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    Entries in Taipei (4)


    Look back at August

    August was a bit of a crazy month here at Hebe! Watching and making films, partying / drowning at festivals, kick-ass presentations, cool events, photo-shoots, funny interviews, intriguing meetings, Stockholm, Manchester, London and much more. 

    We have been working behind the scenes on a number of new projects including Creative Encounters in Stockholm, Taipei and Hangzhou. We have also agreed two new partnerships which we will be annoucing officially in the next week or so.

    LOL! Leeds Online has made great strides in the past month and the Facebook Page alone is about to pass 47,000 members. We are also developing ideas for further platforms and content for the project which should start to go live during September.

    UK Observing Diary is still kicking ass and attracting millions of views every month. The girls are in the final stages of writing their eagerly awaited first book. Clair is now blogging for Vogue Taiwan so big congratulations to her on that! Shang Ting is leading our charge in Asia and we are putting peices in place for some amazing Hebe events and experiences over there including a Taipei x London x Leeds Creative Encounter!

    Looking back at the blog during August, we have been mainly taking pictures! Shang Ting's Street Style, Stacey's Week in Pics and an update and new gallery from Simon on his residency at Whitechapel Gallery in London. We also posted some of the (publishable) pictures from our Barca Crew Reunion including partying with Howard Marks and Louise Rennison. 

    We are launching a couple of new features on the blog during September that we are pretty excited about. Plus after around 18 months of trying to figure out our 'about' page, we think we have finally figured it out (but dont hold us to it!)

    Peace out for now!


    My Internship In The Fashion Industry

    Blumarine A/W 08 show in Taipei 101's 84th floor.MS YAMING multi brand show including MMM, Balenciaga, CDG, Junya Watanabe, R by 45RPM, Undercover.Stephane Dou A/W 08.Blumarine after party.Blumarine A/W 08 backstage.Jimmy Choo bags piled up before the photo shoot.

    Lately we've been busy planning several new fashion projects and it reminded me of the time I did my Fashion PR internship back in Taipei. It was amazing to be involved in fashion shows and openings for brands like Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, Georg Jensen, Blumarine and many many more.

    My internship started in the summer of 2008, with fashion PR agency STARFiSH Concept. As then a second year fashion marketing student, I knew it was crucial to take the initiative and be active. STARFiSH Concept has an impressive track record of working with international brands, so I sent my CV to them even though I knew they were not recruiting for interns. A few days later, I got a phone call from one of the directors herself, and after the interview, 2 months in the Taiwan fashion world began.
    I started with the not so glamorous stuff. My job included photocopying, answering phone calls, sealing invitations and arranging press kits (arranging each press release in the right order and into the right envelope part, not the advanced writing press release part!). After a while, my superb photocopying and envelope sealing skills landed me more important role in the company. By the end of my internship, I was lucky that I got to see every step of the process of constructing a successful event. One minute I could be sitting in the same table and having a meeting with brands like Georg Jensen, Blumarine, and Banana Republic and the next minute ordering food for the whole production team before a show. At the events one of my jobs was to remember all the A-list guest's names and where they would be sitting on the front row, so I can greet them and take them to their seat. The next day I would be taking a £2,000 Blumarine dress to tailor to fix, guarding it with my life. Other jobs included contacting journalists, confirming RSVPs from the important guests, model castings, and handling lots and lots of the unplanned situations that would happen at an event... Well actually the agency directors would handle most of them, I would handle situations like when I accidentally pressed the emergency button in the bathroom of Georg Jensen's Taiwan headquarters.
    Maison Martin Margiela rehearsal.Me and colleagues after MS YAMING show.Those two months were an amazing experience for me. The fashion industry is an extremely fast paced and brutal world, and in many ways is very different to other professions. But just like other industries, fashion has it's own cycles and it's own rules. When I started my fashion marketing and communication course at IED, I quickly realised fashion can be one of the most superficial industries, yet there's so much thought and creativity put into the strategy behind a brand, a show, or a collection. 
    During my internship, my directors were always looking for talented people to join their team. From what i could see, the fashion marketing/ communication/ PR they (and the industry in general) were looking for people that have a knowledge of fashion, fast reactions, understand trends, tact, decent writer, and good looking or well dressed... and very few people can reach all of those levels, I wish I could have even 60% of the elements I listed. That's why it often needs a team with different strengths to execute a fashion event, and then many of these teams to create a fashion industry.
    Looking at where I am based now, I think this is what needs to happen in Leeds. We need to grow and develop the best individuals we can. This means we can then have great teams creating amazing events and projects. If we do this often enough and more importantly well enough, we can begin to build an industry here. At Hebe we often talk about 'creating the industry we want to work in' and hopefully we will be able to contribute to and help that happen.
    This is Taiwanese fashion brand Stephane Dou's A/W 08 fashion show that I was involved with.

    STP's Far East Feature: Pimp My Teeth

    Let's bring back braces! Wait a minute, were braces ever IN?

    I absolutely adore people who wear braces; they are cool, represent youth, there is some kind of beauty in being in pain, and not everyone gets to wear them! 

    In the Far East, braces are a complete hit right now. You have got to admit, if you can look good with a cage in your mouth, you can look good in anything.

    So all you youngsters (and adults) who wear braces, there's no need to be shy about your ultra coolness anymore, EVER!


    UK Observing Diary Update


    Last month we gave a brief introduction to the UK Observing Diary project featuring our very own Shang Ting Peng. Since our last post a lot has happened with the page including the number of fans swelling to 56,000+ and various television and newspaper appearances for Shang Ting and her UOD partner Clair Liu.

    After appearing in a post on The Guardian Leeds site, the media coverage around the project has been quite unbelievable. The Asian media picked up on the story and it spread like wildfire. The story made the front page of Yahoo, was ranked no.1 in the fashion category and no.3 in the arts category. The story appeared in some of the most influencial newspapers in Taiwan including Liberty Times, NOWnews, Apple Daily, Chinese Television System and China Times.

    When the Guardian post appeared the page had around 6,500 members and now as of writing this post the number stands at 56,816! The number of views on their posts has gone into the millions every month. It is a quite remarkable story that 2 friends who started a project as a hobby are now well on their way to becoming major published authors back in Asia, as a number of book deals are now in the offing.

    Shang Ting has certainly been taken back at the response in her native Taiwan "It was a shock when we found out how many different news outlets had reported this story. Afterwards our UK Observing Diary email address has been full of invites to different things and proposals for new projects. It all happened so fast. We have now even been offered a book deal, and it is just so exciting."

    Her partner on the page, Clair recently appeared on a TV show billed as an 'online buzz creator' something that certainly takes some getting used to " This was the first time for me to participate in a TV programe shot in the studio. I was so excited when the TV producer invited us to talk about our recent popularity on the internet. There are many interesting things on the show that I did not expect. I had so much fun there."

    Clair continues, "I felt I was just like a little fan when I heard the other two famous bloggers who are going to join the panel. I used to read quite a lot of their articles. I am so glad to have had this opportunity to sit next to them and join their conversation. This was the day I found I was so proud of UK Observing Diary. Our page could be a real media connecting people who are interested in Leeds and London."

    The girls are commited to their original vision for the page "We post everyday, and we try to answer fan's questions as much as we can. The relationship with them is very important to us. We don't want to change our style, which is fun and a style that people can easily relate to. We like to talk to fans as they are our friends, and perhaps one day they will become our friends for real!" says Shang Ting.

    One really interesting dynamic of this project is the contrast it provides between the North and South of England, namely Leeds and London. While the capital may be high on tourist's and trend hunter's radars usually, Leeds is something of an unknown quantity in Asia. The UK Observing Diary provides an insight into the northern city and this has gone down well with a lot of the fans "Li Man Man said: This is so great~ Because most of the people know more about London, part of them don't have a clear idea about Leeds. So this observing diary is perfect~"

    The content of the page is usually photos with a brief description. This could be an off-the-cuff photo of an interesting visual or it could be a photoshoot carried out at a particular event. The girls have also began to add deeper content in the form of interviews and articles which are presented more like a 'blog posts' in the page's 'notes' section.

    The idea is to develop the content further with plans for more video content presented by Shang Ting and Clair currently on the agenda. It seems this is just the tip of the iceberg for this project and we should hear of more exciting developments (and 1000s more fans) over the coming months.

    1. Jackie Chan 2. Jet Lee... 3. UK Observing DiaryApple Daily