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Date [ 2014-08-08, 04:42 ]

Quietly making inroads onto the Malaysian fashion scene.

The Summer Campaign

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Ramani Rathir =The billboard on the renovated shopping complex that went by the name of Cheras Central in Kuala Lumpur had a model featuring a dress. The wording was simple but effective -‘ HEADLINE the heart of Seoul. Intrigued, Korean Press managed to interview  Ann Kositchotitania , MD of HLS Group International Private Limited. to get the bigger picture of the company.
Her answers:
 
Some biodata of your company.

HEADLINE SEOUL (HLS) is an Asian fast-fashion label that marries the hottest international trends with Seoul's sizzling street style. HLS attracts with a dynamic range of designs at fiercely friendly price points. 

Three major style groupings - CLEAN CLASSICS, GIRLY CHIC and TREND-LED - render a timeless elegance, flirty femininity and the key catwalk looks into attainable, affordable and wearable styles for fashion-lovers from 15 to 50. HLS is a head-turning high style for the everyday life.

The brand “Headline Seoul” (HLS) is owned by HLS Group International Pte Ltd, with the design and merchandising office in Korea, and a business development office in Singapore.

How many outlets do you now have in Korea, Singapore and Malaysia? 

 We now have the following outlets:
i)    Korea – 1 showroom and office in Garasukil, 3 online sites, and currently in negotiation with 1 department store and 1 chain store company.
ii)     Singapore – 1 flagship store (nearly 2,000 sq ft) at Wheelock Place, Orchard Road, and 3 more point of sales at Front Row (Raffles Hotel), The Assembly (The Cathay), and W.E. (313 Somerset, Orchard Road).  The shop-in-shop at TANGS  Orchard is closed due to the department store’s renovation which started in June 2014.
iii)    Malaysia – 2 locations: TANGS 1 Utama Lot F305 & S305, First & Second Floor,  Highstreet, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, , Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, TANGS Empire Subang, Lot G02 & Lot UG01,  Empire Shopping Gallery,  Subang, Selangor 

 Will you be adding more outlets to these countries as well as expand to other countries?

Yes, we are looking to expand in each of these countries through our local country partners.  For example, in Malaysia, TANGS Malaysia brought us in.  So we hope that the sales will be great and that they can expand for us further.
Currently, we are also selling into the following countries:  
* Philippines - 3 shop-in-shops since Dec 2012
* Hong Kong – will start selling this July 2014 via multi-label concept stores
* Thailand – will start selling in August 2014 via a distributor
* Australia – via an online website
* New Zealand  - via an online website

What is Headline’s fashion concept? Is there a core concept or you change with the seasons?

Our fashion concept is to provide Korean street fashion at affordable prices to women of ages 15 – 50.  We are seasonless – meaning, we have new things every week, catering to the tropical climates of Southeast Asia as well as the four seasons of East Asia and other Western countries.

Who are your designers – in-house or…?

We have an office in Garasukil, Seoul, where our designer and his assistant are based.  Also, our Korea Chief Merchandiser is there too.  We design in-house about 95%.  The other 5%, we collaborate with other Korean brands, especially on accessories.

How much of the K-element influence your styling?

We are influenced 100% by Korean designers and streetwear fashion.  Our design team is Korean and work and live in Korea, so they gage the trend very quickly.  But we tweak it somewhat for the international customers. 

For example, for more conservative countries in Southeast Asia, we try to have longer sleeves and longer skirt length.  We also provide extra petticoats for skirts in case of customers who are more conservative.  In countries like South East Asia(SEA), we also select brighter colorways to suit the region’s consumers’ skin tone and color preference.

How and where do you source for your materials?

We produce our products in Korea and China. Sourcing is done by our design and merchandising team.

What were the difficulties, if any, you faced when first coming into the Singaporean and Malaysian markets?

We had to adjust the fit as SEAsian women do not have the  same body anatomy as the Koreans. Also, SEA women prefer more brighter, primary hue colourways, so we needed to address this cultural preference. 

In Malaysia, Headline is looked upon as more for the Malaysian-Chinese market. Will you move towards a Pan-Malaysian market, seeing the population has a Malay majority? If so, how will you go about it?

We get great feedback from our buyers at Tangs Malaysia.  So they are able to tell us the Pan-Malaysian market needs.  We are working together to develop more products for the Pan-Malaysian markets in terms of fit, sizing, fabric preferences, and even price points. 

 What of your future plans?

We are expanding into China, the Middle East, and also to Europe and USA.  It’s a very exciting time for us as we grow and receive many positive consumer feedbacks.  We will also be launching more brands under the HLS trademark – lookout for our new affordable luxury line to be launched this Sept 2014, a new kids’ line and men’s line as well.  Stay tuned! 

abc@koreanpress.net

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