You hear it all the time: never mix business and friendship. But childhood friends Antonia Li and Harris Chan aren’t phased by this at all. Last year, the duo co-founded Autopilot, a brand that blends activewear with everyday attire, designed for people on the go.
In just 12 months, the Autopilot brand has released four collections, and has become known within Hong Kong’s fashion-savvy circles for its gym-to-cocktails approach to dressing. With functional layering as its core concept, Autopilot has found fast fans among Tatler friends including Patricia Tung-Gaw, Faye Tsui and Lindsay Jang, who have all embraced the brand’s “one-minute transformation” style of dressing.
The brand focuses on three areas: performance—using innovative fabrics like ultra-smooth Japanese wakayama mesh and Ceravida Fresh, a chemical-free antimicrobial and anti-odour garment-coating technique; transition—for easy, pull-on items such as a sheer, colour-blocked maxi skirts; and layers—which involves fashion-forward pieces designed to elevate any look. Think military-inspired boleros, windbreakers and trench coats with pockets big enough to fit an iPad in them.
When Tatler interviewed Chan and Li in June the pair had, until then, remained largely anonymous. Despite living in an age when social media has made privacy a commodity, only their inner circle knew they were behind the Autopilot launch. “We wanted our products to speak for themselves without us being part of the narrative. It’s our one-year anniversary now and our presence is growing, and we feel it’s the right time to come forward,” Li says.
For the full interview and in-depth look at Autopilot, pick up your copy of Tatler Hong Kong's September issue on newsstands on September 2.
Autopilot locations: G01, G/F, No.9 Queen’s Road, Central | Shop 216, Level 2, K11 Musea, Tsim Sha Tsui