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THOM BROWNE’S TOWN: Fresh off New York Fashion Week, Thom Browne touched down in Hong Kong to launch a special pop-up store at the Joyce Boutique on Queen’s Road. The store, which will be open until Oct. 21, features his fall-winter 2013 collection and gives customers a chance to pre-order his spring-summer collection.
Browne’s pitstop in Hong Kong is part of a multicity itinerary with stops in Seoul, London, Paris and Milan. The designer said he was visiting Seoul earlier in the week eyeing possible retail spaces. He said he hopes to open a store there within the next 12 to 18 months but plans are still extremely preliminary.
The designer opened a 4,500-square-foot standalone store in Tokyo’s Minami-Aoyama district earlier this year but he said Korea is his biggest market in Asia.
“The good thing I find Asia just open to more the conceptual side of what I do which I find really refreshing. That is what I love most about coming here. It’s very accepting of new ideas,” the designer said.
Korean customers in particular, he added, embrace the more conceptual part of his collections. “It’s one of the few places in the world that doesn’t really understand the classic part of my collection,” he said with a smile.
For now, Japan and Korea are keeping him quite busy in the region. The designer said he hasn’t been to mainland China yet but is seeing more Chinese customers. Browne said he’d like to visit China “whenever I get time. I’m interested in being anywhere where they appreciate what I do.”
Browne said he’d also interested in opening stores in London, Paris and Milan as well as a couple more shops in the U.S.
As for reactions to his runway show, Browne said, “You do something provocative, you have to expect good and bad reactions and I always appreciate that. I thought they were good because I think people did actually see the quality in what the collection was. I spent a lot of time making interesting clothing that was really well made and the detailing was really important to me and took a lot of time to actually get done and I think people saw that.”
Browne said he always goes for a concept in his shows. “It’s more conceptual. It’s not for shock value. There is a story behind it. There’s a loose reference to what I’m presenting in front of people. I’m very serious about how I make the clothing and the quality of the clothing and the detailing and the concept integrates to what the collection is. But then I like to surround it with a story and entertain people, show it to them in a different light not just straight.”