There are few sectors of the economy that offer as wide and interesting a range of career opportunities as fashion. Role Call highlights some of the industry’s most interesting jobs and the talented people who do them. For more information about fashion industry roles like this and others, visit BoF Careers.
HONG KONG, China — Augustine Wong is the assistant creative design manager of Lane Crawford. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Wong studied advertising design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. During a university exchange programme in London, he took an internship at trend forecasting agency WGSN. In 2010, he returned to Hong Kong and was appointed assistant graphic designer at Lane Crawford. After two years, he was promoted to senior designer and worked mostly on the concept and execution of graphics for the luxury department store's campaigns across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and Beijing. In May, Wong was promoted again, to the position of assistant creative design manager.
BoF: Please describe your current role.
I am the assistant creative design manager at Lane Crawford. I work closely with our creative team and external collaborators on all things related to graphic design and photography. This includes developing and setting a design signature that suits our corporate identity, producing graphics and imagery for our seasonal and festive campaigns, and art directing a range of marketing and brand-building projects throughout the year.
BoF: What attracted you to the role?
Lane Crawford is well-known as an iconic luxury department store in Greater China, so I thought it was the perfect place to nurture two things I was passionate about in life: graphic design and luxury retail. Lane Crawford exposes its staff to a wonderful and broad spectrum of brands, products and markets. The company also frequently supports and collaborates with creative talents. It was the kind of environment I had always envisioned myself working in. After five years, I'm still very proud of the creative work that our team produces. One of my favourite creative projects is the dynamic videos we produce. And, even offline, we're still trend-setters with our impactful and eye-catching outdoor billboards.
Omnichannel has played a great part in the development of my role. Today's consumers navigate both the online and offline worlds for fashion inspiration.
BoF: What is the most exciting project or initiative you have worked on?
Over the past five years at Lane Crawford, I have been exposed to different facets of the fashion and retail industry, which has been invaluable. One of the most exciting initiatives I've worked on was when I went on my first business trip to Paris last year. I was responsible for photographing and documenting the highlights of Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 and behind-the-scenes moments of our buying team, which would be featured on our website. It was physically demanding but a memorable experience. I was inspired by all the fashion editors, designers, photographers and PRs that I was finally able to meet in person, after only having had contact with them over the Internet.
BoF: How is your role changing? What are the forces driving this change?
I am a very curious person with a strong desire to discover the unknown — and that's a trait I have common with most of the staff at Lane Crawford. Throughout my time here, I've been tasked with a range of projects that have involved liaising with different departments, from frontline sales, to our marketing and buying teams. Our consumers are savvy and they're very digitally engaged.
At Lane Crawford, we aim to deliver a seamless shopping experience and styling advice for our customers in store and online. I contribute to this through art directing the visual content on Lanecrawford.com and selecting imagery that could be used on our social media platforms. Omnichannel has played a great part in the development of my role. Today's consumers navigate both the online and offline worlds for fashion inspiration, whether they're attracted to the store, the brands or style influencers.
BoF: Tell us about a time you failed and how you learned from it.
I was given the opportunity to work on designing direct mailing content to our VIP customers. I was responsible for the design of the letter and envelope, as well as printing and production. I sent it off to be produced, but when I received the collated sample, the paper I'd selected for the envelope was too thin and it revealed the personal contents of the letter. Printing had already begun, so I worried about how I could find an alternative way to fix the problem and not incur a huge cost for the company. Fortunately, I have good relationships with my suppliers and the printing company was able to help me fix my problem seamlessly. We ended up using thicker envelope, naturally. That's why maintaining good relations in the industry is so important. You never know when you'll need help the most! A friend in need is a friend indeed.
BoF: What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing what you do?
Love what you do. Passion drives everything. Be open to new opportunities because you never know what you'll discover. Most importantly, keep an open mind. Never say never, especially if you're just starting out. You have nothing to lose at the beginning of your career.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
For more information about fashion industry roles like this and others, visit BoF Careers.