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Belgium joins Asia’s largest design event

12:37 06/12/2013

A Belgian delegation returns home today from a week-long visit to Hong Kong as part of a Belgian trade mission led by Queen Mathilde. Belgium’s three regions have joined forces for the Business of Design Week (BoDW) under the collective name Belgian Spirit.

BoDW, which continues until tomorrow, is the largest design event in Asia and concentrates on proving the increasing economic importance of design, creativity and innovation. The Belgian delegation includes a large number of design firms as well as individual designers and architects. Several educational institutions are also taking part.

The Antwerp luxury fashion designer AF Vandevorst caught the attention of fashionistas with her special pair of $3 million diamond-encrusted ankle boots. The size 39 footwear was the result of a collaboration between the designer, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Diarough/UNI-Design and Flanders Fashion Institute.   

Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters took time off from the design fair to attend the official opening of Antwerp firm Studio Dott’s new Hong Kong branch. Studio Dott was founded in 2000 under the name Concrete and is now one of Antwerp’s leading design consultancies. Its new Hong Kong office plans to help Asian companies make their products fit the needs of the European market.

Studio Dott director Pieter Lesage plans to use the Hong Kong base to reach Chinese companies that want to sell their products in Europe under their own brand name. “It is worth getting advice because Chinese products are often excellent technically, but they do not always look good,” Lesage said. He added that the colour of a product did not matter for the Chinese but is essential for the European market. “They still think purely in functional terms,” he said.

Written by Derek Blyth