Local Hong Kong indie fashion designers are now enjoying greater visibility in the city's vibrant retail market, even surpassing international counterparts.

With shop rents are finally becoming more affordable, independent fashion retailers are increasingly making their presence felt.

In a report by commercial real estate firm CBRE, Joe Lin, executive director, retail services at CBRE Hong Kong, said that the city is undergoing a period of structural change.

By 2014, consumers' tastes had diversified and fast-fashion overseas brands began descending on Hong Kong. The arrival of names like Topshop, American Eagle, H&M, Zara and Mango added yet more to the mix in Asia's favorite shopping destination.

"Over the previous decade, high-street shop landlords have reaped the benefits of strong demand from luxury retailers and massive rental growth."

The trend has opened the door for mid-market brands to expand, and for the rise of independent labels.

"More independent stores are coming back to the market, streets, malls, and even some up-and-coming revitalized buildings in the traditional industrial districts, such as Lai Chi Kok and Kwun Tong," said Lin.

Lin noted that in the past 12 months, luxury retailers have adjusted their leasing strategies to save costs.

He added that landlords have become more realistic on rental negotiations, enabling more mid-range brands to tap into prime locations at relatively affordable rental levels.

With modernized decoration and decent Food & Beverage outlets, retail areas draw good foot-traffic that independent retailers also benefit from this new trend.

Source: Inside Retail Asia