CENTRESTAGE — Hong Kong’s premier fashion trade show — is launching its fourth edition from September 4 to 7. In anticipation, The Daily profiling a handful of the show’s most notable designers with a series of in-depth Q&As. This week: Cheang Chi Tat of Worker Playground.
What inspired the collection you plan to show at CENTERSTAGE?
The new series is inspired by the garage, which is a series of car-related clothing elements, including some racing car clothing, car repair workers’ clothing and Bosozoku clothing for men and women.
What is it about CENTERSTAGE that makes it such a good showcase for your brand?
For Worker Playground, it’s the third time we are participating in CENTRESTAGE. In the past, we participated in Hong Kong Fashion Week for many years, but experience has taught us that we need a platform focused more on brands and designer labels. CENTRESTAGE is such as a platform for brands to showcase, so it is perfect for us. And most importantly, it’s very convenient for us to go to Hong Kong from Macao.
Tell us about your design background.
I’ve had a lot of creative jobs since I graduated from the University of Macau Polytechnic with a degree in graphic design. Before started my brand, I was a graphic designer and illustrator. I’m also in rock and roll band and I was a DJ for a radio station in Macau.
Where does the name “Worker Playground” come from?
Worker Playground was found in 2012 and reflects the street culture of Macao. The label uses the old Macao Workers Stadium as design concept and namesake, tying into the collective memory and sentiment of Macao’s people.
Many of your designs are quite classic — letterman jackets, hoodies, windbreakers — what is it about your take on these things that makes them unique?
The label focuses on menswear, using variations of classic styles as its theme and adding Macao elements such as references to aviation history, rock-n-roll festivals, Jai alai (a Macao specialty sport) and hockey, as well as the Macao Grand Prix. By manifesting local culture, the label aims to localize classic style clothing, making them into a style that is different from what can be found elsewhere.
In growing your business, what is something you’ve learned that has helped you become successful — something that you notice other brands or designers struggling with?
I think the spirit within the brand is very important, not just the design of the clothing. Worker Playground is a Macao local brand so that we stick to telling the story of Macao through the clothing. Our design is based on classic clothing and then we make changes to it. I think we are successful because we don’t follow trends. If you are constantly changing and following trends, you cannot bring out the spirit within the clothing.
Check out Worker Playground’s newest collection at CENTRESTAGE, September 4 – 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Admission is free and buyers can register through the official website. Buyers are also encouraged to download HKTDC Marketplace app, which facilitates registration to all the fairs organized by HKTDC and keeps buyers abreast of the latest industry news and fair information.