What Happened: Unlike the Spring 21 Fashion Weeks from the big four, which offered a makeshift combination of in-person and digital presentations, Shanghai Fashion Week will be a return to normal. It will stage over 90 fully-physical shows, an unimaginable feat for the rest of the world. Under the aptly titled theme, “Eternal Runway,” this season is the 18th iteration of China’s most important fashion event. Designers such as Angel Chen, Mukzin, Cabbeen, and newcomer Yuhan Wang will all take part in a variety of events, runway, and tradeshows. Moreover, after a successful association with Tmall last season, the partnership continues as the B2C Tmall Fashion Festival will amplify the event to consumers, digitally as well as physically.
The Jing Take: Once again, the fashion industry is playing catch-up to China during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first fashion week to go fully digital under COVID-19 (Fall 2020), Shanghai Fashion Week is now the first fashion week to fully shake off the aftermath of the outbreak. The chasm between Western responses to the COVID-19 crisis and China’s approach has only highlighted the issues of the global fashion industry — from supply chains to consumption, everything has been upended — meaning it is now even more reliant on the mainland and its continued recovery.
China’s fashion industry, however, is relatively young and has been able to develop alongside unprecedented tech advancements and digital innovation, which has allowed it to adapt nimbly to unexpected changes. Lv Xiaolei, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Fashion Week Organization, noted that after 18 years, the pace of fashion week’s development will slow down, and “gradually become more stable.” In contrast to the West, after a period of dynamic change, China’s fashion industry is now ready to contemplate autonomy, as the big four battle on amid uncertainty.
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.