What to expect for the upcoming Shanghai Fashion Week

    Starting March 25, Shanghai Fashion Week's extensive lineup of shows and activities is set to reaffirm the city’s position in the world of fashion.
    Image: Shanghai Fashion Week
      Published   in Fashion

    Anticipation for Shanghai Fashion Week (SHFW) Fall/Winter 2024, commencing March 25, is mounting. The clothing and apparel sector accounted for a quarter of social retail sales in Shanghai last year, indicating the city’s leading role in the global fashion industry and defining fashion trends.

    “After the pandemic, Shanghai Fashion Week has experienced a resurgence in popularity, paralleled by the revival of our consumer market,” says Liu Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

    Shanghai Fashion Week comprises an array of captivating shows, exhibitions, and forums, but also shines a spotlight on Shanghai’s burgeoning fashion industry.

    Among the notable brands jostling to steal the spotlight, Le Fame and Mithworld will respectively open and close the eight-day-long Shanghai Fashion Week. Le Fame, renowned for its romantic vintage sentiment, promises a modern interpretation of Shanghainese femininity. Meanwhile, Mithworld’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection draws inspiration from traditional Chinese dim sum.

    Le Fame Spring Summer 2024 collection in collaboration with Yvmin. Image: Shanghai Fashion Week
    Le Fame Spring Summer 2024 collection in collaboration with Yvmin. Image: Shanghai Fashion Week

    The lineup also features established names like Chinese supermodel Lü Yan’s Comme Moi and Judy Hua’s signature brand, both known for their chic design aesthetics. Additionally, emerging talents like Xiao Li and Louis Shengtao Chen are poised to make their mark with debut shows characterized by whimsical colors and experimental spirit.

    Labelhood Pioneer Fashion Art Festival returns to Bund Source, championing authenticity under the theme “Return to Truth.” This year, it will showcase the work of 16 young designers. The roster includes buzzy young brands like Assignments, Shushu/Tong, and Xander Zhou, reflecting the younger generation’s vibrancy and innovation. The Labelhood incubator organization has continued their expansion and global reach recently, this year partnering with Harrods in London for a Chinese New Year activation.

    Business beckons

    Shanghai Fashion Week extends beyond the runway, encompassing trade and ordering shows and events to be held across five downtown locations.

    The city’s expansive exhibition spaces, including the West Bund Art Center and Shanghai Exhibition Center, will host showrooms like OnTimeShow, Tube, and The Mode Shanghai, alongside new collaborations such as Bridal Moda, which will highlight emerging trends in wedding and formal wear.

    Several global players will also be present at the Shanghai Fashion Week. Australian label Dion Lee will show its collection off-schedule. Luxury online retail platform Mytheresa is collaborating with the renowned French fashion brand Courrèges to curate a unique exhibition titled ‘The legacy & future of Courrèges: reimagining historical codes.’

    This exclusive showcase will be hosted exclusively at Fotografiska in Shanghai, offering visitors the opportunity to delve into both the historical roots and future directions of Courrèges collections. The exhibition will feature selections from the upcoming Courrèges x Mytheresa collection, providing a glimpse into the brand’s upcoming offerings.

    Actress Ren Min wearing Courrèges Fall Winter 2023. Image: Courrèges' Weibo
    Actress Ren Min wearing Courrèges Fall Winter 2023. Image: Courrèges' Weibo

    Eco credentials

    Shanghai Fashion Week has in recent years given air time to sustainable fashion practices through professional forums and exhibitions. For example, the M SPACE opening forum will feature industry leaders, such as Mulberry’s global CEO, Thierry Andretta, discussing sustainability.

    On March 23, the R.I.S.E Sustainable Consumption Innovation Platform will present the works of its Rise Up Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge’s top three designers on the runway; their eco-friendly garments will then be showcased at Xintiandi during SHFW.

    Furthermore, Shanghai Fashion Week will also relaunch The Next graduates show to bridge the gap between education and market demand. This segment will feature the designs of graduates from Donghua University, China Academy of Art, and Soochow University. Istituto Marangoni Shanghai also marks its 10th anniversary in Shanghai with a special showcase event.

    Over Range Fall Winter 2024 collection. Image: Shanghai Fashion Week
    Over Range Fall Winter 2024 collection. Image: Shanghai Fashion Week

    This year, SHFW aims to reach a broader audience through digital initiatives, like digital fashion shows and live broadcasts, in collaboration with Douyin.

    Shanghai Fashion Week embodies the city’s dynamic fashion scene, marrying tradition with innovation and championing sustainability. With its extensive lineup of shows and activities, this year’s event promises to reaffirm Shanghai’s position in the world of fashion.

    Yet, the country still faces challenges in attracting foreigners. Although China reopened its borders last year, the number of foreign tourists is far from its pre-pandemic levels. This is particularly noticeable in metropolises like Shanghai. China’s e-wallet is a stumbling block for foreigners who wish to visit the city as most shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and transportation use mobile payments to collect payments and lack cash reserves.

    To ensure the country’s young designers and fashion events reach a worldwide audience, the city must consider encouraging a more tourist-friendly infrastructure and payment system.

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