Bluebell Group invests in designer startup

Bluebell Group has invested in a new luggage design house Ookonn, which takes inspiration from a hat box, selling direct to consumers online.

Ookon is the brainchild of Anson Shum, who conceived a style and design based on an old-fashioned, round hat box.

At the time, Shum was working in a marketing and communications role with Bluebell Group.

“When I resigned last year, I told the company of my plan to start my own label,” Shum said in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

ookonn-lugguage

“They were so nice to me, and asked if there was any way we could work together. I showed them my business plan, and they offered to coach and mentor me.

“Eventually nearing the end of my employment period, I did a formal presentation in front of all the shareholders. And the week after, I was told that Bluebell wanted to invest in Ookonn. It was a surreal moment. I think they decided to invest because of the product, the business model, and obviously the fact I have built a good relationship with them.”

Shum and his business partners sell the Ookonn bags online, where they cost upwards of HK$2280 for basic models.

“Online business is more relevant to my target audience. Ookonn is a lifestyle brand targeting millennials. While we get customers from different age groups, the feeling and foundation of the brand is for a younger audience in their early 20s to early 30s. While online is important, it is only one part of the business model, since we are launching in Hong Kong and China. But for other markets, perhaps we can collaborate with several bricks-and-mortar multi label stores,” said Shum.

He describes his case designs as “a bit more playful” than most common luggage ranges.

ookonn-lugguage-1

“I’ve been working in fashion and luxury for 12 years, and have had plenty of opportunities to travel. But while I can find a lot of beautiful options for clothes and accessories, there are not that many for luggage. Most luggage brands in the market are business oriented. So I wanted to see if I could create a luxury brand that would generate excitement.”

The bags come with a variety of options for handles, covers and belts and can be customised with the buyer’s chosen monogram.

The bags come from Transport Safety Authority locks, wheels which turn a full 360 degrees and a light polycarbonate shell.

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