Angus Tsui is conquering the fashion industry by staying away from fast fashion

Angus Tsui is conquering the fashion industry by staying away from fast fashion

The fashion business is tough. But deciding not to follow the crowd is even harder


Budding fashion designer Angus Tsui with some of his designs.
Budding fashion designer Angus Tsui with some of his designs.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP

Hong Kong's shops are filled with identical trends. You are more likely to walk past someone wearing the same T-shirt as you than you are to bump into someone you know on the street.

It might seem impossible to break this cycle, but there are local fashion designers who are working to change that. One of them is Angus Tsui Yat-sing.

In an era of fast fashion, the graduate from the Hong Kong Design Institute refused to follow the crowd. He vowed to make his own collection different from others'.

"I think fast fashion is way more commercialised [than my collection]. It is simpler, and at the same time it is easy to carry off," said Tsui, 22.

The budding designer said his self-named brand wouldn't go down that route.

"I don't want to be a fast fashion brand in the future. The job of designing is storytelling for those who wear your work," he said.

Tsui said he didn't like the typical fast-fashion cycle, which usually begins in a shop and ends with the clothes in a landfill. So another important goal for Tsui is making fashion that is sustainable. He is determined to change how the fashion industry works.

"I want to make changes," said Tsui. "What I provide is unique to those who wear my clothes. It's something different; an edgy style."

See Angus at work

Tsui said he always gets ideas for his designs from things he sees in his daily life.

"I also get my inspiration from movies and music. I am particularly into science fiction and films," he said.

"I used to draw a lot when I was a kid: one of my favourite subjects was aliens. Now I incorporate them into my collections, including my graduation designs, which used skeletons to represent aliens."

Tsui's interest in the universe is also reflected in his latest work. His spring collection is called "Elements". Representing the Chinese theory of five elements, the collection is for women but Tsui also made a jacket for himself.

"I took the same fabric that I used for the piece 'Wood' to make my jacket", which he is wearing in the photo. "I love its texture and colour. It's really unique," he said.

Tsui got started in the fashion industry thanks to small, campus fashion shows during secondary school.

"In those days I didn't know anything about fashion design - I didn't even know how to sew. But taking part in those shows helped me discover my interest in fashion design," said Tsui.

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He started his creative journey by getting a higher diploma in fashion design and development from the Design Institute in 2013. He then went on to get his bachelor's degree in fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, in Britain, last year.

Determined to become a successful fashion designer, Tsui's talent has already been recognised. He has scooped some important awards, including Design Student of the Year in 2013, and CreateSmart Young Design Talent Special Award of the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award a year later. Thanks to the latter award, he has been sponsored for an internship in Britain, starting next month. He will stay in London for six to nine months.

"It will give me opportunities to learn things from designers at an upcycling design firm. I will also learn more about patterns and how to run a fashion business," said Tsui. "This is really going to help my label."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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