The People’s Republic of China, or simply China, is the most populous country in the world with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants and the world’s leading economic power by GDP. The Asian country shines among an unusual contrast: its inhabitants live under the shadow of the controversial mandate of Xi Jinping and the spectacular economic growth that the country has harvested during the last decades, which has devastated part of its geography and caused extreme poverty in some countries. sectors of society. Among so many shadows there are lights that stand out for their energy: China is one of the greatest world powers in the fashion industry. And no, it is not solely due to the immense amount of fast fashion production that is manufactured between its borders: luxury arrives in the Asian country to become the king of the battlefield.
The data speaks for itself: according to Theluxonomist, the Kering group, which brings together firms such as Gucci or Yves Saint Laurent, increased their sales by 50% in the nation during the first half of 2017, compared to the previous year. . Brands such as YSL received even more than 60% increases in that same period, little more to add to these surprising notes. In addition, the booming Chinese fashion market also encourages new faces, such as designer Yiqing Yin, to expand their wings thanks to the opportunities that such growth in the sector produces for amateur creators.
And once exposed the current state of fashion in the state, it is essential to refer to the city where this revolution emerges: Shanghai is the most populated city in China and one of the most populated in the world, with more than 20 million inhabitants , a constant bustle of culture, design and future. For this reason, the Shanghai Fashion Week shouts for the repercussion it deserves for its daring, creativity and deep union with a fashion that speaks of imagination without barriers. Taking advantage of the fact that its last edition, held the first week of April on behalf of the Fall / Winter 2018 collections, has been an unprecedented success, we are entering into the most revolutionary fashion week and we explain why the future queen ant will be of the international calendar. Paris, Milan and New York tremble before the supremacy of the pearl of the east.
The tradition and magic that surrounds the old continent makes it the main destination if we think of catwalks. New York has managed to place itself in the top 3 of the international fashion weeks, but the reign of the classic cities is threatening its future; Shanghai advances by giant steps. The city sees how its regional competitors, Seoul and Tokyo, lose strength in the race. According to BoF, it is estimated that some 3,000 buyers attend the Shanghai Mode Trade Fair, which operates at various scales and covers vast purchase budgets: this is an essential stop on the calendar of international buyers. The geographical situation of the city, the disparity in its population and the great niche of the market it supposes for new investors makes it a perfect strategic point.
The SFW is strongly committed to new creators who feel proud of being Chinese, no longer claim to be considered international designers, but defend their origins with integrity. Another point in favor of this market is the mentality adopted by both creators and customers: they seek to follow the new way of thinking of Chinese trends, which favors the individuality between the sea of luxury brands and the repetitive trends and opt for originality and courage, two concepts to which the classic European and American firms still have great respect. Who wants to win must bet, and has to bet strong. As a result, the growth of Shanghai Fashion Week has paved the way for a significant group of designers from across the nation to present their collections and strengthen the parades previously held in the main fashion capitals.
The Shanghai Fashion Week, however, has barely reached the age of majority. It was created in 2001, but already has one of the most irreverent emergent style platforms in the world: known as Labelhood. This is the mother ship of the youngest designers in the Chinese landscape, a platform where amateur designers exhibit their creations. In this scenario, each parade takes place twice: once for buyers and journalists and once for the public. Justin Peng, Labelhood’s executive director, justified this decision to BoF: “It does not matter if they see it as a store or a festival, the main thing we want to do is to intensify the connection between the designer and the client.” Under the slogan, Meet the Real One, Labelhood presented the first week of April its commitment to emerging designers that we will hear a lot of talk about -like Samuel Gui Yang or Wanbing Huang, ambitious young people who will dictate the steps of trends in the future . The vice-general secretary of the event Lv Xiaolei, or Madame Lu, defends: “We could not have imagined that Shanghai Fashion Week would grow to what it is now five years ago. We could not have imagined so many designers marching. The change is so fast in China, that sometimes it is impossible to plan it. We are a portal to discover the new fashion of the country. ” Some very accurate words to describe the amazing rise that SFW is experiencing in terms of national and international impact.
Once you understand why Shanghai Fashion Week is so important economically and creatively, it is essential to talk about street style. The photographs of elegant models or outlandish outfits at the exit of the fashion shows has become one of the inflection points of the industry: those who appear in these images become trend creators. Famous international fashion photographers, like Emily Malan, have not missed the opportunity to move to the pearl of the east for a few days and capture every key moment through its lens. The result has been spectacular: daring, creativity and boldness in abundance. Impossible sets, mixtures of unusual prints, manes of different colors …
Do you need any more information to recognize that the Asian public is the future of fashion? The trends are constant innovation, progress with time, and the population of Shanghai is not afraid of change. They always go one step ahead, adopt the new trends with extreme ease. They went, without going any further, the first to walk with the extravagant models of Balenciaga shoes: while Europe was surprised before lifting them on top of the pedestal of fashion, they already wore them with normality day by day. It is important to be aware that change occurs before a revolution, and they are already carrying it out.
Between extraordinary luxury, emerging designers, buyers, customers and the most lunatic street style, Shanghai was the focus of fashion attention for a week. Four Asian companies stood out among the group of proposals to enhance the fusion of tradition and future that Shanghai Fashion Week boasts: FFIXXED Studios, Private Policy Studios, Samuel Gui Yang and Shushu / Tong.
With a concept on style that adapts to the conditions of contemporary life, designers Fiona Lau and Kain Picken, at the helm of FFIXXED Studios, considered the packaging tape to be the axis of their A / W 2018 collection. models with dresses and pants with pieces of brown ribbon that seemed to join pieces of cloth, as well as large tinfoil earrings that were patched in several places with the same material.
Using the political satire of Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator as the main inspiration for his new collection, designers Haoran Li and Siying Qu, captaining the Private Policy Studios team, reflected the environment of the Second World War era. They highlighted the camouflage pattern, the military green pieces and the bomber jackets. Slogans such as War Is Over and Give Peace a Chance were screened on the catwalk, and the global message against the designers’ war was accompanied by John Lennon’s Imagine.
Changed in a third, the Belgian painter René Magritte and his work The Female Thief, served as inspiration for the collection A / W 2018 of the young Samuel Yang. The creator embraced the Chinese national tradition through the silhouettes and details of the qipao and Mao suit jackets, and elaborated his own modern interpretation with materials such as Scottish tweed.
Finally, with an elegant backdrop of flowers, a stack of classic literature books and a soundtrack composed of stateless singers from the 1930s, designers Lei Liushu and Jiang Yutong reinterpreted the school uniform with feminine touches, such as example fliers, although the d