American Designer Phillip Lim Received Award In 2010
Beijing’s fashionable crowd was out in full force this past weekend, as Uma Wang–one of Jing Daily’s top emerging Chinese designers to watch–received Audi’s Progressive Designer 2011 award at the Audi showroom on East Chang’an Avenue. Known for her deconstructed designs, asymmetrical cuts and clever juxtaposition of materials and textures, the Central Saint Martins-educated Wang launched her eponymous fashion house in London in 2005, quickly making a name for herself on the internationals stage. Only two years later, Wang made her way back home for her inaugural China runway show, sponsored by Audi. Since then, Uma Wang has made a serious splash in the Chinese fashion industry, presenting the opening collection at Shanghai Fashion Week 2009 and receiving accolades such as the Finest Craft and Best Creativity awards at Shanghai Fashion Week (2009 & 2010) and Beijing CCDC Best Designer award (2010). In the past year, Wang’s retail presence in China has grown along with her reputation, with her designs now sold at Hong Huang’s Beijing boutique Brand New China and the Uma Wang flagship in the Shanghai’s swish Xintiandi neighborhood.
At this weekend’s “Audi Progress in Design Award Ceremony” in Beijing, in addition to receiving her prize, Wang debuted her 2011 winter collection, which our friends at Stylites in Beijing noted began with dancers modeling black dresses and slashed leather tops. The collection mixed functionality with futurism, with “asymmetrically cut heavy wool coats, dresses with a draped signature back, all-over print ensembles…as well as thickly woven sweaters paired with slim patterned pants.” A fundraising auction was held after the fashion show, at which a Uma Wang polka dot coat, leggings and a dress raised 30,000 yuan (US$4,630) to benefit efforts by UNICEF and Audi to increase adolescent education in China.
Audi has stepped up its involvement with the Chinese creative industries in recent years, perhaps in an effort to soften its image as the manufacturer of the ubiquitous staid black sedans favored by Chinese government officials. Considering China recently surpassed Germany to become Audi’s #1 market, with the company selling nearly 90,000 vehicles in China in the first half of 2011 alone, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Audi is paying closer attention to China’s home-grown design market as part of its ongoing cultural efforts. Now, with Uma Wang following in the footsteps of last year’s “Progress in Design” winner, the American super-designer Phillip Lim, we can expect Wang (and the Chinese domestic fashion industry) to get a helpful boost in visibility on the international stage.
Photos from the event, via Stylites in Beijing: