Wendy Yu Launches The Yu Prize For Chinese Designers

What Happened: Wendy Yu, a Chinese fashion investor that is known for her efforts to bridge Eastern and Western fashion worlds, recently announced a new initiative for supporting emerging Chinese designers.

Launched on October 13 during Shanghai Fashion Week and running to December 15, the Yu Prize is an annual award and incubator program for womenswear, menswear, gender-neutral, and accessories designers. Applicants must have produced or presented at least two collections and provide evidence of successful commercial sales.

“From Yves Saint Laurent in France and Dries Van Noten in Belgium to Alexander McQueen in the UK and Japan’s Rei Kawakubo, their design is deeply rooted in their culture,” said the founder and CEO of Yu Holdings during a press conference. “And I believe that China is ready to embrace its own renaissance.”  The Yu Prize winner will receive a cash prize of one million yuan ($148,000), professional consultation and international exposure. There will also be one Creative Pioneer and three Creative Champion prizes.

Jing Take: There are many domestic fashion design awards in China, but few can claim to have the international recognition that global-minded designers crave. The Yu Prize has come to fill this void at a good time since the BoF China Prize (of which Yu Holdings is a partner) ended after its first edition in 2019.

The growing pool of participants at Shanghai Fashion Week and the designer incubator Labelhood both reflect the need for more relevant platforms. With Yu’s global connections to the French Fashion Federation, the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, and its local official partner Shanghai Fashion Week, the prize is expected to continue fueling the ever-growing Chinese fashion design community.

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.

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