Designer Clifton Leung and retailer Judy Yu have been friends for years, so it seemed natural for them to collaborate not just on a completely new store image for the brand – but on an exclusive collection for LeSportsac Hong Kong, as well. “The co-operation worked well,” recalls Leung. “We understand each other.” The Clifton Leung X LeSportsac Collection was inspired by New York, where LeSportsac is headquartered, and which launched an Artist in Residence program there to ce
to celebrate the brand’s 45th anniversary this year. Why not have one in Hong Kong, thought Judy. And she knew just the man for the job. Judy Yu, founder of Carsac, the Hong Kong licensee for LeSportsac. Designing a store space and a bag – for the same client, simultaneously – was a tall order. The disciplines required are very different, after all. But Leung was genuinely excited by both the unique opportunity and the challenge, adapting his vast interior design experience to create his very first fashion product. The result is a store which optimises the distinctive LeSportsac logo without overkill – and a bag that follows suit. Both reflect Leung’s trademark timeless, minimalist approach, much in vogue right now. “The collection is an extension of the store’s design, with the product serving as an exhibition-on-the-go,” he reflects. Yu says she collaborated with Leung on both the store and the bag in order to connect with a young and chic audience. “The new shop design and crossover collection injects new vigour and vitality to the brand, attracting a broader spectrum of customers at any gender and age group,” she explains. Unique experience When designing the new store, Leung set out to create a unique customer experience. He describes the result as “a futuristic gallery space” which showcases LeSportsac’s fashion-forward pieces. Perhaps the most striking feature is a special RGB lighting system which features colour-changing technology to emit vibrant hues across the store. The illuminations are customised to enhance different LeSportsac pattern designs and seasonal releases throughout the year. The use of light and transparent materials throughout the store – blasted mirror glass and wires – highlights the LeSportsac range of bags, traditionally made in a lightweight fabric. For additional visual impact, Leung specified chromoshine strips around shelving, a sort of pearl-based reflective strip which teases with reflections of its surrounding colours adding a sort of chic, ‘cyber feel’ to the space. Designer Clifton Leung Shelving is shaped in LeSportsac’s logo style and everywhere in the store, there are fittings designed to optimise the space: shelves double as trays providing more space for comparing products and trying a look before a mirror, for example. A mirrored back wall has the effect of making the 55sqm store space feel twice the size it is – and it conceals a storage area for inventory. Leung has skillfully infused the shape of the LeSportsac logo into the design of the hero focus cabinets and lightboxes on the walls, enhancing brand awareness. To Leung, interior design is about creativity and enthusiasm. Practicing a philosophy he describes as “minimalism to maximisation”, he believes “space is limited but design is infinite”. LeSportsac has four stores in Hong Kong run by Carsac Limited, the company founded by Yu. Elements of the new Pacific Place space will be used in future upgrades of the other stores – and judging by the reaction from customers – may yet be implemented outside Hong Kong as well. A very special bag… The Clifton Leung X LeSportsac Collection comes in two colours – a silver white print and a silver black print – representing the bustling day and night of the city that never sleeps. Clifton drew inspiration from “an imaginary city, where creativity knows no bounds,” merging his minimalist approach with LeSportsac’s classic DNA. The pattern on the bags also pays tribute to the blueprint – the heart that sets an interior design into motion. “When I created the print pattern for the crossover collection, I drew inspiration from the “blueprint” of interior design – I hope to foster people’s boundless imaginations and creativity!,” he reflects. “It’s my first commercial collection and I look forward to many more fruitful collaborations in the future.” This feature originally appeared in Inside Retail Asia’s magazine edition. For information on subscribing visit our shop.