While Chinese luxury shoppers have had a long love affair with all things foreign, recent trends indicate that many of them are seeking home-grown labels in their quest for discovery and exclusivity. There is now a new generation taking over the face of Chinese fashion. Popular style blogger Susie Lau – aka Susie Bubble – shares some of her favorites.
With a style referred to as “Chinese tradition meets Western influence and modernity,” Zhang was born in Qingdao and studied at London’s Central Saint Martins college of fashion. After a stint at Dior, where he was mentored by Angelica Cheung, he launched his own collection. His focus is on classic evening wear made of lace, velvet, and embroidered pieces with ornate details influenced by the floral patterns of Chinese vases and other Chinese artistic motifs.
After working in industrial design in China, Zhou moved to the Netherlands to study fashion. Since establishing his own brand in 2007, he has become the new face of menswear designers in China with a style heavily influenced by his background in industrial design. “For me, fabric is the most interesting area of investigation in menswear, as well as the relation between fabric and the shape of the male body,” he said.
Just from looking at the label on his clothes, which reads, “Made on another planet,” one can tell that Zhou is not a traditionalist when it comes to design. With features such as air valves and metallic and industrial textures paired with knits, Zhou’s designs look like something out of the future.
Li was born in China and educated in the UK at London College of Fashion and Royal College of Art, receiving a B.A. in womenswear and an M.A. in womenswear knitwear, respectively. Upon graduating in 2013, Li showed off her knitwear designs, which featured giant sculptural knit pieces dipped in silicon, according to the BBC. She now resides in Italy where she was chosen as a ‘next big thing’ by Vogue Italia. Her designs are not often what they seem, as Li’s skilled use of knit materials and silicon can make a knit skirt look like denim.
Born in Beijing, but raised in Perth, Australia, Yang Li now lives in London where he now runs his own line. After receiving a scholarship to Central Saint Martins, he worked with designers including Raf Simons before setting out on his own. Li works primarily with leather and calf-skin to create a style described as “minimal luxury with a twist.” With collections already picked up by Selfridge’s, Li creates a “tough aesthetic,” drawing inspiration from motorcycle wear and juxtaposing different materials.
Known for her “boyish” take on womenswear, this Hong Kong-based designer studied at Studio Berçot in Paris before creating her own label, Jourden, in 2012, which has become a fixture on Paris’ runways. Her style is characterized by mixing the masculine with the feminine and creating classic styles using unusual materials.
Perhaps the most renowned of China’s young fashion designers, Masha Ma studied in London as an assistant to Alexander McQueen. She now splits her time between Shanghai and Paris. At this year’s S/S 2015 Paris Fashion Week, Ma made waves for her fashionable take on a common sight in China’s big cities, the face mask.
Ma has become known for making clothes that are “both strong and delicate at the same time,” according to the Susie Lau. Though she is already well-known in China, Ma is now beginning to gain international renown with her more experimental fashion shows.
Graduating in 2013 from London College of Fashion, Wu’s first collection launched her to international prominence. Incorporating futuristic design with sculptural elements, the collection garnered her shoots in fashion publications in both the UK and China, according to the BBC. Wu is best known for playing with light, using innovative color gradients and juxtapositions of materials and colors.
Unlike most other Chinese fashion designers who study in Europe and stay there, Min Liu, the designer behind Ms Min, studied and worked in Europe, including a stint at Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam, before returning to China to set up shop in the south-eastern Chinese city of Xiamen. She sells her vintage-inspired collections through Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace where she has become popular with China’s fashionistas due to vintage styles being hard to come by in China.
image source: masha ma facebook, fashion156, terence sambo, anya holdstock, purple.fr, who-are-invited.com, BBC, stylebubble.co.uk, blouinartinfo.com