Emerging Designers Take Place On World Fashion Stage
The prestigious international Woolmark Prize has nominated several Chinese designers for its 2013/14 award, which each year propels emerging local talent from Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Australia into the global spotlight. The prize is famous for taking notice of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1954, and has been known as an incubator for future fashion stars.
Chinese designer Qiu Hao won the top award in 2008, and has since been a leading force in China’s rising design scene.
This year, four China-based designers were nominated in the Asia field. Official nominating bodies for this field included the Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association (HKFDA), China Fashion Association (CFA), Japan Fashion Week Organization (JFW), Korea Fashion Association (KFA), and Vogue China. Look below for profiles of the labels, which will certainly be names to watch as China’s fashion industry takes a larger role on the world stage.
Created in 2006, Xiamen-based Sankuanz held its inaugural runway show at this year’s Shanghai Fashion Week. The design house created a buzz with its symbolism-heavy designs that featured references to various world religions, and according to a review at Chinese fashion site AnyWearStyle, “the sheer theatricality and panache made for one of Shanghai Fashion Week’s most engaging and entertaining shows to date.”
A relative newcomer to the scene, independent designer Yun Lin debuted her first collection in 2010 at Shanghai Fashion Week and established her semi-eponymous label in 2011. The brand can be found at One By One boutique in Shanghai, which also features the likes of Qiu Hao and Masha Ma.
Designer Chu Yan is known for using elements from traditional Chinese culture aimed at an international market. She received a generous amount of media attention last October for an innovative show at China Fashion Week in Beijing, which featured fragrance, audio, and visual elements to create what she called a “4D” experience. Her designs made use of an ancient Chinese dyeing technique to further her emphasis on tradition. In 2011, Chu won the Best Designer of China award for label Chuhetingxiang.
Avant-garde label ffiXXed is currently Shenzhen-based, but has a truly international philosophy that is exhibited by its frequently-changing headquarters. Established in Berlin in 2008, the brand has moved between studio spaces in Hong Kong, New York, and Melbourne. According to the label’s website, its focus is “the production of a unisex, prêt a porter fashion label that evolves alongside a range of other art and design related activities, developing their own working model that incorporates highly engaged and localized production within an international network.” It has been featured at Shanghai boutique Triple-Major, which was previously profiled by Jing Daily.