Shanghai-based style blogger Peter Xu (徐峰立) is the key definition of a “key opinion leader” (KOL) in China, turning his prolific 1.3 million follower-strong Sina Weibo account into his own personal brand enterprise. Xu is famous not only for his blog, but also for his frequent columns for China’s major fashion magazines, attendance at China’s hottest fashion events, and collaborations with labels such as Dior and Louis Vuitton. His interests and talents span beyond style, however: he has also gained notoriety through rapping and took to the stage in a national singing talent show. As a former English tutor whose blogging radically changed the trajectory of his life, Xu certainly knows how to think outside the box, and recently recommended at Shanghai Fashion Web in September that fashion brands need to do the same in China. Jing Daily caught up with Xu to get his views on his favorite Chinese and international designers, as well as how he managed to beat heavy-hitting fashion magazines like Vogue China for Weibo fans.
Your following on Sina Weibo exceeds that of major fashion publications like Vogue China—what do you think this says about fashion bloggers’ level of influence in China?
Of course I have more followers because, like some other celebrities or influencers, I use TV, magazine, and all sorts of media to push myself so that people would follow me for a plethora of reasons, and I work hard on Weibo every day to generate quality content. During fashion weeks, even in Milan and Paris, I still tweet live. Vogue China focuses on magazines and traditional distribution. The people they hire to do Weibo might be just junior editors or interns. We are two different outlets complimenting each other.
Who are your favorite designers?
Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe, J.W. Anderson, Anne Sofie Madsen, Asger Juel Larsen, Henrik Vibskov, Humberto Leon & Carol Lim, Raf Simons, etc.
You’re currently based in Shanghai. What do you think is unique about Shanghai style compared to other Chinese cities?
Shanghai is highly adaptable in terms of fashion. Fashion people mix and match a lot of different styles worldwide, yet the majority of ordinary people still prefer simple and wearable styles that are akin to Parisian style.
Which boutiques do you recommend for visitors to Shanghai?
Alter China, 10 Corso Como, Lane Crawford, Joyce, [and] I.T.
China Fashion Week and Shanghai Fashion Week recently concluded—who were some of your favorite Chinese designers presenting?
I [didn’t] really attend China Fashion Week these [past] few years, [but] I personally recommend Uma Wang, Masha Ma, Qiu Hao, and Badwin Cheung (Just for Tee).
In addition to the blog, do you have any other upcoming projects?
Of course, I do have many magazine columns on Cosmopolitan, Mademe Figaro, and 1626, and that’s why I don’t have time to blog that much. I attend all sorts of fashion events like the recent ones with Versace, Kenzo, Carven, and Calvin Klein. And I do styling for magazines and some celebrities. This year I did a dozen 360-degree digital campaigns for clients like ShopBop. It’s more than just the blog.