5 July 2018
Stockholm Lifestyle Brand Expands to Hong Kong
Since establishing the company in 2007, the four co-founders of TRIWA had steadily built an Asian following, predominantly through online sales. They knew that a physical presence would further unlock the region potential, and chose Hong Kong as the strategic location. In December 2017, TRIWA opened in Kowloon shopping mall Plaza Hollywood as the brand’s third global flagship store, after Stockholm and Tokyo.
Mark Parker, Managing Director of TRIWA Asia, says Hong Kong is an “incredibly important market” for the brand, from both a regional and global perspective.
“When you think about what’s happening globally in all areas of consumer goods, the emphasis is on e-commerce,” he said. “Ironically, in our view, physical retail is more important than ever. It is the one area where the consumer has a chance to engage with the brand through all five senses.”
TRIWA wanted a space not only to engage with customers, but to use as a backdrop for discussion with present and future brand advocates – the “people who come in and love the brand,” Mr Parker explained.
“Hong Kong is unique,” he continued. “There is no question that Greater China is the engine of consumer growth, and Hong Kong is uniquely situated to be part of that. Equally importantly, Hong Kong is a world city, attracting millions of tourists from Asia, Europe and North America, so this gives us the opportunity to engage with local, regional and global customers.”
TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, was created in the hope of changing the way watches are usually associated – “with status and traditional clichés,” Mr Parker explained. The four co-founders were intent on producing only what they would wear themselves, and a decade since start-up, their creative team has grown to a studio of 30 in Stockholm.
TRIWA is positioned as “a Stockholm lifestyle brand,” which Mr Parker describes as compassionate, curious, fun-loving, friendly, and spirited. Those elements are imbued in the quintessential Scandinavian design of the brand’s watches, jewellery, and eyewear.
“TRIWA is not trying to be the biggest watch brand in the world, but rather, a pure expression of the Stockholm lifestyle,” he said. “Our creativity allows us to maintain that integrity.”
Local Creative Input
The company is also open to input from creative talents in Hong Kong to infuse local flavour into its collections. “We’re planning some exciting limited editions to share with our fans,” Mr Parker said.
One upcoming collection, TRIWA X Humanium, is currently on Kickstarter and aims to reduce gun violence by using metal reclaimed from illegal firearms.
Before establishing its Hong Kong flagship, TRIWA distributed its collections through selected specialty stores, and will continue to do so. The company is also planning a series of pop-up stores, the first currently operating (until October) in Mira Place, Tsim Sha Tsui.
“The flagship has met all of our expectations both commercially, and as a platform for brand engagement with existing fans and new fans of TRIWA,” Mr Parker said. “We may or may not open more stores in Hong Kong, but we certainly will be doing more pop-ups across the city, wherever the opportunity with landlords arises.”
As for the brand’s move to Hong Kong, Mr Parker said: “With our business in this part of the world growing steadily, the time was right to proceed. We looked at establishing a permanent presence in the region, and chose Hong Kong to be our Asia headquarters.”
He added that the management team is excited about the feedback being received in Hong Kong. “One of the things we’ll be looking to do going forward is nuancing the product so we don’t lose sight of our Stockholm heritage, but can bring something to Hong Kong consumers that is uniquely theirs.”