Thai designer Label 31 eyes Hong Kong

Thai designer Label 31 is looking to expand into Hong Kong and Singapore as first steps of a regional expansion for the fashion brand.

Label 31 was founded by Mitthida Charntaweekhun, who is also its creative director, who left a marketing career in a large multinational corporations IBM and True to establish her own fashion business.

In an interview with The Nation newspaper, Charntaweekhun said that unlike big fashion brands and major online players, Label 31 provides designer clothes – semi-formal, unique, urban dresses with a stylish twist that can reflect the buyer’s character. Its clothes are appropriate for work yet fun enough to express positive vibes.

She said the company will pursue international expansion, focusing on Asia first, since women across the region have similar fashion tastes. Hong Kong and Singapore are the easiest markets to start with because of low barriers to communications and logistics.

“However, the China market is our prime long-term goal – it’s huge and they love Thai brands,” she said.

In founding Label 31, Charntaweekhun teamed with a US civil-engineering graduate and a pattern maker and fashion designer. While still a small team, her company now also has an in-house product-development team to strengthen its brand identity and quality.

“We are still small, however. Gaining economy of scale is our challenge. Therefore we have to control our operating costs. We are not doing much for PR, so now we are depending on word-of-mouth among our target group.”

The brand is building its popularity online, with a strong focus on Facebook and social-media channels, from which it has built a customer base of more than 70,000.

“We are doing well on this.”

Short-term, Label 31 will focus on online strategies, expanding soon into more formal, automated e-commerce channels.”

“We are constantly re-evaluating the potential of the official e-commerce channel to see if the Thai consumer is truly ready,” she said..

“Innovation in materials and product development are also among my interests. I believe those will bring a sustainable competitive advantage and enhance our brand, especially in the international market.”

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