These 6 Chinese Independent Labels Won’t Bore You, Promise!
Chinese fashion has faced revivals over the past few years. With many up and coming fashion designers and local brands, the local fashion scene in China echoes to the other parts of the world through the story telling, initiated by these young designers. Hard to say that fashion is not limited to traditional and conservative Chinese clothing nowadays as many style directions were being chosen by the younger generation. Here are my takes on Chinese brands to watch:
- SHU SHU/ TONG
SHU SHU/ TONG was created in 2015 by two MA of Fashion Design graduates from London College of Arts. Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang were the dynamic duo behind the brand that claims to be challenging the society’s idea of femininity. SHU SHU/ TONG women should never be afraid of dressing boldly and creatively because fashion for them is the means to have fun. They are currently based in Shanghai & London, with stockists in Chengdu, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Dover Street Market London and Opening Ceremony.
2. Uma Wang
Graduated from Chinese Textile University and Central Saint Martins ,Uma Wang was well-known for her ‘clashing’ aesthetics and created her own terms of practicality and functionality. Having more than 10 years of experience working with Chinese fashion designers, Uma Wang was on Vogue Italia’s list of a brand to watch and also a regular designer to show her collection at Shanghai Fashion Week. She has also brought the brand to London, Milan, and Paris. Now, she has 4 retail stores in China and stockists in London, Milan and New York.
3. Masha Ma
Rather daring, Masha Ma takes industrial and futuristic inspiration to a whole new level. Working with Alexander McQueen before she opened her own label in 2011, she is now based in Paris & Shanghai. She has gained a lot of attention from fashion enthusiasts through her use of fabric play and constructive cutting, creating a fluid, sophisticated designs. Masha Ma was also selected in CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)/Vogue Fashion Fund China Exchange Program, where she learned about American fashion industry for 2 weeks.
4. Huishan Zhang
Born in Qing Dao and spent his years in Paris, New Zealand, and London, Huishan Zhang was chosen to work at House of Dior in his third year of university. He opened his own brand in 2010, when he started to mix influences from the East, where he came from, and the West, where he learned from. His design was also featured in Victoria & Albert Museum (permanent exhibition in T.T Tsui Gallery) in London, it was such a prestigious opportunity for him to raise the public awareness. His collection is now stocked in many countries such as USA, Canada, Middle East, and many countries throughout Asia.
Described as a fashion brand that not only sells clothes but also lifestyle and attitude,JINNNN was a breath of fresh air to the Chinese fashion industry. The rebellious attitude and the “bad side” of a woman were the elements that defined the brand. This is very unlikely for a fashion brand in countries such as China, but since it was created in 2014 the brand has proved that women can express a bold attitude through their clothing.
5. QIU HAO
After finishing his studies in Interior & Space Design, the Taicang born Qiu Hao went to create his first label called “Neither Nor”. It’s currently also sold in nine department stores in China, and he also launched another label with his own name, QIU HAO in Shanghai. He is now one of the most influential designers in China, featured in many international publications such as Phaidon and Thames & Hudson. He also won many awards including the prestigious Woolmark Prize. His collection is quite simple and straight-forward, using subtle earthy tones in most of his pieces.
So that’s my take on Chinese brands to watch! Do you have yours? If yes, do share below and I would love to check that out!
By Florencia Owen Irena
Images Via SHU SHU/TONG, JINNNN, QIU HAO, Masha Ma and Uma Wang