China’s A-List Fashion Members Steadily Growing
The ongoing appeal by the fashion and luxury industries to China’s wealthy consumers has begun to manifest in new ways, as some budding Chinese fashion icons have begun to step up to the global fashion stage. More noticeable over the course of this year’s Fashion Week coverage, an expanding coterie of stars have caught the eyes of more fashion photographers worldwide, helping them craft personal images as fashionistas in an international sense.
Actress Fan Bingbing (previously on Jing Daily) is becoming increasingly known more for her style than her acting abilities, appearing regularly on international red carpets in stunning selections from top designers. The actress is the most well-recognized of this list, though she has little web presence. Fan has sat on the sidelines of several fashion shows in previous years, but this year her personal style has propelled her to international recognition as she chose daring items for Paris Fashion Week, attracting the attention of photographers as she entered and exited shows. This season in particular, standouts included her Elie Saab outfit (pictured above), complete with a sparkly nude-colored turban, for the Elie Saab show. Fan also appeared during Fashion Week wearing a classic Dior separates look for the Christian Dior show, and a Louis Vuitton cheongsam-inspired gown straight from last season’s runway.
Model and actress Yao Chen hit the spotlight during this season’s fashion shows, particularly her appearance in the front row of Chanel’s runway event at Paris Fashion Week. Having recently appeared in the popular film If You Are The One 2 (非诚勿扰2) and the television series Undercover (潜伏), Yao is perhaps most famous for having the country’s most-followed Sina Weibo account, with over seven million fans and growing.
As previously reported by Sina, this season Yao Chen notably met several high profile designers this season. Recently the Weibo queen attended a private Dolce & Gabbana dinner in Beijing and met designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who praised her eye on trends and impact on Chinese fashion. Additionally, Yao Chen attended Paris Fashion Week, where she had the opportunity to meet designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld after their respective runway shows. Yao specifically made a splash at Chanel, where she was joined by three other Chinese guests, actress Hilary Tsui, contemporary artist Yi Zhou and Sina blogger Han Huo Huo. On that trip, Yao was busy in Paris, presenting a porcelain tea set to Karl Lagerfeld, visiting the home of Coco Chanel, and stopping by the Lesage embroidery master workshop.
Elle China editor-in-chief Xiao Xue has become a fixture on the fashion week circuit, attending runway shows for Valentino, Chanel, Givenchy, Celine, Sonia Rykiel, Lanvin, and Dior this season. While many editors in China may be private, Xiao Xue maintains a popular Sina blog and Weibo micro-blog that showcase her travels and her day-to-day activities, putting her much more in the public eye than most of her peers.
Actress Hilary Tsui (Xu Haoying) is also a street style favorite, magazine contributor, and Hong Kong fashion boutique owner. While many actresses attend fashion shows to increase their visibility, Tsui uses the opportunity to promote and show off her own style while doing research for her stores, Liger. A collaboration with celebrity stylist Dorothy Hui, Liger has locations in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. Additionally, Tsui maintains a personal style blog on Liger’s website. Hilary Tsui and the below blogger Han Huohuo were guests at the Chanel store and were invited to visit the Chanel handbag factory while in Paris.
Fashion blogger Han Huohuo is a king of self-promotion, with a growing Sina blog and Weibo following. A Marie Claire project manager, Han recently burst onto the scene as a top male fashionista, following the steps of blogger Bryanboy in taking gender-defying fashion risks. As someone who trends into the more avant-garde, Han Huohuo has shown up at runway shows by Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Isabel Marant, Maison Martin Margiela, Balmain, and Viktor & Rolf.
Interestingly, the growing influence and position in the global fashion industry of China’s emerging fashion icons mirrors what is happening on an international scale, with major brands and designers increasingly seeing bloggers as legitimate trendsetters. While many of these Chinese fashion plates had a fan base to begin with, whether via their acting work or position within the domestic fashion industry, their presence among the global style elite will likely see their fashion influence increase both at home and abroad.