London Fashion Week’s first online event aimed to create a community space for designers and industry experts to share designs but most importantly insights and experiences. While fashion’s big names were missing, digital contributions showed spirit and innovation. Xander Zhou’s futuristic digital presentation was radical and gumptious, while Pronounce illustrated an ancient Chinese myth by paper flipbook. And, though Chinese designer’s voices were missing from the central “Explore” section of the event — the various cultural events and activations hosted by retailers, brands, and partners — Chinese influencers like Hu Bing, Dipsy, and Sunni spoke to British superstars like Paul Smith, Erdem, and Roksanda.
The Jing Take
Despite the participation of a healthy representation of Chinese designers and retailers, the event itself received a disappointing volume on social media in China. The lack of physical attendees from China undoubtedly impacted negatively on the event’s ability to capture fans online. Previous LFW’s have spawned hashtags on Weibo for celebrities like actor and singer Kris Wu as well as actress Zhou Dongyu; these two alone have received 470 million and 82.5 million views respectively.
This season, there were few discussions online other than posts from Chinese celebrity Hu Bing, appointed LFW China Ambassador in 2015. Yet, after five years in the role, Bing may not be as relevant as other “fresh meat” counterparts; where he fared better was a promotional video posted on the final day of LFW which earned 380k views, 10.4k likes, and 276 comments — so far. More tellingly, in it he expressed his hope to see more Chinese designers on a world stage. With this in mind, perhaps in the future, sponsors and institutions can go further to ensure that more voices from China are integrated into the cultural conversation. This in turn might generate more online buzz among younger netizens.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.