With a name that resonates throughout Hong Kong’s creative community, Eric Kot is a man who has held many different hats over his career. His involvement has spanned the movie and music industry as well as radio and design with this most recent project seeing him serve as a designer behind this upcoming collaboration collection involving his brand 4A with fellow Hong Kong entity Fingercroxx. We caught up with both Eric Kot and Fingercroxx’s Wallace as they speak regarding this partnership. The whole collection will be available starting October 31st at select Double Park, Exit and Fingercroxx locations.
Interview with ERIC KOT (4A)
Hey Eric, how are things going? For those not familiar with 4A, could you provide some insight into what 4A represents?
4A to me is sort of a creative movement. I wouldn’t want to consider it entirely a fashion label. It’s really more like a chance for me to do projects and products that I truly enjoy and appreciate. We started to gain traction when I began sponsoring events and would subsequently see the commemorative products I designed being re-sold. But it got to the point where I didn’t want to see people spending thousands of HK dollars on my products so I decided to start producing my own line which eventually led to the opening of a store in 2007.
How did this 4A and Fingercroxx collaboration come about?
I’ve been long time friends with Wallace and his brother Junkie. Together we have a ton of mutual friends and contacts so we’ve always maintained close ties. For quite awhile we were in discussion about teaming up and collaborating on something but nothing really materialized until the proper platform came about with Fingercroxx.
With this collaboration with Fingercroxx, what sort of worries if any did you have partnering with a relatively big commercial brand like Fingercroxx?
I really approached this partnership with a sense of confidence. For me a collaborative platform is a chance to showcase something new. Together 4A and Fingercroxx share different demographics. Fingercroxx’s core audience resides somewhere around the 15-25 age group while 4A’s target demographic is a little more mature between the ages of 25-30. It was an interesting parallel when we came together, Fingercroxx is known more for wide-scale (in Hong Kong) releases while we focus on keeping the distribution much tighter with 4A. However nevertheless this chance brought on the opportunity to test out different angles including how my products would be received at a lower-price point and hitting different markets… we definitely had to meet at the middle or make compromises on both ends but ultimately I pushed to ensure quality was exercised for certain pieces such as the windbreaker and messenger bag.
What was the design language behind this collection?
I wanted to go a relatively conservative route in my designs with outdoor inspirations. The subtle approach isn’t too far off what I usually do. I usually want to evoke a certain sense of timelessness in my designs cause it’s a little reflective of my personality but due to the collaborative nature, I wanted to preserve the essence of Fingercroxx as well. I did want to focus a lot on the quality in both the product itself as well as the packaging.
Overall, how was your experience participating in this collaboration?
Yeh it was a really good experience. I think both Fingercroxx and myself came away with some newly developed skills and as always, when things aren’t always on the business-tip, it does become a bit more fun. When you’re in a perpetual state of repetition, things do get boring… so looking forward this has sort of piqued my interest in planning out my next move, my next goals and new directions.
What’s your favorite item in the collection?
I’d have to say the windbreaker. It also made me think how am I going to design my next one… we’ll see how it goes since there’s always room for improvement.
Any upcoming plans? Maybe something else with Fingercroxx?
I guess it depends on the feedback of this project… hopefully if things work out we can come together for a second part and so on…
Interview with WALLACE (Fingercroxx)
Hey Wallace, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Could you provide us with some insight into Fingercroxx?
At the start, Hong Kong’s biggest fashion conglomerate I.T. wanted to create an in-house brand. I had helped local multi-talented singer, DJ and actor Jan Lamb on his own label and eventually I.T saw my work and approached me with the idea of creating an in-house label. At the time I was overseeing other brands, traveling a lot. My inspirations of the US and Japan sort of formed the basis for FINGERCROXX. When somebody wants to get lucky, they cross their fingers hence the name.
How does your interaction and experience with Hong Kong affect your outlook and aesthetic?
With a local Chinese background, I do incorporate elements of Hong Kong into my design. But in reality, Hong Kong is ultimately diverse but still not very cultured. There are some non-reproducible cultures here that are unique to Hong Kong, so it’s always fun to find these cultural pockets. But I do like to tie-in a lot of inspirations derived from my travels as well.
Hong Kong is arguably a city heavily influenced by trend, how does this affect the design process?
For better or worse, trends drive our business and with Fingercroxx falling under a big company, often we have to forgo creativity for a certain commercial aspect to make sales. It can be good at times since products are constantly being churned out and released all the time.
What’s your favorite item?
Much like Eric, my favorite item is also the windbreaker. But unfortunately I.T had its reservations cause the piece was more expensive than Fingercroxx’s usual price points. However this collaborative platform gives us a chance to try it out and test our market.
Fingercroxx has been no stranger to collaborations in the past, which have been some of your most memorable previous collaborations?
Without a doubt the Fingercroxx x XLarge collabo was my favorite. XLarge has been a favorite of mine for awhile and it was similar to a dream come true. To further compliment the project we brought together a series of celebrities for a photo album to mark the collaboration.
Any last words Wallace?
I’d hope that more people pay attention the local creative scene. As it stands, Hong Kong as a whole should probably start being a little more united in their efforts to build a solid community. Japan’s culture as of late has seen a bit of a renaissance with people partnering up again… things that the local Hong Kong crowd can learn from. Work together, not against each other.