As final analysis of attendance figures for the recent Hong Kong Fashion Week reveal it to have been one of the most successful in the event's history Christopher Cheng, chairman of the TDC Garment Advisory Committee, has expressed his faith in the future of Hong Kong as a major source of high quality designer fashion.

Mr Cheng's belief centres around the talents of Hong Kong's up and coming  young designers for whom the 2001 Design Contest, which formed part of the peripheral activities of Fashion Week, was the principal showcase.

"Innovative and altogether charming," was Mr Cheng's personal verdict on the work of the fifteen designers, especially that of Sandy Leung who was not only the overall winner but who took the Anteprima prize for creative design.

Other winners, who received their awards from Kevin Yeung chairman of the Hong Kong Fashion Designers' Association at a special ceremony which formed the closing event of the week, included Emily Chui, winner of the HKFDA 's own special award.

"As the 2001 contest has revealed, we already possess an amazing pool of young talent, but our aim is to nurture and promote more such talents for our industry to draw on for its inspiration in the years to come," says Christopher Cheng, who announced that over the four days the spring 200l Fashion Week had attracted a total of 15,362 visitors - 5,655 of whom were overseas buyers.

Keenest among the countries sending contingents were Japan with 647 buyers and the USA with 410, followed by Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Israel, Singapore and the UK.

"It is also encouraging to be able to report that in the first eleven months of 2000 our exports to Japan rose by 28 per cent and those to the USA by nine per cent, and that the response to ranges designed and made in Hong Kong and offered during Fashion Week suggests that this pattern of substantial export increase will also characterise the current trading year," he added.

By Sonia Roberts