Establishing a fashion brand might not seem like the natural step for an architect and an accountant but that was the professional training of EDIT’s founders. “[Our customers] appreciate the brand because they know there’s a lot of substance behind it that’s not just fashion,” says Genevieve Chew, who runs the Hong Kong-based company with her business partner and best friend Jacqueline Chak. “They’re very fashion aware,” she adds of the ‘EDIT women.’ “A lot of them are very intellectual, well-educated and well-travelled.”
Chak, who studied architecture at the Bartlett School at University College London, met Chew while she was working as an accountant, also in London, and the pair quickly became lifelong friends. When they moved to Hong Kong, they spotted a gap in the market for a concept store like the ones they’d seen on their travels in London, Paris and New York. They soon opened EDIT on Hollywood Road with a frozen yoghurt store downstairs and fashion on the first floor, and in 2014 launched EDITECTURE (EDIT + architecture), a multidisciplinary design studio.
The concept store, which curated brands from around the world, soon revealed a niche that wasn’t being filled for contemporary Asian designers – to make affordable, wearable clothes that could compete in the international market. In 2015, they made their first capsule collection, and it was immediately picked up by a London showroom called Paper Mache Tiger. Soon after, they were designing four collections a year in both London, where they have an office, and Hong Kong, in accordance with the fashion calendar. Like many brands they have only decided to change this model in wake of Covid-19.
Chew leads the fashion side of the business, where her passion has always been. When she was 14, she remembers buying fabric from a market in Malaysia where she grew up, and taking a sketch of a skirt she’d drawn from her imagination to a seamstress to make it for her. “It was pink and puffy – it kind of looked like an EDIT skirt now,” she says.
Chak’s experience in architectural design infiltrates the collections, combining voluminous silhouettes with very minimal lines. “If there is the option between straight angles and curvy organic corners, I will always go with the option that is softer and more comfortable edge — it just feels better, like the human body,” says Chak. “That I guess reflects on our sculptural silhouette of some of the dresses, which also applies to architectural spaces. We love dramatic and sculptural forms and shapes,” she explains.
Inspired by conversations with the women that wear the clothes, their travels and their experiences observing the small details in life, EDIT has become synonymous with quality design. They use fabrics from Italy, and work closely with Hong Kong and Chinese manufacturers they know and trust. The result is a brand for confident, successful women that celebrates and reinforces the power of femininity.