What Could French Label Cacharel’s New Chinese Artistic Directors Bring To The Table?

Liu Ling And Sun Dawei To Manage Womenswear, Menswear, Children’s Clothing And Accessories

Liu and Sun launched their own label, Belle Ninon in 2009

Liu and Sun launched their own label, Belle Ninon in 2009

Women’s Wear Daily reports this week that the French fashion house Cacharel has appointed the Paris-based Chinese designers Liu Ling and Sun Dawei as the new artistic directors for its accessories and women’s, men’s and children’s collections. Harbin native Liu and Dalian native Sun met in Paris in 2004 at the prestigious Chambre Syndicale fashion institute, with both spending time at major fashion houses after graduation. (Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent in Liu’s case and Sun at Lolita Lempicka, Balenciaga and John Galliano.) In 2009, the duo launched their own label, Belle Ninon, which has largely flown under the radar since then, apart from a spread in BAZAAR China.

As WWD notes, “Liu and Sun’s nomination comes at a time of intense turnaround for European brands, with new creative directors appointed recently at Chloé and Balmain, and companies including Christian Dior and Azzaro seeking new creative leadership.” It also comes as European fashion houses look to either break further into the China market and tap the growing spending power of Chinese consumers, which begs the question: will Cacharel, with its new Chinese artistic directors, become more eastward-facing? Liu and Sun’s designs at Belle Ninon certainly display subtle yet noticeable Chinese design influences, which, if paired with Cacharel’s trademark colorful and playful aesthetic, could prove highly popular with China’s France-obsessed fashion crowd.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until Paris Fashion Week kicks off on September 27 to see exactly how Liu and Sun shake up Cacharel. We’d expect to see some Chinese nuances, nothing too extreme, but definitely a departure from the well-received yet Euro-centric designs of former artistic director Cédric Charlier.

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Art & Auction, Culture, Fashion