan, Fashion Accessories, 40 under 40 2016
Queenie Fan
Creative director & co-founder, Cafuné, Hong Kong

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Queenie Fan has always been interested in art, design and fashion, and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in industrial design in 2011.

During her studies, she took courses in handbag and footwear design at Fashion Institute of Technology, which marked the beginning of her career as an accessories designer. Upon graduation, she spent four years working at renowned fashion houses, including 3.1 Philip Lim, Coach and rag & bone in New York. There she gained valuable experiences in design, development and production; and gained comprehensive insight into the fashion industry.

Fan’s design philosophy is all about connections and balance — the connection between the wearers’ experiences and the functionality of a handbag; the balance between a timeless shape and playful details. In 2015, she moved back to HK to co-found accessories label Cafuné with Day Lau. As creative director, Fan leads all design and development processes, and oversees the branding and marketing of Cafuné, whose debut collection launched in December last year.