Adventurous Designer, Jessica Lau

Peering through the window blinds to explore the world
After learning that China had become “the world’s factory”, English native Jessica Lau came to Hong Kong from the UK for its geographical privilege, taking advantage of the city’s quality craftsmanship inherited from its glorious past as manufacturing hub. She co-founded Blind by JW with fellow designer, Walter Kong in 2012, inviting customers to join them to peer through the window blinds into the whole wide world, to embark on a journey to explore the ever-changing world. Jessica strongly believes that her fashion design background and the brand’s retail shop gives their brand an edge on getting feedback from clients resulting in short turnaround time.
Leaving the comfort zone
The brand Blind by JW was developing steadily for a few years until the duo found the brand reaching a plateau in 2019. They therefore tried to branch out with familiar materials. By putting together a scarf, a leather strap and QR code, they brought about the Discarvery wrap bag, which won not only the 2020 HKSDA Judge Award, but also clients with collaboration opportunities. Discarvery is the first non-fashion product of the brand that shows its readiness to advance with the times. Such readiness or versatility is an essential quality for survival. This creative design braced the brand for the retailers’ severe winter in the past two years.

The Weaveasy bag design is a smart derivative of the Discarvery wrap bag utilizing the straps in the stock. This Weaveasy project caught the attention of the generation Z, which was a market unreachable for Blind previously.

Making the most of social media
Sharing of information, ideas, and pictures is the vital element of Discarvery wrap bag but content management goes far beyond the capabilities of small entreprises like Blind by JW. Social media offers a virtual community for users to connect and use each others’ content and communicate, which is a good platform for Discarvery to obtain the latest information without the burden of managing it.

A design that has more than it can say
As a modern working woman, Jessica appreciates design “that is simple but it has more than it can say”. She takes smartphone as an example, it is no longer a mere  communication device but also takes the place of wallet and door key, it is a true multi-function device. The idea of decluttering and minimalism has taken the world by storm that our goal is to live in a house with fewer things in it.

Business Sustainability
Instead of asking their suppliers to buy fabric for textile processing, the duo would choose to utilize their stocks to make durable products. The brand promotes a longer product lifespan by inviting Weaveasy bag buyers to go to their retail shop for repair or a freshen-up when they get bored of the bag.

Successful designers are adventurous
“Designers have to be adventurous and able to learn from failure” Jessica concluded the lesson learnt from her over 10 years’ experience as a designer.
Having worked in Hong Kong for over 10 years, Jessica kept saying that Hong Kong offers the best bang for the buck. This is probably the reason for her to come here and stay for over a decade.

Ms. Jessica Lau
Founder and Director, Blind by JW
Jessica Lau is a true creative. Born and raised in London, the designer graduated in 2009 from Central Saint Martins Art and Design College with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Print, and was named ‘Best Emerging Fashion Designer’ at her graduation show. She earned her stripes working as a fashion designer’s assistant in luxury fashion houses around the world: from powerhouse brands Alexander McQueen in London and John Galliano in Paris to the revered design house of Diane von Furstenbery in New York. In 2011 she followed her inspiration – Chinese fashion and design – to Hong Kong. There, she founded Blind by JW with fellow designer, Walter Kong, in 2012.


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