It may be summer, but we’re already getting excited about our autumn winter wardrobe. This year, we want to go beyond the obvious high street brands and explore Hong Kong’s local designer scene – cue Berayah. We talk inspiration, global trends, and fashion faux pas with the man behind the label, Enoch Ho.
When did you discover your passion for fashion?
Quite late compared to most people. I first took fashion design classes at the Art Institute of Seattle while I was attending college at University of Washington, and instantly fell in love with the craft of pattern making. To me it’s like creating fabric sculptures – every little curve in the pattern can be the difference in how a garment sits, and that’s fun for me.
What inspires your designs?
I’m heavily influenced by architecture, and often find inspiration by simply looking up as I walk through the streets of Hong Kong (pictured above). We have a truly inspiring city that’s full of buildings and beautiful proportions – the way they intersect with the sky is fascinating. I also love stories, so with every collection I try to tell a tale relating to my faith, which I think is a deep well to draw from.
How about your favourite designer?
Where do you go for a spot of retail therapy in the 852?
Kapok is hands down my favourite – not because they carry my line, I have loved shopping there even prior to me starting Berayah. The Sheung Wan/Tai Ping Shan street area is also full of small interesting shops and a great place to discover new things.
So what’s the story behind the name Berayah?
The name is a transliteration from a Hebraic word that means “God has created”. I believe that creativity, though it can be made better through practice, is ultimately something that we have little control over, and I wanted a name that both conveys and reminds me of that.
… And your all-time favourite piece in the Berayah line?
I love the Selah Cape (pictured above) from my second collection because it’s a piece birthed out of a strong emotional connection. In Psalms it said, “You hem me in behind and before”, describing the covering and love God has for us – the cape embodies that with a longer back and a “feet pocket”, which covers the ground and allows you to slip your feet in if you sit down. The idea is to create a physical sense of being covered from “behind and before”, and allowing the wearer to emotionally feel loved and protected. It’s not the most practical piece, but by far my favourite.
Do you think the style of Berayah is specific to Hong Kong?
I decided to launch Berayah in Hong Kong because I was born and raised here, and now I live here. This is home for me and it just makes sense to be here, especially with the great supply chain in this region. Style wise, I think Berayah works well with Hong Kong’s urban living culture, but I also think we live in a globally connected world where style is more borderless than ever before. So while I think Berayah and Hong Kong go well together, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suit other places.
Does Hong Kong influence global trends?
I think influence is in the hands of people. If we, as Hong Kong designers, produce work that’s worthy of influencing the world, then it will. At this moment, there are some very inspiring brands that are doing great things, but it will definitely take time and perseverance to achieve global recognition.
Okay, so what is our city’s biggest fashion faux pas?
Everyone has their right to express themselves however they desire, so as long as they’re respectful to their surroundings then it’s fine – but please wear deodorant in the summer!
Bamboo features in the most recent Berayah collection – what does the future hold for environmentally friendly fashion?
It’s very difficult to source environmentally-friendly materials, especially due to our small scale, so cost and accessibility are definitely issues we struggle with at Berayah. I have tremendous respect for environmentally-friendly brands, and the people who engineer the materials. I think we’re in a period where environmentally-friendly products are still at a very early stage, especially within the world of fashion, but as a global society we definitely need to dedicate more resources to the cause and make such products more readily available, both for designers and consumers. We need to make it the norm, not just a niche.
Like what you see? Check out the full Berayah collection, and don’t forget the summer sale, which runs until the end of August 2016.
Read more! Spend Five Minutes With some of Hong Kong’s most colourful characters.