First, the video.
ASOS X HONG KONG Bloggers - Tea Party from Nathan Wong on Vimeo.
In the last few months, social media and the blogosphere has really been solidifying into a big presence in Hong Kong. Compared to Korea, the Philippines, China, and even Singapore, Hong Kong was relatively late in the game in terms of finding its own Social Media identity. There are sites like Casey Lau’s Popcorn Network, an HK based social media network that carries blog channels like Butterboom (Fashion) and Neon Punch (Tech), as well as globally/regional hits like Pierre-Yves Dupius’ LUXUO, POPBEE, and the Lifestyle Asia Network, but in terms of fashion and style blogs with a more personal flavour a-la Bryan Boy, Perez Hilton, CHUVANESS, and Sartorialist, for example, HK only has a few personalities, like CINDIDDY who represented, ELLE, and Nokia at the #NYFW (New York Fashion Week) last month.
This year however, Jasmine Webster, a professional stylist of the DRESS ME BLOG, has been able to consolidate all the style and fashion bloggers within this city under the banner #HKFashionBloggers to create an incredible presence of which theWanderlister+ Asia is a member. In the last few months alone, these #HKFashionBloggers have been visible everywhere and at every event from Lane Crawford LAB’s launch two days ago to the Colonial Goods and Carmen Chan exhibit at G.O.D. earlier in the summer. #HKFashionBloggers aside, Casey Lau, Bess Hepworth, and Jay Oataway have even spearheaded the #HKSocial group (also of which we’re a part), solidifying monthly meetings of the city’s Social Tech elite via Breakfasts, Dinners, and Cocktails meant to brainstorm how Twitter/Facebook/Blogs and other social media platforms can simply do Good, do Better, and BE Better for Hong Kong. These meetups culminated into an incredible TEDxWanchai event we attended mid-summer.
RELATED ARTICLE: Social Actions Begin With Ideas. A Wrap Up of TedxWanchai 2011
Back to #HKFashionBloggers, three personalities in the bunch, Sybil Kot (Style Voyager), Samantha Wong (SAM is HOME), and Tania Reinert (TLikeBubbleTea), got the attention of UK E-Commerce Fashion Powerhouse, ASOS through their interests in Asian Fashion and the HK Blogger’s works in general. ASOS, was so impressed by the team on this side of the globe, that it recently launched a global style contest featuring the #HKFashionBloggers as part of a consolidated media campaign, meant to welcome ASOS (also a Wanderlister+ Asia partner) to the Asian consumer.
We sat down with Samantha and Tania recently to discuss their personal blogs and the work with ASOS for the styling contest.
W+: Hi Sam and Tania, thank you so much for sitting down with us to have a chat. We’re pretty excited that the #HKFashionBlogger community has completely ballooned this year alone. It’s really a great year for creativity. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourselves…
Samantha Wong, of SAM IS HOME striking a pose.
Sam, I’ve seen your website, SAM is HOME, and your focus is a bit on domesticity and fashion, for example we see and read plenty about things like dessert, the home, and clothing+accessories on there. And I also heard that you were the brainchild of the ASOS Tea party, this must be your dream project, to have a Martha Stewart flair with a bit of fashion integrated…
SW: Thanks, JJ, you make me sound like the modern day housewife (haha)! I move every five years so I’ve learned that home isn’t a physical place. ‘Sam is Home’ is derived from the concept of being comfortable with yourself and ‘at home’ with your own character, passions and skills.
Actually the idea of having a party was Sybil’s and I just fleshed it out into an attractive pitch and packaged it as a tea party that ASOS would also want to be a part of. They approached us for advertising but we didn’t see it as an equal partnership so we thought why not create original content for ourselves using the ASOS brand? It sounds like a dream project but it’s actually a lot of admin and logistics work.
Tania of TLikeBubbleTea caught mid-styling.
W+: Tania, your blog is fashion and fashion styling as well but more of a travel and lifestyle attitude. Can you expand on this?
TR: I don’t like to pigeon hole myself into just one category. There are so many things I love travel, fashion, design & of course food. I really love writing as well. I want to keep the reader curious, taking them with me on my style and travel adventures both around Hong Kong and the world.
Sam and Sybil of the Style Voyager (right) trying to focus.
W+: Tell us more about Blogging in General. Is Blogging your first job? What else do you do in your free time? And is it easy to blog? or is it quite difficult with your schedules?
SW: Blogging is not my primary job but I am in the industry as a fashion analyst for an online fashion company. It’s not easy creating content every week but I think the most difficult thing for me is reaching out to people. I’m terrible at PR and marketing my own blog because it feels so self-driven (I’m not on twitter/instagram/facebook page). It’s fine if others have those social media outlets but personally I’m already talking about me, me, me on the blog so that’s where I stop and try to focus on others. The blog suffers from less exposure but I feel this is right for me.
TR: I actually work in finance by day, so combining the two can be difficult at times as the two worlds are so far apart. I feel that something that started as a hobby and a diary has started to feel more like a second full time job, but I like change and working on multiple things at a time and having a blog allows me to write about things I love so I am definitely not going to stop any time soon.
The “Tea-Party” Themed setup.
W+: Tell us more about ASOS the brand. It seems that they are completely an online shop that has grown exponentially over the last year or so, and based most of their success on social networks and bloggers like yourself. How did you find out about ASOS and do you like shopping with them?
SW: I found it while at my current job- analyzing the various approaches that companies take to attract customers to surf and purchase. I’m quite wary of online shopping due to the inability to try on and impulse buy. The great things about ASOS are the clear product shots, the runway video and fast delivery service which kinda builds that trust for me as a consumer.
TR: I found out about Asos 6-7 years ago when I was living in London. It was my secret place to go to for unique but relatively cheap dresses. It was pretty amazing to see a rather unknown website become a dominant online retailer in just five years. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes nature of the project, it was great fun to switch from being a consumer to actually doing a collaboration with these guys.
A Collection of Teas for the Occasion.
W+: What kind of projects can we expect from you two after this ASOS collaboration? Will we be seeing more collaborations with Brands in the future and with #HKFashionBloggers together or separately from each of you?
SW: I hope so! I’m mulling over my next steps- the ASOS project helped me immensely to be conscious of my strengths and weaknesses I can hone in on for future collaborations. I’m already thinking of a couple projects with some friends. I’d love to collaborate with more brands too- but no press releases please. Actual creative involvement and an overflow of ideas are what I crave!
TR: I am currently working on reshuffling my own blog design now and I also have two projects that I will be starting on this month. I really love working with Sam as I have a more organizational mind and she is the creative brain but we understand each other well, so I would love to do more projects with her.
Close ups of the VERO Chocolates on Offer.
W+: One last question, what is your favorite BLOG!??
SW: Let’s make that plural! Park & Cube, she tickles my love for good design, typography and layout. Dead Fleurette, I’m trying to adopt her less is more attitude and I adore her text-heavy posts. Business of Fashion, I stopped my subscription of WWD for this.
TR: Oh there are so many! I think Garance Dore, Park & Cube, and Advanced Style in fashion in fashion. For travel and lifestyle in HK it’s theWanderlister+ Asia, in Europe Nectar & Pulse girls. Food is has to be Whatkatieate she is best food stylist out there, Design it’s definitely Fubiz and TheSelby.
And more pics! I walked in on Geneva (A Pair and A Spare) and Christing C. (Fashion Hedonism) waiting for their snapshot.
Denise (SUPERWOWOMG) gives me a patient face.
ThinFilm’s Nate Wong and full camera crew!
Checking out the Tea-Party Menu.
More guys from ThinFilm hanging around.
Carmen Chan Star-Photographer hard at work.
A final rest! The work is done!
Yay! (via CARMEN-CHAN)
The #HKFashionBloggers have recently teamed up with the our UK online fashion partner, ASOS, for a new contest to help introduce the brand to a Hong Kong and Asian presence. Released just two days ago, you’ve got basically from now until the 16th of October to vote for which one of my girls pull off the best look with their F/W ‘11 ASOS wares.
If you vote for your favorite look, you have a chance of winning a 250GBP voucher for ASOS.COM, and the winning blogger will get the same as well. Sounds like a good deal to me because everything is affordable on ASOS Anyway. VOTE HERE!
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