Hong Kong designer Johanna Ho’s edgy 26-piece capsule collection, created in collaboration with sportswear brand Puma, is an exciting new step in Hong Kong’s burgeoning sustainable fashion scene. Officially dubbed ‘Johanna Ho Empowered by Puma,’ the eco-conscious collection is based on upcycled vintage Puma tracksuits, resulting in an eclectic mélange of sporty and haute couture sensibilities.
The collection’s centerpiece source material is Puma’s signature T7 men’s track jacket, a cotton-polyester jacket with contrast side panels. Ho’s challenge was to transform the simple streetwear classic into a couture womenswear collection.
A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins with an MA in Fashion, the Hong Kong-born Johanna Ho launched her eponymous label in 1998. After making a splash at London Fashion Week with her debut collection, she was quickly stocked in Barneys New York. Stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Emilia Fox and Lana Del Rey are fans of her designs, and she’s also dressed top Asian celebrities like Karen Mok and Eason Chan. Nowadays, Ho splits her time between London and Hong Kong.
In one design, the T7’s original boxy silhouette is slimmed into a feminized waist through pleats gathered at the back. Other pieces feature creative embellishments such as voluminous slit sleeves, draped black netting, chiffon, and crochet and knit details.
In addition to jackets, there are also cut-out tees, geometric skirts and sneakers. The collection will be sold exclusively at the T Galleria by DFS store in Macau, with prices ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 patacas.
This collection is part of a new wave of eco-conscious fashion taking over Hong Kong’s design industry. An increasing awareness of Earth’s diminishing resources is mobilizing consumers to eschew fast fashion and dig into their wallets for sustainably-made garments fashioned from quality fabrics.
Redress, a Hong Kong non-profit, awards the EcoChic Design Award, the world’s largest sustainable design competition. Now in its fifth year, the award inspires emerging designers to create fashionable garments with minimal textile waste. The 2016 award went to Polish designer Patrycja Guzik for her upcycled garments made from old textiles and unraveled knits.
The movement is equally gaining momentum among Hong Kong’s more established high-end brands. In the fall of 2016, luxury Chinese label Shanghai Tang revealed its first upcycled fashion collection in collaboration with 2015’s EcoChic winner Kévin Germanier. Using a bold black and red color scheme, the collection’s sharp jackets, blazers and dresses were made from surplus textile stock from previous Shanghai Tang collections. As Hong Kong’s fashion industry evolves, the shift toward green garments made from sustainable practices offers a promising future.